Merrily, the oldest of three daughters, grew up in Queens, New York. She earned an Associate Degree of Science from New City Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia University in Dental Hygiene. She practiced dental hygiene while she lived in New York City. After she moved to California, when her children were young, she began creating stories for them.

She joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (S.C.B.W.I.), took writing courses and seminars and formed a picture book writer’s critique group. In 2000, she attended the Highlight’s Foundation Writer’s Workshop in Chautauqua, New York. Years later, she attended The Institute of Children’s Literature Training Program and was accepted as an instructor. She has served as an Advisory Board Member to develop the California State University Fullerton Extended Education Writing for Children Curriculum. She has given workshops on Writing in Rhyme, Manuscript Revision, and Book Diagramming at S.C.B.W.I. author’s writing retreats. She has proudly participated in the Reach Out and Read Aloud Program and taught elementary kids creative writing. Throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County School Districts, she attends author festivals and does school visits. She also writes screenplays and her credits appear on the International Movie Data Base www.imdb.com.

An online instructor for the UCLA Writers Extension Program for over five years, she has taught a course on writing picture books that explores the unique method of story diagramming. She has been a faculty member at the San Luis Obispo Writer’s Conference. Recently, she has students who study independently with her for one on one instruction.

Today, she lives in Anaheim Hills, California with her husband and her mellow golden retriever Curly.




15 Things You May or May Not Want to Know About Me:

1. Having my son is the best thing I have ever done.

2. My golden retriever’s name is Curly. He got his name because as a puppy he had furry ringlet curls behind his ears and his mouth curled up so he looked like he was smiling.

3. I love brownies and pistachio gelato too much.

4. I dream of renting a villa in Tuscany, Italy with all my friends.

5. My favorite color is red . . . it has always been. As a kid, if my mother didn’t dress me in red I wouldn’t leave the house unless I had something red on.

6. I wish I was taller . . . I never made it to five feet although I ate my vegetables— even spinach!

7. Favorite movies include Defending Your Life, As Good as it Gets, The Lake House, The Lion King.

8. I cry every time I read the book The Giving Tree.

9. Yoga keeps me limber but Zumba dancing makes me happy.

10. Someday I want to visit Australia and hug a koala bear!

11. I think words are fun. For example, did you know that the words sponges and tongues are frequently misspelled? Is it because both are thirsty? Most definitely!

12. I left New York to escape the cold but I still love a good snowball fight and sleigh riding.

13. Favorite quote: Life isn’t always fair but at least I can be.

14. It took ten (10) years until my first book was published.

15. I’m such a big sci-fi fan that I’m practically a “monster” specialist.