The author was born and still lives in Montreal and feels very fortunate to be nearby her two sons and daughters-in-law who have given her four beautiful granddaughters, Julia, Lauren, Mia, and Evyn. They are the inspiration for her stories.
Her first published work, "Letting Grow" took the author completely by surprise. It began as a simple story for Julia who kept asking her for a story to draw a picture of. However, it grew and completely took over, going places she had never dreamed of. Four hours after it was begun, it was completed. And so, Julia, her beloved first grandchild, is the heroine of "Letting Grow" and its inspiration.
The illustrations took much longer but creating them gave the author great pleasure. Most of the images were created using photos taken by her late husband, Bob Ortiz, whose passion for photography gave her an abundance of pictures to choose from.
Her second book, "Little Sister" (privately published) was written in answer to a challenge from a close friend: "OK. You've written one for Julia. Now, what about Lauren?"(Mia and Evyn were not yet in the picture.)
Their turn came quite recently when the author asked her son how the children had dressed up for Halloween. His response, that Mia had gone out as a princess and Evyn as a panda, was the spark. There was just something about those two words, princess and panda, that resonated in the author's mind and the result was her latest book, "The Princess and the Panda".
The author is a retired elementary school teacher who now, besides writing and illustrating children's books, runs a business begun many years ago by her late husband . She loves singing in a church choir and doing all kinds of crafts despite the glitter which is unconquerable but the centre of her life is her family and friends and spending time with them is one of her greatest pleasures.