Parks, Peggy J. 1951-

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PARKS, Peggy J. 1951-

(P. J. Parks)

PERSONAL: Born September 1, 1951, in Lansing, MI; daughter of Earl J. (a utility company executive) and Elaine Lynne (a bookkeeper) Wheeler; children: Jeff Kosloski, Becky Vollink, Amy Bayne. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Aquinas College, B.S. (magna cum laude). Politics: "Moderate/libertarian/green party." Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: In-line skating, reading, cooking, creative writing, gardening, travel, Detroit Red Wings hockey.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—1623 East Harbour Towne Circle, Muskegon, MI 49441. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Freelance writer, 1995—. Volunteer Muskegon, formerly on board of directors and chairman of marketing committee; West Michigan's Cherry County Playhouse, pro bono public relations work; city of Muskegon, member of public relations/communications committee; volunteer at Muskegon Summer Celebration.

WRITINGS:

"CAREERS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY" SERIES

News Media, Lucent (San Diego, CA), 2002.

Music, Lucent (San Diego, CA), 2002.

"EXPLORING CAREERS" SERIES

Police Officer, Kidhaven (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Doctor, Kidhaven (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Computer Programmer, Kidhaven (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Teacher, Kidhaven (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Lawyer, Kidhaven (San Diego, CA), 2003.

"GIANTS OF SCIENCE" SERIES

Benjamin Franklin, Blackbirch (Woodbridge, CT), 2002.

Jonas Salk, Blackbirch (Woodbridge, CT), 2003.

Robert Fulton, Blackbirch (Woodbridge, CT), 2003.

"NATIONS IN CONFLICT" SERIES

Afghanistan, Blackbirch (Woodbridge, CT), 2003.

Iraq, Blackbirch (Woodbridge, CT), 2003.

North Korea, Blackbirch (Woodbridge, CT), 2003.

OTHER

Grand Rapids: The City That Works, Towery Publications, 1998.

Great Depression ("Daily Life" series), Kidhaven (San Diego, CA), 2003.

The Internet ("Science Library" series), Kidhaven (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Global Warming ("Our Environment" series), Kidhaven (San Diego, CA), 2003.

Aswan Dam ("Building World Landmarks" series), Blackbirch (Woodbridge, CT), 2003.

Global Warming ("Library of Science" series), Lucent (San Diego, CA), 2004.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Five books for Blackbirch Press's "Yesterday and Today" series and five books for Kidhaven Press's "Exploring Careers" series, as well as miscellaneous other Kidhaven titles.

SIDELIGHTS: Peggy J. Parks told CA: "From the time I was very young, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I never realized that I would end up writing professionally, and I certainly never dreamed I would be an author. All I know is that I had a pen and paper in my hand from the time I was old enough to scribble on a tablet. I spent ten years in marketing and advertising, on the account side of the business, and then formed my own communications company in 1995. Building a writing portfolio was challenging, to say the least, because when you do not have professional writing experience, how do you get professional writing experience? So, I did what any self-respecting wannabe-writer does—I begged. I pleaded. And I eventually convinced people to let me write for them. Eight years have passed, and I am blessed with a successful career as a writer and author. I will always be grateful to those who believed in my talent enough to help me get started.

"As for writers who have influenced me, Alice Hoffman and Sally Mandel immediately come to mind. Also Pat Conroy. Because I have a very silly side, I love the humorous writings of Dave Barry, who makes me laugh out loud. I was fortunate enough to interview him and he is the featured writer in my "Exploring Careers" book on writers. Actually, there are too many authors to mention because for as long as I have been writing, I have also had my nose in a book. And in terms of writers who have inspired me, at the top of the list is my son, Jeff Kosloski, who is an immensely gifted writer.

"My current specialty is nonfiction, but down the road, I would love to write fiction. I have many ideas—in fact, I have more ideas than I do time to write all the books I want to write! I will say that future books will undoubtedly revolve around humor, because when I write with the purpose of making people laugh, I am at my most creative.

"What advice would I give to aspiring writers? Never, ever give up. Be a voracious reader. Write all the time. If writing is your dream, then follow that dream and do not let anything or anyone stop you."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, October 15, 2002, Roger Leslie, review of The News Media, p. 416.

ONLINE

P. J. Parks Communications,http://www.pjparks.com (February 18, 2003).