Nancy Kelly Allen's route to award-winning writing has more twists and turns than a winding mountain road. She worked as a social worker and elementary school teacher. When Nancy changed career paths once again and became a school librarian, the route led her straight to the world of picture books. Nancy spent her days introducing books to children and her nights writing books for children. Eventually, writing led her down the route to publication.
Nancy grew up in Kentucky where storytelling is a way of life. Every evening after supper, her father entertained the family with humorous stories. Each time he told a story, he embellished it a little more. Nancy's mother encouraged her young daughter to write stories, even before Nancy could read. Nancy pecked away on the keyboard of an old Royal typewriter, writing nothing but jumbled letters and numbers. Nancy proudly presented her work to her mother, who read it aloud as if Nancy had actually written a story. The early influence of her mother's literary interpretations and her father's humorous storytelling set Nancy on the road to a world of books where characters become so real they practically step off the pages. Now that she's all grown up, Nancy considers her love of writing a gift of the spirit from her parents.
Nancy has a master's degree in Education from Morehead State University and a master's in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky. She lives in Kentucky in the log cabin in which she grew up. Nancy shares her cabin with her husband Larry and a canine writer assistants, Jazi and Roxi.
Why are ravens black? Why do screech owl eyes look red in light? How did we get fire? You'll find the answers to those questions in this retelling of a Cherokee pourquoi folktale. The earth was cold and dark but the animals could see fire coming from the tree on the island. They tried to fly or swim to the island to bring back the fire heat and light. What happened to some of the animals? Which animal brought it back and how?