I was born in Oakland, California on March 13, 1971. My parents named me Nicole Rochelle Shannon, but not many people called me that. Most people just call me Nikki. I think I was a pretty happy kid most of the time. My childhood was uneventful. We didn't move, I only changed schools if I graduated, and I had a younger sister and various dogs. Boring, huh?
I have always loved to read and write. One of the first books I remember reading by myself was Never Tease a Weasel, by Jean Conder Soule. And guess what? It's been republished, so now you can read it, too. The first story I remember writing was called Lizard Guts. Yeah... I didn't get a good grade on that one.
I still live in California, but not in Oakland. I do visit the Bay Area a lot, though. I've been in elementary education for over 20 years. I also serve as the Assistant Regional Advisor (ARA) for the California: North/Central region of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I 'm married (that's where "Smith" comes in), and I have two kids: a boy and a girl who argue more than I did with my sister. I didn't think that was even possible. Even though I love animals, I don't have any pets right now... unless you count my daughter's horse. Yeah, let's count him; he's pretty awesome.
Some of my favorite things: Disneyland, long walks, music and dancing, reading, writing, laughing and being silly, sitting on the beach, watching movies, learning new things, meeting new people, traveling when I can, and having FUN!