My passion for history actually began with fairy tales. By chance of fate, in high school I was assigned to learn Russian instead of German, which led to a fascination with medieval Kyiv/Kiev. So at university, I took every history course available and graduated from the University of California with honours in Russian and Modern Chinese history. One thing led to another, and I was combining all my interests–art, history, and education–as a writer of educational materials that were used widely in California high schools. A few years later, with marriage and kids part of the picture, I began writing and illustrating nonfiction historical biographies for children. They won awards, were distributed by Scholastic and Mercy Corps, and some were published in Greece and Korea. But my early passion for Kyivan history resurfaced in the form of a historical trilogy: The Tiger and the Dove, set during the Mongol invasions. Books one and two are now available, and the third is out in August!