Carmen Oliver - Author
Carmen Oliver writes fiction and nonfiction picture books for children. Like D. Simon Jackson in the book A Voice for the Spirit Bears, Carmen has always loved bears. Growing up in Canada, she saw many bear species along the hiking trails but always kept a respectful distance. One day she hopes to see a white spirit bear in person in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Carmen's work has been shortlisted for the Rainforest of Reading Award, The Writers' League of Texas Awards and the CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy. In 2014, she founded the Booking Biz, a boutique agency that brings award-winning children's authors and illustrators to schools, libraries and special events. She also teaches writing at the Writing Barn and the Highlights Foundation and loves speaking at schools, conferences and festivals.
Carmen grew up in southern Manitoba, Canada, surrounded by lakes and prairie grasses. As a child, she built tree forts and homemade rafts, and studied tadpoles and woodland creatures in her backyard. Her favorite reading buddy was a yellow ride-on duck that she wheeled around her world while reading Mother Goose nursery rhymes, Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. In school, she wrote poetry and articles for her high school newspaper. At college, she studied computer science and became a programmer analyst. In 2003, she and her husband moved to Austin, Texas, for his job. The wide-open spaces of Texas offered Carmen ample room to explore her dream of writing for children. In many of her school and speaking presentations, she shares her 10-year journey to publication and how we have to believe in our stories even when no one else does --- every story matters.
Today, she spends a great deal of time working with writers of all ages on their stories and helping authors connect their books to audiences today, tomorrow and into the future. She and her family live in Round Rock, Texas.