Women is...: Debra Frasier Storyteller for the Ages

Debra Frasier Storyteller for the Ages

who she is: Author of "On the Day You Were Born," a best-selling children's book and winner of the Parent's Choice award, and "Out of the Ocean"

family: Husband, a photography professor at the University of Minnesota, and 10-year-old daughter, Calla

home: Minneapolis

how she got started: Frasier worked as a sculptor and paper cutout artist for 10 years after college. Then a high-risk pregnancy intervened. "I began publishing thanks to my daughter. In the hospital, I asked the nurse for a pen and paper, and I began to write down words I thought would bring my daughter here. It was like a prayer."

on getting published: After one of the illustrations from her unfinished manuscript was used in a local book review -- incorrectly captioned as part of a published work -- requests for Frasier's book began to roll in. "It was just a chain reaction of accidental events."

mutual admiration society: When Frasier was given the opportunity to interview one of her heroes for a library publicity event, she selected Vera Williams, author of "A Chair for My Mother." "I read all of Vera Williams's books to my daughter. They're about strong women and love and all the real things that are important for young girls to know."

on reading to kids: Frasier was the 1997 spokesperson for the "Read to a Child" campaign. "All the brain research tells us reading to children is critical to brain development -- it's like food."

the importance of the arts: Another topic of interest to Frasier is arts in schools. Her book has been turned into a children's symphony by composer Steve Heitzeg, as well as a complete creative-arts curriculum that is used by schools around the country. "I'm most proud of this project, because it brings really exciting and beautiful things into classrooms."

a theory on age: "Writing, for children in particular, means the older you get the more information you can bring. This is a field where you truly get better as time goes by."

her advice: "Creating picture books is a hard way to make a living. If it's what you really want to do, read all the picture books you can before getting started."