I am one of the small number of women listed on the Internet who share the name Robin Koontz. One plays golf, another is a urologist. I’m a writer/illustrator, at least the only one who admits to it. Several RKs have Amazon Wish Lists. To note, I don’t. I’m not a material girl.
Koontz is my maiden name and my middle name is Michal. My father was Warren Steele Koontz, in case anyone is researching family history. Am I related to Dean R? I wrote to him once after learning our families landed in the same area of Pennsylvania after a long trip from Germany. You can read his response in the archives of this blog.
I always thought I was an artist, even at a very early age. I was born of creative parents: one artist and one musician who was an engineer in real life. I began my freelance career as a hopeful illustrator and production artist after quitting college in 1974. Eventually I published my first picture book, Pussycat Ate the Dumplings, in 1987. Since then I have published projects as illustrator and/or author of novelty, activity and picture books, early readers, middle grade fiction and nonfiction, magazine articles, blogs, and a variety of educational materials. I design book covers and interiors, and have created book trailers for a few projects just for fun.
In recent years, I’ve been hired to write a variety of nonfiction books for kids. It’s been especially enjoyable work, because as a kid, I was bored by the books we had and probably missed out on pursuing a career in science because of that. Now I get the chance to write the books I would have loved. I can help get kids excited about things they’ve never considered before, maybe even help set them on a career path that they’ve never heard of or thought about.
So far, I haven’t turned down a job that sounded interesting (which is almost all of them), and meanwhile I spend every spare moment working on spec projects that I hope to sell someday. I thrive on variety and I love to learn about things I know nothing about and then make it into a book for kids. I also like to garden, gawk at nature, and play guitar.
I share my life with one very patient partner of 40 years, Jeep the dog, Bonita and Shinny the cats, and a variety of wild critters that inhabit our Funny Farm in western Oregon.
And hey! The photos in my blog header are all public domain, with the exception of the cover of My Friend Rabbit, written and illustrated by one of my heroes, Eric Rohmann.