Frequently Asked Questions
Where did you grow up and what did you like to do as a kid?
I grew up in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where my favorite activities were reading, playing soccer, dancing, and writing stories that I begged my sister to perform with me. I also have fond memories of making pierogi with my grandmother and picking wild blackberries on my great-grandparents’ farm—experiences that appear in some of my books and poems.
Why do you have two last names and how are they pronounced?
My maiden name is Varchol. My family pronounces it “VAR-shull” (to rhyme with “Marshall”), but it’s a Polish name and is pronounced differently in Polish.
My married name is Perron, and we pronounce it “Puh-ROAN” (to rhyme with “the tone”).
My parents didn’t give me a middle name, so I made Varchol my middle name when I got married. I like my husband’s name, but Varchol is also a big part of who I am. (It means troublemaker in Polish, which I love!)
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve written poems, songs, and stories since I was a kid and have probably always wanted to be a writer, but it took me a long time to pursue it professionally. I worked as an actor in my early 20s and then went to graduate school to become a clinical social worker. Throughout that time, I continued writing and often shared my work at open mic events. It wasn’t until after I had kids and remembered how much I love children’s books that I decided to try to turn my passion for writing into a new career.
What are your favorite kinds of books to read and write?
I love to read books that make me feel something deeply. When I’m writing, I ask myself what a reader might feel during and after reading. Very often, I hope to spark curiosity and wonder, but sometimes it’s more about comfort and connection. No matter what, I think it’s vital for kids to explore and have access to a wide range of books, which is why libraries are so important!