Darlene Michelle McPeek Kancharla, JD

Dream Teacher, Writer & Illustrator, and Future Aromatherapist in Torquay, Australia

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We are all storytellers in different ways, gathering the raw materials of Story along the pathways of our waking and dreaming lives. I started out sharing my stories, visually, as a cartoonist and fine artist, and in writing, through short fiction, and poetry. However, I have recently been inspired to tell my imaginal stories through children's stories and books, which I am currently working on, alongside my other creative projects.

As a reader, Hans Christian Anderson, Peter Sis, Laurie Lee, Alain Fournier, Truman Capote, Thornton W. Burgess, among others, have inspired me. I believe that what we put in does come through us, in some way, so reading good books makes all the difference when writing.

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A creative spirit, Darlene McPeek is the Honorary Librarian for the Jung Society of Melbourne and Assistant Copy-editor for OM Times Magazine. A published author, Darlene co-authored The State of the Game: ALA Games and Gaming Round Table, in Gaming in Libraries (MacFarland, 2014). Currently, Darlene is writing and illustrating the first of a series of children's books, titled, When I Dream.

Darlene holds a Juris Doctor degree in law, with a concentration in international law from Albany Law School of Union University in Albany, New York. She has also studied law abroad, at the Sorbonne, University of Paris I, and at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Darlene also holds a degree in MSc in Information Science from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Arlington. Darlene is an experienced legal researcher, academic legal and general editor and proofreader. A prior English teacher, Darlene has also provided editing assistance to academic legal scholars who are non-native speakers of English. When she is not writing and illustrating her children's books, she can be found in her garden, where she enjoys meditation, as well as cultivating flowers and herbs to be used for the purpose of bringing balance and healing to others. She is also developing an *new* online boutique that will showcase high quality, ethical, and organic cosmetics and skin care products made here in Australia!!

Photography: Jagdish Kancharla.

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