I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1955. When I was little, there was no such thing as color TV and milk came in glass bottles delivered to our house by a milkman. There were only two kinds of Barbie dolls, blonde and brunette and girls had to wear dresses to school every day. During the cold Michigan winters when temperatures dipped below zero, we were allowed to wear snowpants under our skirts. I still remember the swish-swish-swish they made when I walked down the hall.
My father was an English professor. He loved words, and books, and telling funny stories. I learned A LOT about how to tell a story from my dad, but it was my mother who first recognized that I had a gift for writing.
I attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where I studied music composition. After graduating, I moved to New York City where I had a number of different jobs before deciding I wanted to write books for kids. The best thing about being an author is knowing that people are out there enjoying the books I write.
I have two grown sons, Gabe and Nat and now I’m lucky enough to be a grandmother too! My boys have never been big readers, but my granddaughter LOVES books, just like I did when I was a kid. I can hardly wait until she is old enough to read some of the books her Gigi has written.
Sometimes when I’m writing I completely lose track of time. When I finally stop, I look out the window and am amazed to find that it’s dark outside! Other times, when I feel stuck and the ideas just aren’t coming, I clean my house, or bake cookies, or work on a jigsaw puzzle until I feel inspired again.
I’m always looking for good story ideas. Sometimes they pop into my head out of thin air. Other times I see something, or hear something, or read something that triggers a story idea. I do my writing on the computer, but I like to edit my work with a pen. Every book I write goes through many drafts. I don’t love rewriting, but it’s the only way to make sure that your writing is as good as it can possibly be.
Besides writing I like to bake (especially pies), read (especially realistic fiction) swim, watch movies, play word games on my phone, hang out with my friends and family and visit classrooms around the country talking to kids about my books. My favorite place to be is home.
I live in a pretty little green and yellow house in Nyack, New York with my husband Jim, a high school history teacher and our wonderful dog. Mia is a Labrador Retriever/Pitbull mix and I am so crazy about her it’s, well, crazy. She has many nicknames including Missy, Mimi Van Peebles, Brindle Girl, Zippy, Judge Judy and Lady Tremblecheeks.