I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan which is a town that's not too big, not too small, not too fast, and not too slow. 

As a kid, I was incredibly shy.  I don't think I ever said more than five words in school on a given day.  I wasn't good at sports and I wasn't exactly the best artist in the world, but there was one thing I could do really well.  I read books like crazy.  I read comic strips and novels and comic books and picture books and magazines and pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

I wrote stories too, but I had a hard time finishing them.  Then I got older and I stopped writing stories.  I became a librarian, because I got to work with books all day every day.  And not just any librarian.  A children's librarian!





I got over being shy as I grew up and I got to work in the best children's room in New York City, the Children's Center at 42nd Street. There I worked alongside the real Winnie-the-Pooh and met all kinds of famous children's authors and illustrators.  One day, the illustrator Brandon Dorman (he does all the Goosebumps covers) asked if I'd write a book with him.  So we wrote Giant Dance Party together. 

The rest, as they say, is history.



Where do you live?

I live in Evanston, IL with my husband and offspring.

Do you have any kids?

I have one daughter and one son and they're awesome.

Do you have any pets?

Not right now but someday I hope to have a cat of some sort. 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a town, and this is true, called Kalamazoo.  It's in Michigan.  Honest!

Where did you go to college?

Earlham College, Richmond, IN (motto: "Fight, fight, inner light, kill Quakers kill!")

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Yep!  One little brother and one little sister.  I'm the oldest.

What did your parents do?

My dad was a trust officer and my mom took care of the kids and then worked in the oldest independent bookstore in Kalamazoo.  Now she's a published poet with books of her own!

What are your hobbies?

I like to read books for kids.  It's also my job, which pretty much means I have the best job in the world.

Who are some of your favorite writers?

This is the question that's the hardest for me because it changes all the time.  But if I had to choose I'd pick Frances Hardinge, Laura Amy Schlitz, Louise Fitzhugh, Ellen Raskin, Agatha Christie and Rex Stout (I should have at least one boy, right?).

When did you get interested in writing?

I always loved writing stories as a kid but it wasn't until I was grown up and in my 30s that I started doing it professionally.

What are you working on right now?

I've two middle grades and a sneaky little picture book in the works right now. Fingers crossed they go somewhere!

Photograph by Sonya Sones