I was born in New Jersey, in what according to the internet sounds like a Very Important Year. Both the Apollo 11 moon landing and Woodstock happened that year. Also, gas was apparently only 35 cents a gallon. Now while I didn’t experience any of these things, I do feel confident in saying they are all a big deal.
I was eight years old when I home published my first book, How Mr. Pelican Got His Hat, an animal adventure featuring a dapper pelican, a brown bear and some very threatening sharks (they gather in dens under the sea!). The penmanship is great, the illustrations and bookbinding iffy, but the story ends on a happy note when we learn that the sharks wear lipstick and are not actually dangerous.
The Lonely Ghost was my second book. It’s a little on the dark side, and I wonder now if perhaps I hit a bit of a sophomore slump. Anyway, the point is I continued to write stories, and I read A LOT. Beverly Cleary, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Judy Blume are the standout reads, but when I was a teenager (and had babysitting money) I started buying the Sweet Dreams, Dark Forces and Twilight (the 80’s one) series. Though a little different from the YA of today, they still featured plenty of romance, horror, magic and the paranormal.
Today I write contemporary YA, although I sometimes find curious things drifting into my stories that perhaps stretch the limits of reality. I kind of find real life to be like that anyway.
I live in Virginia with my husband and two children. I still read A LOT. I still love YA—Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, Meg Cabot, Susan Beth Pfeffer, John Green, the list goes on and on, stretching into the adult realm of Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, etc. Lastly, I watch a lot of reality TV, but I’m totally doing it for research. I have to ensure that in the future all the babies born this year will one day know that The Jersey Shore was a big deal.