I was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, an industrial city 15 miles north of Boston, on the coast. With two older sisters and one older brother, I was the youngest of four. Because of the age difference between my siblings and me, I played a lot by myself, and became a voracious reader; in second grade I won the summer reading competition at our neighborhood branch library by reading over 200 picture books.
Dad was a Protestant and Mom was a Catholic, and I went to our local Catholic school. I think the sisters there fostered the love of words that I had inherited from my mother. I remember being fascinated by phonics worksheets and diagramming sentences (yeah, I was that kid). My seventh-grade teacher, Sister Theresa, was and still is a positive influence in my life.
In high school I was lucky enough to find another teacher, Mr. Hathaway, who encouraged my writing. He was the first person I remember who told me I could be a writer; before that, I hadn't given it any thought. I figured I would major in biology in college and spend my career cleaning test tubes; I had no idea how advanced degrees in science worked, how you got one, or even more important, how you financed one. But with his encouragement, I signed up to major in journalism in college, Northeastern University in Boston.
A diagrammed sentence, for those who have never seen one. Thanks to http://www.archertower.com/diagram-sentence-tool/ for the image. To learn more, also see the wonderful book Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Burnes Florey
In college I found out a number of important things, as you should. First, I found out that all that sentence diagramming paid off when I tested out of the grammar course we had to take. Second, I learned I wasn't going to be a very good reporter, because I was endlessly fascinated by how things worked but not by how much they cost. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was a born children's book writer!
Ever since graduation I've been lucky to work in publishing in one way another, mostly creating educational materials. I've also been fortunate to launch a career as a children's book writer—I say launch because I always feel that there's more to learn. It's a great job, and one I feel very fortunate to have.
I now live in coastal Maine with my husband, two daughters, and three cats. We also have bunny named Fezziwig, who came to us via the amazing Cynthia Lord.
As the song says, here are a few of my favorite things:
Movies! I am a huge movie buff, loving especially Marvel movies, animated films, and The Princess Bride, the best movie ever.
Yes, I watch TV, sometimes too much. I love quirky shows like The Librarians, Eureka, and Warehouse 13.
Star Trek: Picard over Kirk. TNG over TOS.
Mystery novels, especially cozies.
Animals in general, cats and dogs in particular.
Science! Yes, I love science and all the amazing things scientists learn about the world.
Some of my favorite things.
Coffee. Or, writer fuel.