Why Did you Want to be a writer?
My sister and I discovered a battered set of C.S. Lewis’s CHRONICLES OF NARNIA in our family barn. We spent the summer reading the books, and by the time I finished the series, I knew that I wanted to be a writer.
What Do you love about writing?
What I love most about writing is working with words and revising them to say just the right thing in the right way. I also really love watching a project take shape through revision and the way it gets a little more whole with each pass.
What Challenges have you over come in your writing career?
Self-doubt. Even though I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer, I believed I wouldn’t be able to become one because I’m dyslexic. As a kid, even though I loved school and learning, I didn’t perform well in an academic environment, and I thought that meant I couldn’t be an author. I had to work really hard (and still do) to overcome some of the technical aspects of writing and to believe in myself.
Why do you write middle grade?
Middle grade is my favorite category to read and to write because it has all the qualities I love in a novel—heart, humor, and hope. I think when writing for this category, the most important thing to keep in mind is to not write down to readers. Kids are very discerning creatures. Adults have a tendency to forget that.
What stories to you gravitate toward?
I love telling friendship and family stories because I feel like those connections are at the heart of who we are and why.