“When I was a kid, I always had a story in my head: on the school bus, on the subway, and often when I should have been paying attention — such as during Math class. I grew up in New York City, which was great because it was never boring. Between the activity on the street and the stories in my head, I always had a lot going on!
I loved reading, and have incredible memories of squishing myself into a corner of the school library, and digging into a book. I could be a little obsessive. I actually have an old diary with an entry that says: “Today, I read 11 books!!!” Looking back on it, that doesn”t actually seem possible. 11 books in one day? I think maybe I skimmed.
I always kept a diary, but it never crossed my mind to put the stories from my head into it. My diary — in high school, I started calling it a journal — was for recording my feelings; the stories in my head were my secret way of making life more interesting.
I didn”t think about writing a book until after I”d graduated from college. I was living in Los Angeles and working for a TV production company, when it struck me that I wanted to write a novel about a twelve-year-old girl who was trying to understand the world around her.
Holding a story in your head is one thing, writing it down, is another! I worked on Nobody Was Here for several years. Now, when I walked down the street, my head was filled with Penelope”s stories: What was her family like? Who were her friends? What clothes did she wear?
I moved back to New York City, supported myself with a fun job writing books for MTV shows, and acquired two magnificent kittens, which are now magnificent cats. Now, I”m writing a book about Penelope”s friend Cass, who is thirteen.”