I decided to be an author in the second grade, under the incredible tutelage of Vi Sullivan, when I wrote a terrible 12 page story about penguins floating on an ice floe or beachcombers or orphans or something. Bottom line: the book was awful but it unlocked a passion for creating worlds and characters that I never grew out of.
Twenty-some odd years later and after a series of truly unfortunate events, I realized I had nothing to fear when it came to writing. I was jobless, homeless, and loveless, so what did I have to lose? I sat down in my childhood bedroom and wrote my first novel. That was ten years and fifteen novels ago. Sure, I took a break to get married, have a baby, get cancer, kick its butt, and eat some donuts, but that's pretty much the gist of it.
Now I live in the Silicon Valley with my rockstar English teacher husband, our spitfire daughter, and three useless (but lovable) cats. I teach every summer at the Teen Writer's Institute where my kids continually amaze and inspire me; I also do online and in person workshops and talk about how much cancer sucks but how much we can kick its butt with or without pink ribbons.