Welcome to my website! This is the page about me, so here goes...
I was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Great Neck on Long Island, a suburb of New York City. My mom and dad worked as a teacher and a guidance counselor in the New York City public school system. I have two older brothers. As a kid, I had a lot of pets, played piano, loved to read, and wrote a lot of stories, too. I went to an alternative public high school without grades. I majored in math in college. I had a lot of odd jobs then including pumping gas one summer at Yellowstone Park.
After college, I volunteered for a year as a teacher in Haiti, then went on to teach high school in Los Angeles and to help run an elementary afterschool. I've also developed curriculum for a nonprofit in Chicago
Me as a Kid
My Bio Page
that helps city kids prepare for college. I love to travel, too, and whenever I could save up money I took trips to faraway places as a backpacker.
I've been writing stories since I was a kid and in my spare time while I worked as an adult. Finally I decided to write a novel for real. I always wrote for kids. It's hard to say why except that those are the stories I can tell best.
My writing schedule is simple: write write write and take a
time so that I can rewrite from one into the other. I switch back and forth between outlining and just writing to see where it leads me. I think one important thing about writing is to finish the story. I can tell a story best when I know how it ends. Right now I'm at work on my third and fourth kids books. I also do storytimes for younger kids at the local library and occasionally run a workshop with four or five kids who love writing stories.
In 2010, I was picked as the Children's-Writer-in-Residence by Thurber House, a residency offered to one children's book writer a year in honor of author and humorist James Thurber. I got to live in Thurber's house in downtown Columbus, now a literary center and museum. Thanks Thurber House! That was a terrific experience and helped me write my second book.
Since my wife is Austrian (she's on this page with the jigsaw and to the right), I now live in the third district of Vienna, Austria. Austria borders Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland. It's a city of about 2 million people. The pace of life in the city is slow. Examples of how slow are: The age you need to be to ride the subway alone is 6 years old; and here we recycle not only paper, plastic, metal, and glass but also used cooking oil! German is the official language of the country but each region has its own dialect and slang. Here in Vienna, the German everyone
speaks sounds to me something like my grandma's Yiddish.
Thanks so much for visiting my website. I hope it has all the info you’re looking for. For more about me and my books, here is a Witch's Guide Q&A and a Witch's Curse Q&A. Elsewhere on the web you can watch a 30 minute interview that aired on Ohio NPR (skip to 10:30 for a discussion of The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children), read my blog, see me pick my five favorite classic teen movies on the Focus Features film website, see my tumblr posts, and read my 10 blog posts on Tor.com.
long walk when I need to plan ahead or when I'm stumped. I write early drafts in notebooks--two at a
The photos on this page are my friends and family. This one is me now :).