The best thing I got out of my book deal (besides the book deal) was a tote bag. It says:
I'D RATHER BE READING.
I never thought I'd own a tote bag that captured my entire life's philosophy.
I read anywhere and everywhere as a kid. I read in the dark after lights out. I walked to school every day with a book held in front of my face. I hid books under my desk in class. My favorite way to spend a weekend was with a minimum of three books under a blanket fort.
But I don't have to tell you. If you're here, you know what I'm talking about.
As much as I have always loved to read, I never thought I'd be a writer. Even though I was a writer. A copywriter. The person who writes those words you ignore on credit card slips and cereal boxes.
I just never thought I'd write a novel. That was for . . . well, novelists.
Then one day I had an idea about a girl finding a stolen painting in her attic. And another idea about a dilapidated house on the city's most gentrified block. And another idea about a pioneer girl transported to modern-day Manhattan.
So I sat down and started writing, and pretty soon I had a novel called UNDER THE EGG. Some more sitting and writing led to THE GALLERY. And I keep sitting down every day to write more.
But I'd still rather be reading.
JUST THE FACTS
Where are you from?
We moved around a lot growing up. I lived in Nashville, TN; Norman, OK; Oxford, MS; and ended up in Pensacola, FL.
Where do you live now?
After 17 years in Brooklyn, we recently moved to the suburbs of New Jersey.
My husband, two sweet kids, and probably a dog if the two sweet kids keep nagging.
Where did you get so interested in art?
I studied a little at Harvard, even though I majored in English. (See above: reading.) After college I got a Rotary Scholarship to study art history at Cambridge University.
Who's your agent?
The incomparable Sara Crowe (Harvey Klinger, Inc.)
What's your favorite middle-grade book?
A tie between The Westing Game and From the Mixed-Up Files . . . , of course
What's your favorite picture book?
Anything by David Wiesner
Ever been on a game show?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I have: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Not me, apparently.)