I grew up in East Longmeadow, MA. I was an only child, so I didn’t have any brothers or sisters to play with, but I did have a lot of books. I’m the kind of person that if I like something, I want to try it myself. So, I started writing my own stories, because I liked reading so much. I would bring them into school and show my teachers, and they all thought that was great, and encouraged me to keep doing it. So I did.
From time to time I changed what I wanted to be when I “grew up,” but I was writing all along. So I would be an archaeologist that wrote stories, or a vet that wrote stories, but always someone that wrote stories. I eventually found out I wasn’t that great at math, so that limited some of my career choices. I ended up being an English major at UMass Amherst, and took as many writing classes as I could. (I did, ever so briefly, consider changing my major to entomology my senior year, but decided that since I was about to graduate I should probably get on with it.)
Years later, I was in grad school for writing, and Chris Raschka saw some drawings I did for a story (he was my advisor). He liked them enough to encourage me to start illustrating my own stories. So, if you don’t like my illustrations, blame him.