Here are a few potentially interesting things about me:
I'm originally from the suburbs just south of Richmond, VA. I currently live in a small town in New York.
I started writing because of a 7th grade homework assignment. My teacher Denise Stewart (A towering woman with incredible diction and a mass of curls who, in my memory, looks exactly like Lynn Redgrave) told me my story was good and that I should consider continuing to write. I've been taking her advice for roughly the last 27 years.
Towards the end of Junior High I attended the University of VA's Young Writers Workshop, which is basically writers' camp. It was exactly as nerdy and as utterly fantastic as you might imagine. If you're a teen into writing, definitely check it out.
During High School, when not writing, I was pretty wrapped up in the process of becoming a big ol' theater nerd. I wrote stuff and directed plays and performed in shows like Indians, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Taming of the Shrew, The Man of La Mancha and various others.
After HS I went to study acting at East Carolina University then moved to New York right after that to ply my new trade. A few years later writing reared it's head again and I left NY and headed out to UC San Diego where I got an MFA in playwriting.
A year or so after grad school I started reading books from writers like M.T. Anderson, KL Going, and David Almond and was blown away by the quality of writing that was going on for teen audiences. I was hooked.
Bonus Random Facts:
I know how to escape from a straitjacket while suspended from the ceiling by my ankles. I can also eat fire, walk on broken glass and hammer a nail all the way up into my nose.
My favorite movie is either The Outsiders or Harold and Maude or The Fisher King. I can never decide which. Oh! Maybe it's My Dinner with Andre. Have you seen My Dinner with Andre? You totally should. Team Wally!
I can't honestly point to one favorite book (I've just read way too many) but the most formative book for me, the book that made me a reader and eventually a writer, was The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.
I'm torn as to whether the coolest human being to ever live is A) Tom Waits or B) Prince.
I bake to relax. My triple chocolate espresso cookies will renew your faith that there is something good and holy in this barbaric world.
I've known three of my current best friends since I was 15.
Apparently I like writing about my animals. Hopkins the cat in Magisterium is based on my cat Henry. Bear the dog in The Darkest Path is based on my dog Rosie.