Here are a few potentially interesting things about me:
I'm originally from the suburbs just south of Richmond, VA. I currently live in the great, tiny state of Rhode Island.
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, acting in plays 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.
When I'm not writing books I volunteer as a crisis counselor at Crisis Text Line. If you ever feel overwhelmed or like you can't go on, simply text "Hello" to 741741 and you will be connected to a trained crisis counselor.
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 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.