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I grew up in the tiny village of Centerville on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.† I lived in a house at the edge of a pond that teemed with sunfish, muskrats, ducks, lily pads, and a huge old snapping turtle that lived under the dock.† Even better, I lived just a short distance from a long curve of ocean beach.† If I walked far enough along that beach, there were no houses and no people - just water and birds and sand and sky.† It was the perfect place to dream.† And I mostly dreamed about the books I read.††

When I wasnít keeping my toes safe from the snapping turtle or exploring the beach, my nose was in a book.† I read everything I could get my hands on Ė contemporary stories by authors like Beverly Cleary (I was in kindergarten when Ramona the Pest was published) and Judy Blume (I was in fourth grade when Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was published), classics like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women, and adventures like The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask.† But my favorite stories were mysteries.† When I started reading Nancy Drew mysteries, nothing could stop me.† I needed to read all of them, as quickly as possible.† Luckily I had parents who put up with my obsession.†

One day when my father was patiently driving me to a library a few towns away, so that I could follow the clues to a missing Nancy Drew, he asked if I thought I might be able to write a book myself.† I hadnít thought about it before.† But as soon as he asked the question, I knew the answer: yes!

My father suggested that I start right away.† I think he was probably tired of driving me all over Eastern Massachusetts to find other peopleís books!

I didnít start out writing books that day, but I did start writing.† Usually I wrote about nature.† Hereís one of my poems from Mrs. Connorís sixth grade English class:†

August is like a sweet tangerine,
Bursting with a fresh glow and
As lively and spry as a hummingbird

In high school I took every English and literature class offered.† I also started writing for the newspaper.† Eventually I became the editor.† I continued to write at Harvard College, where I studied history and biology.† I went on to study law at Boston College Law School and worked for several years as a real estate lawyer.† It was a job that required lots of reading and writing, but I canít say that it was the type of reading or writing that I enjoyed.† It was nothing at all like Nancy Drew.

When I started my own family, I began to write stories for childrenís magazines.†One day, I found myself driving to the library to help my daughter search for her own missing Nancy Drews.†I suddenly remembered that long ago day when I told my father that, yes, of course I could write a book.†I decided to try. I havenít stopped since.

I now live in Newton, Massachusetts with my husband, Doug, my two daughters, Samantha and Alexandra, my incredibly brilliant Goldendoodle, Charlie, and my lucky black cat, Cyrus. I live only a short drive from the gentle beach I loved when I was a girl. I still love walking on that deserted stretch of land and dreaming. Now I mostly dream about the books I plan to write.†