15 Fun Facts:

1. My favorite job (besides writing & being a Mom) was working as a Children’s Librarian and it’s without a doubt the reason I write kidlit.

2. I was the youngest graduate in the history of Hamline’s MFA program. I specialized in non-fiction even though I have always preferred writing fiction.

3. I gave up a full-ride scholarship to write.  I’m still paying for that decision.

4. I learned how to drive a stick shift in a corn field on a full-size school bus. (I promise I’m not making this up).

5. After I mastered driving over divots in that cornfield, I drove the bus to children’s centers and taught gymnastics in the back.

6. I love when I’m in an airplane and we hit a pocket of air that creates negative g-force (you know, that moment when the airplane hits a “bump” and you feel a little queasy and your body floats a bit) – I LOVE THAT MOMENT.

7. I’m a recovering thrill seeker. I’m still waiting to check bungee jumping off my list but now that I’m a mom I don’t know if I have the stomach for it.

8. I love running, like seriously love it, but I don’t have as much time for it as I used to.

9. I consider the luckiest moment (and most terrifying) in my writing life to be when I gathered the nerve to introduce myself to Richard Peck. It turned out we had more in common than I could have ever imagined. Now I’m lucky enough to consider him a friend and mentor.

10. I have a TERRIBLE sense of direction. Before GPS, I was once given directions with reminders like you should be going the same direction as the river flows. (And thank goodness for that tidbit because it turns out I was going the wrong way).

11. I used to be a Corporate Real Estate Broker in downtown Chicago, which is simultaneously laughable and cringe-worthy since the requirements for that job involved two of my weakest skills: being ultra quick with numbers & a strong sense of direction.

12. I’m horrible with names. It drives me crazy. Please, don’t be offended!

13. I’ve backpacked through Europe twice. The second time was with my husband on a shoe-sting budget but it will forever remain the greatest trip I will ever take.

14. I graduated from The Second City’s Improvisational Theater School. Yes and…I use improvisational techniques in the classroom.

15. I loved sky-diving so much the company used the picture of my huge smile flapping in the wind on their marketing campaign for years.

My Great Loves: The 3 knuckleheads I live with, being called Mommy, chai tea lattes, fishing, running, bonfires and lakeside sunsets, big backyards with lots of trees (as an urbanite, I miss this terribly), really good chocolate, long walks with good friends, feeling exhausted after a productive day, phone calls with my Momma, little kids laughing, friendly smiles, big hugs and old friends.