- What did you want to be when you grew up?
Writer for Saturday Night Live (this was back in the late 70s); tennis player (during the era of Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe); teacher of the deaf (I was addicted to Helen Keller biographies); and a concert violinist (even though I did not play the violin). Mostly, I just wanted to be smart. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer/illustrator? Two words: Judy Blume.
- What’s your first childhood memory?
Maybe not earliest, but Massachusetts circa 1972: playing Matchbox cars in the windowsill, catching ladybugs in the kitchen, and singing Karen Carpenter tunes at the top of my lungs.
- What’s your most embarrassing childhood memory?
Wetting my pants on the street coming home from first grade—while the neighborhood bully stood there laughing at me.
- What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Going to Woburn Public Library in Papa’s shiny, red Ford truck.
- As a young person, who did you look up to most?
- What was your worst subject in school?
History. I was terrible with dates. (Although I later married a history teacher, so go figure!)
- What was your best subject in school?
- What was your first job?
- How did you celebrate publishing your first book?
Getting a contract for another book.
- Where do you write your books?
Home office, library, the diner, and any Starbucks with an available outlet.
- Where do you find inspiration for your writing?
Five top spots: eavesdropping on unsuspecting strangers; analyzing dreams; re-reading my old diaries; talking to my kids and their pals; and reading anything from the newspaper to junk mail.
- Which of your characters is most like you?
Cady from my novel REWIND and Madison Finn from my book series of the same name.
- When you finish a book, who reads it first?
My agent or editor.
- Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Total night owl. I often work after my kids go to sleep.
- What’s your idea of the best meal ever?
Hummus, warm pitas, grapes, and chopped salad with all the trimmings.
- Which do you like better: cats or dogs?
Dogs. No contest. I’m allergic to cats.
- What do you value most in your friends?
- Where do you go for peace and quiet?
When possible: the beach. More likely: my backyard.
- What makes you laugh out loud?
My kids when we’re being super-silly; Monty Python; and Conan O’Brien.
- What’s your favorite song?
Anything from BLUE by Joni Mitchell
- Who is your favorite fictional character?
Elizabeth Bennett, Pippi Longstocking, and Juno (from the movie).
- What are you most afraid of?
Falling from a great height. And furry spiders.
- What time of year do you like best?
May, when I plant in our garden.
- What’s your favorite TV show?
Anything on Bravo, especially Project Runway and Top Chef
- If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you want for company?
A genie. That way, he (or she) could grant any wish for me at any time—including making my husband, kids, and anyone else appear at will.
- If you could travel in time, where would you go?
Renaissance Italy. Or into the future—just for a little while--to see what’s coming.
- What’s the best advice you have ever received about writing?
“Trust Laura and her perceptions of things.” My college adviser wrote that on a file card for me nearly 20 years ago, I still have the coffee-stained and torn card framed on my desk.
- What do you want readers to remember about your books?
- What would you do if you ever stopped writing?
Come on! I couldn’t stop. Physically impossible. My brain would implode.
- What do you like best about yourself?
Three things: my optimism, my creativity, and my work ethic.
- What is your worst habit?
Not getting enough sleep.
- What is your best habit?
My attention to detail.
- What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
My kids. No doubt. Hands down.
- Where in the world do you feel most at home?
Anywhere as long as I am with my kids and husband. (Having a pen and paper in hand is a bonus, of course!)
- What do you wish you could do better?
Dance. Gourmet cook. Sigh. So many things!
- What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?
Two of my girlier-girl moments: in high school in was featured in a Seventeen magazine story and later I was a debutante.
- What are the things that usually get your writing motor running?
Rainstorms; highly competitive games of Scrabble and Boggle; crossword puzzles; really good books; really trashy magazines; classical music; and Venti, decaf, iced, hazelnut Americanos from Starbucks (I’m drinking one right now, actually).