Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

Roni Schotter

Roni Schotter
Wendy Goldberg

Roni Schotter: I was born in New York City and lived in an apartment building called “The House of Joyful Living.” On the roof there was an outdoor shower, a goldfish pond, some potted trees, a handball court, and a hawk’s eye view of the buildings around us – including the Empire State Building. With a mama and a papa all to myself, it seemed that we lived in paradise. Then my two sisters were born and we moved to an apartment in Brooklyn – no goldfish pond, but from the six-story roof I could see the Statue of Liberty lifting its torch to me and the tall, gray smokestack of the nearby Pilgrim Laundry. When I was nine, my parents brought out a wooden puzzle map of the United States and tried to show my sisters and I where we were moving. They couldn’t because the tiniest piece was missing – Rhode Island.I grew up in Rhode Island, enjoying my new backyard where we grew one of everything – a pea plant, a tomato plant, a gladiolus, etc. I loved being only minutes away from the ocean. Eating “Johnny cakes” and clams.I was always terribly shy and spent a great deal of time observing people and the beauty around me, storing it up, for I never guessed that I’d end up being a writer.Now that I’m an adult and a writer, I still feel like a child. In fact, I often feel like someone impersonating a grownup, so it’s far easier for me to write for children than to write for adults.Life is full of so many wonderful things – happy, sad, amazing, puzzling, beautiful and ugly things. Writing helps me to figure out the world. I love the power of words and how powerful I feel when I use them the right way. I intensely value imagination and worry that many children have it knocked out of them as they grow up and are exposed to life, mass culture, and the media. I love using my imagination when I write. I feel I am speaking very directly to my children. To me, children are the best!