“Like my character, Olivia Kidney, I grew up in a highrise apartment building in New York City's Upper West Side. I think I always wanted to be a writer, even as a young kid. After graduating from college, I began writing short stories and a novel (for grownups), while working many odd (sometimes very odd) jobs. I worked as a dog groomer, a construction worker, and a waitress.
“Having lots of different jobs is a terrific advantage for a writer. Because of them, I know all kinds of weird things, like how to remove bubble gum from dog fur (peanut butter). In fact, it was while I was addressing envelopes during a boring stint as a receptionist that a name caught my eye: Olivia Kidney. What a great name, I thought! I jotted it down in my journal. Years later, while thumbing through my old journals, I spotted the name and decided it was perfect for the twelve-year-old heroine of my first children's book.”