Senior year in high school —a good date was hard to find. Times like these shaped me as a writer.

Observation and research. Two strong tools

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, but I got too tall (5'8"). Then I wanted to be a doctor, but I hated chemistry. After that, I thought about being a teacher, but I can't stand the feel of chalk or the smell of markers. Finally I narrowed it down to either breaking wild horses or writing books for kids. Writing books sounded way more exciting!

Are your characters based on people you know?

All of my characters come straight out of my imagination. I don't put any real people in my books, just make-believe people.

How many books have you written?

Zillions! But most of them didn't get published. I have published 12 books.

Where do you live?

I live in Hibbing, Minnesota. I was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. I have lived in California, Colorado, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and New Guinea.

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