I love to write. I didn't grow up wanting to be a writer, but I'm so lucky that I stumbled across writing. Writing allows me to find out about the world. If I write a story about soccer, I get to go to soccer games for a while. If I write a story about lions, I get to visit the zoo and read about lions for a while and, if I'm extra super lucky, I get to go to Africa (which is what I did when I researched for the book BEAST). Writing is wonderful that way.
My favorite book that I've written for younger readers is THE BRAVEST THING (you can buy it through the Scholastic Book Club). My favorite book that I've written for older readers is BREATH (which Simon & Schuster sells). My favorite book for children that someone else wrote is A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. My favorite adult authors are Anne Enright, Anne Tyler, Toni Morrison, Tim O'Brien, and Margaret Atwood. I have lots of favorite children's authors.
None of my books are autobiographical. But I often do get my ideas from real life. Something will happen and I will simply elaborate on it and change it and mold it until I have a story that feels new and exciting to me.
If you want to be a writer, I have advice for you. Write a lot. And write all kinds of things: poems, stories, essays, recipes, e-mails, letters, journals, anything. The more you write, the better you'll get at it.
Thank you for reading my books. You are the reason why I write.