I grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the youngest human member of a household that included two parents, three siblings, several college-age cousins, a grandmother, a dog, a cat, a mouse named Marshmallow, and a pair of gerbils named Simon and Garfunkel. Often feeling small and superfluous, I spent a lot of time disappearing into books, imagining my breakout adventures.
When I was six, I made a portrait of myself in the future with the caption: “I am going to be an author and illustrator.” If you look closely, you can see that the grown-up me is drawing trees on a piece of paper that says, “The bear went in the woods.” Somehow I seemed to know I’d end up writing a lot about animals and wild places. In fact, Three Bird Summer is set in the woods, and if you’re an attentive reader, you’ll even find a bear in it!
Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:
1. In high school, I won my track team’s burping contest (though my official event was the mile).
2. I once hugged a cheetah. (Don’t try this at home.)
3. According to family lore, I am distantly related to Blackbeard the Pirate.