I was born at a very young age in a very old country—England. I ran away from home when I was three with a tea cozy on my head. And if you don’t know what a tea cozy is, that’s because it’s something only people in very old countries use to keep their tea warm when it’s in a pot. Somehow, I ended up in northern British Columbia, Canada, just a raven’s flight from Alaska. We moved a lot when I was a kid, and that’s a big part of what I write about, I guess: not the moving so much as how great it is to have a place you can call home and friends and all that. I grew up. Well, it was bound to happen. But I didn’t grow that far up, if you know what I mean. I went to university and all that and got married and have three fabulous kids, all of whom are grown up, more or less, themselves. But what I mean is that, while I grew up I didn’t grow away from childhood. I still have a whole bunch of it inside that I’m sorting through: an attic’s worth of mostly junk but with some gems of memories and a lot of unanswered questions. That’s probably why I write for kids.
Whatever I write it’s always a mystery. I’ve written more than thirty books: picture books, middle-grade novels, novels for young adults and older adults. But whatever I write there is always something that someone is looking for and there is usually someone who doesn’t want them to get it! I’m thrilled about my thriller Blink & Caution. Blink is a street kid living hard—living on his wits. He stumbles into a big con game and thinks he might get in on the action. Wrong! Luckily, he also runs into Caution, as in “Caution: Contents under Pressure.” Their relationship starts off rocky, to say the least, but then she joins up with him and—well, you’ve got to see what happens. I am crazy about this book.
Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:
1. I lived in twelve different houses by the time I finished high school. I used to wonder if my father was running from the law, but I don’t think he was. He was an engineer with a great sense of humor, although the moving sure wasn’t funny!
2. I got to read with J.K. Rowling at the Sky Dome in Toronto in October 2000. There were more than 20,000 people at the reading. It’s the biggest public reading ever—you can look it up in the Guinness Book of Records!
3. I have never been to Timbuktu. Even though we share the same name. Well, partially, anyway. But what I want to know is what ever happened to Timbukone?