I was born in Brooklyn, NY but I grew up in Cherry Hill NJ. Today I live in New York City (on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge). Guess you can take the girl out of New York but you can't take the New York out of the girl!
I I spent my summers as a kid at the NJ Y camps. I loved the arts &crafts and swimming, but my favorite activity was sneaking out at night to go bunk-hopping. When I write about summer camps I am usually imagining these camps in my head.
I went to Temple University in Philadelphia and majored in Investigative Reporting/Journalism. I thought I was going to be a news reporter. Instead I write about a boy who burps and a dragon who cooks grilled cheese with his snout. Life takes you funny places sometimes.
Growing up, I had pet parakeets. The green one was named Parry and the blue one was named Budgie. (Budgerigar is another word for parakeet.) I think I'm a bit more original coming up with names for my characters these days.
My first job in New York City was writing for kids' magazines which were called Dynamite, Hot Dog!, and Peanut Butter. I got to interview everyone from ALF to Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) to John Stamos. Good times.
My first published book was a non-fiction picture book about robots that help humans. Real Robots is out of print now, but I still love that cover!
I wrote for Nick Jr.'s Gullah Gullah Island and Eureeka's Castle in the late 1990s. Click this picture to hear the Gullah Gullah Island theme song.
Eureeka's Castle was a winner of an Ace Award--which was given to the best cable television shows. Exciting times! To hear the theme song click the picture.
I have published more than 200 books. Three of them have been New York Times bestsellers!
My biggest selling book was a biography of Leonardo DiCaprio. The book was published the week the film Titanic was released. Thankfully the book did not sink!