More About the Author
I started reading before kindergarten, and I grew up in a house filled with books. My father used to join the Book of the Month Club and the Literary Guild in the names of every family member "just to get the free books!" I'm a woman who loves books far more than shoes--that might just tell you all you need to know about me!
The basic facts: I was born in New York City, grew up mostly in northern New Jersey, got my B.A. from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and came back to New York as soon as I could. My undergraduate degree is in Theatre Arts--Technical Theatre and Design, although I've always been interested in just about everything, and my college transcript reflects that.
My first jobs were in the theater--helping Meryl Streep with her costumes, stage managing new plays at Joe Papp's Public Theater, and handing props to actors like Sam Waterston, Ted Danson, and Danny DeVito at Central Park's Delacorte Shakespeare Theater. Eventually, I moved from theater to book publishing and worked as an editor at Avon, Ballantine, and Bantam Books, where I rose to Executive Editor and worked with such renowned authors as Shirley MacLaine, Barbara Mandrell, and Louis L'Amour. I also edited romance novels by many authors and wrote more than a thousand (!) book cover blurbs: I was known for phrases such as "She was a little too good to be true--and he was just bad enough to be irresistible!"
After changes in publishing made my job vanish, I spent the next few years as a freelance writer, where I first began co-authoring books with the great JoAnna M. Lund. Our partnership lasted through dozens of books and only ended with her death from breast cancer. While she lived, oh, how she lived--and created--and inspired millions of people to eat well and live healthier lives. It was a privilege to know her and help bring her vision to life.
I've also written some fun books with Scott H. Matthews, who was one of my authors (with his wife Tamara) while I worked at Bantam. With Scott, I used to joke that I wrote books about what I didn't know--Christmas, which I didn't grow up celebrating, and weddings, one of which I've never (alas) experienced.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing and researching three compulsively readable anthologies--NO FRIEND LIKE A SISTER (again, something I don't personally have, though I dedicated it to three great sisters-in-law); THE LOVE OF FRIENDS, about women's friendships (something I've been blessed to know a lot about!), and CHILD OF MY HEART: a Celebration of Adoption, inspired by my nephew Joshua and the adopted children of so many friends and colleagues. I'm very proud of these books and also grateful to my many interviewees and contributors.
I've worked with some wonderful authors--sometimes as a co-author (including HEALTHY KIDS, SMART KIDS, working with a brilliant and innovative school principal), and sometimes as a ghostwriter (books I cannot name but have worked hard to polish with their authors).
I'm very excited about the latest chapter in my writing life. I'm writing for children--at last! It's my greatest thrill since I went back to school in 2001 and got my Masters degree in Education. I've taught elementary school in the South Bronx and spent nearly 8 years helping to run a great after school and tutoring program in East Harlem.
Now I'm working as an editor again--this time in the medical field--and writing many books for kids "on the side." I've written 16 leveled readers for English Language Learners in South Korea (LADYBUGS, SPIDERS, BUTTERFLIES, LIZARDS, AMAZING DOGS, DESIGNING AND BUILDING CARS, and BIRDS, to name a bunch of them). For Capstone, I've written 7 books on MILITARY MACHINES, from robots and amphibious vehicles to ships and subs, from fighter planes to warships, in addition to books on fast and small cars, and on magnets and electricity. I'm also very pleased to announce my new series of 6 books for 2nd grade readers coming from Amicus in late summer 2013: DIGGING FOR DINOSAURS (Apatosaurus, Pterodactyl, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Velociraptor).
In my "free" time, I love exploring New York City, volunteering at the ballet and for the Audubon Society, studying paleontology, beachcombing for animal bones and sea glass, and reading reading reading! Also traveling when I have the time and money. I've already been to Africa, Antarctica, and the Aleutian Islands...and I can't wait to travel again soon.