Jennifer Trafton was kidnapped by pirates at the age of five and spent her childhood at sea, swabbing the deck of a ship with a mop made from the stolen whiskers of a rare silver manatee. Or she wishes she had been, because then she would have an interesting life story to tell.
Instead, she grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with no ocean in sight. She spent her childhood drawing pictures, reading books, and taking her dolls and stuffed animals on elaborate adventures that often involved mermaids and dolphins. Her writing career began at the age of ten when she decided to be a poet. One of her earliest poems was about the odor of a shoe. Things could only go up from there.
After seeing her dreams of being a dolphin trainer dashed by the inconvenience of having no ocean nearby, Jennifer finally went on her first real adventure to Great Britain, where she lugged around a heavy green backpack named Oscar the Grouch and ate a lot of fish 'n chips. Once, while walking along the top of some large, strangely shaped, grass-covered mounds of earth, she imagined that a giant was sleeping underneath. After that, all she could see--wherever she went--were creatures sleeping under green hills and mountains. It was even more perplexing than a British bus schedule. When she got home, she wrote down what she had seen and promptly forgot about it . . . until years later, when she was writing about a girl who lost her hat in a forest, and that giant stomped into the story and took over. Giants can be like that. Except this one fell asleep.
Now Jennifer lives near Nashville, Tennessee, where there is still no ocean in sight, and where she is still drawing pictures, still reading books, still imagining adventures, and trying desperately to convince her beautiful and neurotic dog to go outside.