I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up mostly in New York state. I went to college in New England and graduate school in California.
The first book I ever read by myself was called Little Bobo and His Blue Jacket. I still have it. I learned to read when I was three, but I know now that this doesn't mean much. My brother didn't really read until he was seven, and now he reads more and remembers it better than I do.
I have a husband, two grown children, and two crazy Jack Russell terriers.
I teach Italian and other subjects at Vanderbilt University, but I've handed in my resignation and plan to retire in May, 2012, to write full time. I love doing school visits and hope that when my schedule doesn't mean that I'm working while kids are in school, I'll be able to do more of them.
I like to travel, especially to Italy, and especially with my family. I used to skydive (that's how I met my husband, but on the ground, not in the air!) but I haven't jumped out of an airplane in a long time.