I was born in New York City but the family moved, when I was six weeks old, to Mount Vernon, Iowa where I spent my first three years splashing in creeks (pronounced “cricks”), attending the State Fair in Des Moines, and playing hide-and-seek in the corn fields. When we moved back east, we lived in the little town of Sea Cliff, one square mile of Victorian charm on the North Shore of Long Island, where my best friend Justine and I swam in the Sound, messed around with small boats, read fantasy books, and searched desperately for our own magical portal. I spent most of my adult years raising three sons, working full-time as a children’s book publisher, and riding horses. But never once, since the fourth grade, has there a time when I wasn’t exploring what is, for me, the ultimate magical portal: writing.
When I was a toddler in Iowa, my father went ice fishing one winter and secretly stashed his catch under the ten-foot snowdrifts behind our house. Following a flash thaw, I remember waking up one January morning to the sight of dozens of fat trout lying in the backyard. What if, I imagined, every winter, fish emerged from the rivers and streams and oceans and swam through the snow? Whether in books of fantasy for children like the Dragon Keepers (what if geodes were really dragon eggs?), historical fiction like the Dog Diaries (what if you could see the world through a dog’s eyes?) or works of adult fiction like Love Love Me Do (what if two friends kept up a fifty year friendship forged during the magical era of the Beatles?) my work as a writer has been to ponder and explore the What Ifs? of this and other worlds.