FAQs from Students:
Where were you born?
I was born in Nanaimo, BC, on June 12, 1970.
Where do you live?
I live in a little green house in Victoria, BC with two kids, two dogs, and two birds.
Where did you go to school?
I did most of my schooling in Victoria. After I graduated, I went to UVic for a couple of years, then I went to UBC and ended up with a degree in International Relations (‘91) and most of a degree in Physiology, that I never quite finished.
Why did you become a writer?
I became a writer because I didn’t have any other choice. Every time I tried to stop writing, a new idea would pop into my head. Sometimes I wish I had a job with regular hours (and a regular paycheque!) but mostly I feel incredibly lucky to be able to tell my stories for a living.
Where do you get your titles?
I don't know! Much like writing the books, I think a lot of it is magic. And sometimes, my editor comes up with a much better title, so we use that one instead! Writing a book is like being part of a big team.
What were you like when you were a kid?
I was a bookworm. I read so many books, it was ridiculous. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books. I was also really skinny. When I was nine, I got glasses. Big glasses. It was the 1970s and/or 1980s, so that’s what glasses looked like. I had a lot of bad haircuts. I blushed a lot. I never knew how to do a cartwheel. I thought they’d teach us at school but it turned out everyone else knew how to do one before they even got there! I was pretty quiet and very shy. I think I was sometimes funny, too. I was always competitive so I got good grades. I think at different stages of my life, I was a lot like some of my characters. I still am. I think we are all always every age that we've ever been, like the layers of an onion.
What’s your favourite book for kids?
For a long time, I avoided reading kids' books or YA at all because I thought if I read someone else's book, I might think my own books didn't measure up and I would be filled with self-doubt. I hate to think about all the great books that I missed by worrying about that. Now I read a lot of YA and Middle Grade, so much that I have a hard time picking a favourite, but today I"m going to say that Rebecca Stead's WHEN YOU REACH ME is topping the list.
Are you married?
Is Haley, from the Haley Andromeda series, based on you?
A lot of things that happen to Haley also coincidentally happened to me! But I think she’s much funnier and much less serious than I am/was.
Do you have any pets?
Yes. I have a dog named Happy and a dog named Augie. They are rescue dogs. And I have two birds, named Herbert and Feisty.
Do you write every day?
Yes. Even if I don't actually write it down, I'm always thinking about the book that I'm working on, and trying to unravel all the tangly bits.
Writing every day is necessary to keep me from panicking. It makes me feel more sane than when I don’t write every day. But I do take some days off. That's life! You can say, "Oh, every day I will drink 8 glasses of water!" But the truth is, some days you just aren't that thirsty. The same is true for writing.
What’s your favourite of your books?
I’m so proud of all of them for different reasons, I could never pick a favourite. Usually my most favourite is the one I'm working on right now. In this case, I'm writing a YA novel called YOU ARE THE EVERYTHING and I'm having so much fun.
What’s your favourite colour?
3. And 14. And, of course, 42.
Favourite ice cream?
FAQs From Teachers/Librarians:
Do you do school visits?
Yes, I love to do school visits. My favourite visits are for groups of 30 or less, so that everyone has a chance to ask questions, but I also am happy to talk to larger groups. Please use the contact form on this site to query about rates and availability. Thank you for your interest!
Can you Skype my classroom?
Yes. As above, please query for rates and available times. I'd love to meet your students!