One of my earliest memories was peering through the bars of my playpen to watch Sesame Street followed by back-to-back episodes of The Electric Company. At that point in my life I expressed happiness by throwing toys, so Mom made sure to keep my pen piled high with all things soft and plushy and suitable for hurling. These TV shows were so good that Mom usually needed to reload my pen about six times an hour. Not only were the shows cool, but one day I discovered that they had also taught me how me to read.
As I got a little older, my life revolved around two things: reading anything I could get my hands on and building a fort in the woods behind my house. I was good at one and lousy at the other. I probably should have read some books about fort building.
At school I got the writing bug. My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Snelback, told Mom and Dad that I would be a writer someday. I always liked writing, but this news made me try even harder to write the best I could, just so I could prove her right.
By the time I went to college, I was writing plays. Some were pretty good, most weren’t. But I kept trying. I wrote and wrote and wrote some more until the good plays started to outnumber the bad ones. I won some awards for my plays – which was nice – but I also had fun writing them, which is more important.
After college, I became a reporter and wrote all kinds of stories for a newspaper. My favorite one was about a woman from West Milford who owned two pet pigs. I also wrote about budgets, and government, and politics, but the pigs were really cute and I got to hug them both. Later on I wrote many stories for magazines, but, so far, none of them have been about pigs. One of them did feature a goat, however. I like goats even more than pigs.
I have wanted to write books for very long time, so I did what I did when I was writing plays – I just kept writing and writing and writing until the bad books I had written became much better. And I also made sure to keep having fun.
And it was at about that time that a publisher bought my first book, Sarah Gives Thanks.