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HELP WITH YOUR CHILDREN'S BOOK

About Me

I have lost count of how many kids' books I've written, that's how long I've been doing it. There are probably over 200, from board books to chapter books to middle-grade novels, fiction and nonfiction, silly and serious. They have won many awards, and have been adapted into a Disney TV movie and a BBC radio play. Two of them, THE TAMING OF LOLA and PORKY AND BESS, were named Bank Street Best Books of 2010. I love to collaborate, and I often write with my husband, Mel Friedman. I also love to rescue stray dogs, but I had to stop when the aforementioned Mel Friedman told me he would divorce me if I brought home one more weird, filthy, unhousebroken mutt.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS?

I have no idea where I get my ideas. They just sort of hit me in the head when I'm least expecting it. Usually when I'm supposed to be doing something else. Maybe I'll get an idea about where I get my ideas soon.

DO YOU LIKE BEING A CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITER?

Being a children's book writer is absolutely the only thing I'm any good at (except for making a really good apple crisp), so there's no point in asking.

WHAT'S IT LIKE WORKING WITH YOUR HUSBAND?

Mel comes up with about four hundred ideas a minute. It's my job to say, No, No, Yuck, What the heck are you talking about, THAT ONE'S GREAT! Then I write the best ones down before we forget them. This is either done over breakfast at a diner, or on long trips in the car. After we've got the ideas all worked out I write the books, and he goes through them with a fine-toothed comb and makes suggestions for changes. Then I get crabby for a while, and then I rewrite them and they're much better.

We have notebooks and notebooks full of ideas that we'll never have time to write.

WHAT'S YOUR HOUSE LIKE?

Covered in books and papers and magazines. I think they breed at night.

DO YOU HAVE ANY KIDS?

We have one grown-up daughter, Nora. She's way cooler and smarter than us.