What inspired you to write books for young readers?
I’m passionate about reading and have been ever since I can remember. Even though I love reading books geared towards people of all ages, I can’t help but notice that my favorites – the stories and characters that have stuck with me – are, for the most part, ones I read when I was young. That’s why I find writing for children so rewarding. Adults can love books but kids really need books.
Personally, what's your favorite book/s?
That’s so hard to answer! I have tons of favorites. As a kid, I loved S.E. Hinton and Paula Danziger. And one of my favorite novels was Skinnybones, by Barbara Park. This was years before she wrote Junie B. Jones, something I’m currently a big fan of. In high school, like everyone else I loved J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. Also important to me were the following: White Noise by Don DeLillo, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and anything by Joan Didion. Now I read lots of middle grade and YA fiction. My current favorites include books by Coe Booth, David Levithan, E. Lockhart, Meg Cabot, Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski, Jacqueline Woodson, and Rebecca Stead. I could go on and on and on, but the above list is probably big enough. Right?
What part of yourself did you put into Annabelle, if any?
Annabelle has similar problems that I had in junior high but she’s much better equipped at handling them – feistier and more outspoken than I ever was. Simply put, she’s the girl I wish I could’ve been – which is really fun to write.
Were the covers of Boys Are Dogs and Girls Acting Catty what you imagined them looking like?
I was completely blown away and thrilled with the covers. I think they are amazing – eye-catching, distinctive, attractive and fun. I had nothing to do with them and lucked out in a major way.
As both Annabelle and Yumi have pets in the series, do you have any pets of your own?
Yes, I have a fifty-pound mutt named Aunt Blanche. We adopted her from the North Shore Animal League when she was a puppy and she’ll be five in March.
Can you give a hint on what's next for Annabelle and the gang?
Sure, in Book Three, Annabelle and her friends are working on projects for the science fair and getting excited about their first school dance, which takes place on Valentine’s Day. Annabelle develops her first crush, but unfortunately, it’s on a boy one of her friends likes, too. And there is also a scandal involving plagiarism, or at least the possibility of.
I’m also excited about my brand new series launching in October of 2010. Book One is called GIRL’S BEST FRIEND, A MAGGIE BROOKLYN MYSTERY. Maggie is a twelve-year-old dog walker who solves mysteries.
Thanks so much Leslie!
Click here to read my review of Boys Are Dog &heretoreadmyreviewofGirls Acting Catty!
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If you want any book suggestions feel free to email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
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