I was born in New York and might have stayed there, if not for a Girl Scout cross-country camping trip the year I was thirteen. The trip itself was something of a comedy of errors—involving sodden sleeping bags, tents blown over in windstorms, meals consisting mostly of marshmallow fluff, and an incident with body lice that's best forgotten—but somehow along the way I fell in love with the west and with traveling, and promised myself I'd return to both one day.
I caught my first glimpse of the St. Louis Arch on that trip, so I began by returning to St. Louis for college. I stayed there for several years, and along the way I got brave enough to take the stories I'd been writing all my life, finish and revise them, and send them out into the world. After a while, some of those stories sold, and I've been writing (with the usual series of ups and downs and backs and forths) ever since.
I started Bones of Faerie while living in St. Louis, too. I still don't know where the opening came from—I sat down one day, put pen to paper, and heard clearly the voice of the main character, though I didn't even know her name yet. The words I wrote that day gave me shivers, but I had no idea what happened next—no idea what to do with that opening. So I held onto it, kept writing other things, and every few years returned to it.
Time passed. I moved from St. Louis , with its green forests, to Tucson , with its pricklier, biting (yet also beautiful, compelling) desert plants. I wrote other things, and some of them sold. But all the while, I couldn't stop thinking about that opening. Eventually, more than a decade after I'd written those opening pages, I dove in: taking the green forests of the city where I'd begun the book, and the sharper-edged desert in which I was writing it--and the Arch, too--and bringing them all together to create the world and the story that became Bones of Faerie.
Bones of Faerie is my first young adult novel. My second, Thief Eyes, is a contemporary fantasy based on the Icelandic sagas, Njal's Saga in particular. I'm also working on Faerie Winter, a sequel to Bones of Faerie.
I've written three books for younger kids, too--most recently Secret of the Three Treasures--and more than 30 short stories for kids, teens, and adults, including appearances in Cricket magazine, Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales, and Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar. "Invasive Species," my short story in the online magazine Coyote Wild, is set in the same world as Bones of Faerie.