Author Q&A

Describe yourself in five words.

Hungry for pizza most days.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Besides reading (of course!) I love traveling to amazing, old places in New England and researching their history. I live for a great ghost story and am super into paranormal investigation shows.

When I'm hanging out with my awesome family we love to go to festivals, farmers markets, and basically anywhere we can pet cows and/or check out cool birds.

Additionally, eating sushi and truffle fries.

What was your favorite book growing up?

There were a few biggies! When I was tiny, my favorite was Arnold Lobel's Mouse Soup.Mouse Soup by Arnold Lobel

I made my dad read that one to me every night for a long time. The first book I remember getting totally lost in was Redwall by Brian Jacques. I also loved The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.

What do you love to read?

I love middle grade fiction—it's still my favorite genre, even as an adult. Recently, I've been completely blown away by The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham and A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.

The Luck Uglies by Paul DurhamA Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

What made you start writing? And why middle grade fiction?

Like many writers, I started early because it felt really exciting to create stories, characters, and worlds. I wrote stories and poems in elementary school, and my first play in high school. I kept creating in different mediums through college and into adulthood—comedy sketches, TV spec scripts, all kinds of things.

When I started writing middle grade fiction, it just fit the best! These are the stories I love the most, so they are the stories I love to write.

Note: When I was growing up, I thought I'd be an animator for Disney because I assumed it would allow me an all-access pass to Cinderella's castle. That career path didn't pan out, but this one is very cool, too.

What does The Peculiar Haunting of Thelma Bee teach kids?

I hope it empowers readers. Thelma and her friends are strong, bold, and uniquely themselves. I think the book can teach readers that when you are yourself fearlessly, that's when you're the most powerful and you can do great things.

Also, I love pushing on the weird boundary between science and magic. The more I learn about science, the more I'm in awe of this crazy-incredible universe. I want my readers to ask questions and embark on their own explorations.