Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Tui? What kind of name is that? Is it short for something?
Nope. Among the many great things to come out of New Zealand (the Lord of the Rings movies, cats that paint, my mom) is a bird called the tui—not as well known as the kiwi, but a heck of a lot noisier!
I was born July 31 (same birthday as Harry Potter!) in Caracas, Venezuela, and lived in Asuncion, Paraguay; Miami, Florida; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, before moving to New Jersey in high school, where I started doing theatre—mostly backstage work, because (a) it was fun, and (b) you got to hang out in the dark with cute boys. (Er, I mean . . . because it was artistically fulfilling, yes.)
I graduated from Williams College in ’98 and I currently live in Boston with my husband, my perfect new baby, and my adorable yoodle Sunshine (what’s a yoodle? A puppy that’s three-quarters poodle and one-quarter Yorkshire terrier, of course!).
Much to my parents’ relief, I abandoned my theatrical aspirations after college for the far more stable and lucrative career of fiction writing.
My first two official books were beginning readers, part of Grosset & Dunlap’s “First Friends” series for kids learning to read. MEET MO AND ELLA is tough to find now, but FUN WITH MO AND ELLA should still be out there somewhere.
My first novel for teenagers was THIS MUST BE LOVE, which retells Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a modern-day high school, from the POV of the two heroines, Hermia and Helena.
And now I'm writing in a new project called SEEKERS! It's a children's book series that I'm writing with Erin Hunter. Check out my blog to find out more!