I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. When I was nine, I founded my own newspaper, the modestly titled The Elisa Bulletin, which I printed out on a dot matrix printer and sold for ten cents a pop (there was a discounted rate for family). Some of my groundbreaking reporting included a story on the Rubik’s Cube trend and Duran Duran record reviews.
The newspaper schedule was too hectic to maintain, what with all the Duran Duran records coming out. So I started writing stories about ghosts and haunted houses and ordinary girl protagonists who were a lot like me.
As middle school turned to high school and the world became increasingly confusing, I started writing poems. Lots and lots of poems. They are painful to read now. But they helped.
In college, I took an amazing creative writing class with the author Beverly Coyle and rediscovered my love of making up stuff. I even went and got a Masters degree in making up stuff. When I graduated, I found a job at a newspaper, where I couldn’t make up stuff or review Duran Duran, so I wrote a lot about food. (I still do.) Finally, one summer I took a workshop with the author Julia Glass, who suggested I try writing for teens.
I started reading and rereading all the YA fiction I could get my hands on. I remembered how much I loved the teen books that were out when I was that age: Writers like Robert Cormier, Lois Duncan, Christopher Pike, Paul Zindel, Paula Danzinger, Norma Klein, Katherine Patterson, and, of course, Judy Blume. (If you haven’t read them, check them out!)
It all came together then. I was like, Writing! For teens! Of course! So here I am with this dream job. I feel really lucky every day. Thank you for helping me make it a reality.
Other things I like, besides writing and reading:
Making ice cream, biking, hip-hop, playing bocce, growing flowers, flea markets, postpunk, 1960s movies, chocolate, Cape Cod, condiments, Britcoms, snow, the smell of lavender, traveling and Scrabble.