About
me

About my books

On writing

 

On becoming a writer

Upcoming books

 

About me:

 

+ Where were you born? Where do you live? What's your birthday?

Montreal, Canada, but now I live in New York, New York. My birthday is January 4, 1977!

+ What are your hobbies?

I love to travel (once I went on an amazing African safari) and I like to scuba dive. (Except when I spot sharks under water. But that's a story for another time.)

+ Who are your all-time favorite authors?

I have tons. Margaret Atwood, Dorothy Parker, J.K. Rowling, Helen Fielding, E. Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, Lauren Oliver, Judy Blume, Emily Giffin, Courtney Sheinmel, Gayle Forman, Jennifer Weiner…the list can go on and on.

+ Have your books won any awards?

Yes! Don't Even Think About It was the winner of the 2015-2016 Teen Readers' Choice Stellar Award. Much thanks to readers for their support!

+ What is your favorite fairy tale?

My favorite fairy tale is Cinderella. I have always wanted to go to a ball. Also the writer in me loves a ticking clock. It’s midnight or bust!

+ If you could wish for anything in the world, what would you wish for?

I have two incredible daughters. I wish for a world in which they feel safe and celebrated.

+ Can I send you a letter?

You sure can. My mailing address is 157 Columbus Avenue, #419, New York, NY 10023.

+ Can you come to my school?

Sure! But your school needs to invite me first. Tell your school librarian to contact me here (grownups only).

+ I sent you a letter/email but I haven’t heard back yet. Where are you?

I’m writing! Sometimes it takes me a few weeks or even months to reply to letters and emails from readers. Please be patient!


About my books:

+ I have a book report due! Can you tell me the plot/theme/setting of one of your books?

No, I can't! But good luck with your book report. If you need any additional information about me, head on over to this page or this page.

+ Where did you get the idea for Whatever After?

As a kid, I had two favorite kinds of bedtime stories. The first were about a little girl named Sarah who lived in Montreal, just like I did, but magic stuff happened to her—like she had a magic umbrella and could fly, or a magic fork that could turn vegetables into chocolate. The second were fractured fairy tales. Since I was not a fan of vegetables, when my mom told me the story of the Princess and the Pea, I decided that the queen put M&Ms under the girl’s mattress to see if she was a true princess instead of a pea! When I became a writer I wondered: What if I combined the two? What if a regular girl magically fell into a fairy tale and fractured it?

+ Where did you get the idea for Upside-Down Magic?

Emily Jenkins, Lauren Myracle, and I told our editor David that we wanted to write a book together and laid out all these elements we thought it should have — funny magic, eccentric characters, emotional truth, ridiculous composite animals, flying sequences, and so on. All four of us talked, and David helped us shape the idea of a magic school with a class for, well, magical misfits.

+ Who illustrates the Whatever After books?

Helen Huang! She is amazing.

+ Have your books won any awards?

Yes! Don't Even Think About It was the winner of the 2015-2016 Teen Readers' Choice Stellar Award. Much thanks to readers for their support!

+ Will you ever write a fifth Magic in Manhattan book?

Rachel and Miri's story ended in Parties and Potions, and right now I have no plans to write a fifth book...but I never say never! If you like the Magic in Manhattan series, I really think you'll like I See London, I See France, my latest YA about two best friends who backpack through Europe together on their summer vacation.

+ Is there a sequel to Don't Even Think About It?

Think Twice, the sequel to Don't Even Think About It, came out in April 2016.

+ When can I get your books in paperback?

Usually my books come out in paperback about 12-18 months after they are released in hardcover. If you don’t know when the book came out in hardcover, you can check the publication information on Goodreads. Or you can sign up for my newsletter—I send updates when I have news to share!

+ You should turn your books into a movie! Are you making one?

That’s a great idea! Unfortunately it is not up to me. If I ever have movie or TV news, I will be sure to post an update about it on my social media or in my newsletter.

+ I have an idea for your next book!

Cool! If you’ve thought of it, I may have, too. Great minds think alike. While I appreciate your suggestions, I have lots of ideas in the works and you will see them in my books at some point.

+ Where can I buy a signed book?

You can place an order from Books Of Wonder in New York City. They'll either have signed copies already, or I can stop in and sign one for you.


On writing:

+ When did you start writing?

I used to write stories about my little sister, Aviva. They were called “Life with The Squirt,” “The Squirt Ate My Homework,” and “Adventures of SuperSquirt.” That one was about a little sister who could fly. Basically Magic in Manhattan is its updated version.

+ Where do you get your ideas?

My ideas come from everyday feelings and experiences. For example, Bras & Broomsticks is about a girl who finds out that her younger sister is a witch. This was based on my little sister Aviva. (Unfortunately, not the witchcraft part.) What inspired the book is the always-complicated love, jealousy, and pride involved in a sister relationship. Ever since Aviva was born and took over my role as the center of my family, I’ve been writing stories about her.

+ Do you have to wait to be inspired to write?

The thing about being a professional author—when it's no longer a hobby, but your job—is that you can't wait for inspiration. I have to stop myself from hitting the snooze button every morning, and force myself to sit at my desk and get to work. I have to see it as a job, like any other job, or I'd never get any work done!

+ How long does it take to write a book?

It takes me about 3 to 4 months to write a first draft. Then there's lots of editing, of course. The entire process from starting the book to seeing it in print takes about 2 years.

+ Where do you actually write?

I do most of my writing in my apartment, at my desk on the computer. Sometimes, I take my laptop all the way over to the couch. I don't like to write outside of the apartment because I'm easily distracted (Nice coat! Cute dog! There's a bus! Why is my screen still blank?)


On becoming a writer:

+ What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

  1. Read all kinds of books — funny ones, sad ones, scary ones, adventurous ones. Then write the kind of book you love the most.
  2. Consider a career in publishing. You’ll be around books all day, meet tons of smart book-loving people and get paid.
  3. Publishers want the next big thing. They don’t know what that is. Nobody knows what that is. So write your book. Finish it. Make it awesome. Then worry about selling it.

+ What kind of schooling do I need to write a book?

Anything you learn or absorb helps your writing. In my case, I have a degree in English lit, which allowed me (er, forced me) to read many different types of books and understand various writing styles. But any subjects you take in high school or college will broaden your knowledge and make you a better and more informed writer.

+ I want to be a novelist, but an entire novel seems so overwhelming. What do I do?

Try setting small goals—like writing one page a day. Before you know it, you'll have a finished book. Trust me, it works.

+ I wrote a story! Can you read it?

Nope! Sorry. As much as I would love to read your writing, I barely have time to work on my own books.

+ Can you put me in touch with your publisher?

I can’t. My apologies.


Upcoming books:

+ When is the next Whatever After book coming out?

The latest book, Two Peas in a Pod, is out now and is based on the story of the Princess and the Pea!

The next installment of Whatever After, Seeing Red, will be out on October 30, 2018. Abby and Jonah fall into one of my favorites—the story of Little Red Riding Hood!

+ How many Whatever After books will you write?

As many as I can! I have no plans to stop writing Whatever After any time soon.

+ Will Abby and Jonah ever fall into the story of Frozen?

Disney's Frozen is based on the story of the Snow Queen, which also inspired Whatever After: Cold As Ice.

+ Are Abby and Jonah going to fall into Jack and the Beanstalk?

Absolutely. Promise. Eventually. Of course the story will be very, very different from what Jonah expects.

+ When is the next Upside-Down Magic book coming out?

The fifth book in the Upside-Down Magic series, Weather or Not, came out on September 11, 2018.

+ How many Upside-Down Magic books will you write?

As many as I can!

+ Will you ever write a fifth Magic in Manhattan book?

Rachel and Miri's story ended in Parties and Potions, and right now I have no plans to write a fifth book...but I never say never! If you like the Magic in Manhattan series, I really think you'll like I See London, I See France, my latest YA about two best friends who backpack through Europe together on their summer vacation.

+ Is there a sequel to Don't Even Think About It?

Think Twice, the sequel to Don't Even Think About It, came out in April 2016.

+ When is your next adult book coming out?

Um...I don't know! I haven't written another one yet. I do have an idea for a mom lit book, but that's all I have at the moment—an idea. Maybe one day I'll actually write it. If you've read all of my chick lit and are looking for more, try Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have). It's teen, but older, edgier teen. Also for older teens is my newest YA novel, I See London, I See France, which follows two best friends as they backpack through Europe on their summer vacation.

+ I have an idea for your next book!

Cool! If you’ve thought of it, I may have, too. Great minds think alike. While I appreciate your suggestions, I have lots of ideas in the works and you will see them in my books at some point.