Why do you like writing?

That's a hard question to answer! For me, writing is as essential as breathing. I simply have to do it, or I cannot be happy or feel like myself. Most of the time, I have several story ideas swirling around in my head, building up pressure until I feel like I'm going to explode!

Why do you write for young adults?

After college, I received a master's degree in information science and became a youth services librarian. A crucial part of my job is reading -- what could be better? The more YA books I read, the more I got hooked. Young adult fiction is about the most important, dramatic time in our lives -- when we're figuring out who we are, who we want to be, falling in love, falling out of love, saving the world. YA books reach right into me, into my heart, in a way that other books can't. I knew I wanted to write books that would affect my readers in the same way.

Where do you get your ideas?

From everything! That's the easy answer. The more detailed answer is, I try to be open to every possibility around me, because I never know when something will inspire me. For example, PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG didn't come to me in a rush. Instead, the plot slowly crept up on me, a little detail at a time. If I hadn't been paying attention, I would have missed it!

Can you recommend me to your agent? Read my story?

I'm sorry, but no. I'm really too busy with my own writing, and my critique group, to read someone else's manuscript. But there are lots of great resources for beginning writers. One of the best is the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This organization has regional chapters, and annual conferences where you can meet agents, editors, and attend helpful panel sessions. Query Tracker is an online database of literary agents; it's a good starting point when you are starting to search for an agent. Your local library should also have books on writing and getting published. Good luck!