Book Reports

If you’re doing a report about me or my books—thanks. I’m honored. I’ll try to give you information that’s helpful.

If you need specific information about certain books, go to the books page and navigate to the book or books that you’re interested in. You can also find answers to FAQs about most of my books.

Or, if it’s ten o’clock at night and your parents are yelling at you to go to bed and you just now remembered that your report is due tomorrow and you need some details FAST, here’s some quick information about me:

Quick Info

BIRTHDATE
April 9, 1964

BIRTHPLACE
Washington Court House, Ohio

WHERE I GREW UP
a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio
(If you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about, you can say it was a grain and livestock farm. Or, if you’re trying to stretch your report because you’re afraid it’s not going to be long enough, you can say something like, “a farm where her father raised corn, soybeans, wheat, hogs and cattle.” There. Lots of words. Does that help?)

FATHER’S OCCUPATION
farmer
(you probably figured that one out)

MOTHER’S OCCUPATION
nurse

SIBLINGS
I have three—an older brother, a younger brother and a younger sister

WHERE I WENT TO COLLEGE
Miami University, the one in Ohio, not Florida like you might expect

WHAT I STUDIED
I got bachelor’s degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing, and history. (See, more lengthy details to add!)

JOBS I HELD BEFORE MY FIRST BOOK WAS PUBLISHED
I was a copy editor at a newspaper called The Journal-Gazette, in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a reporter at a newspaper called The Indianapolis News, in Indianapolis; and a freelance writer and community college instructor at the Danville Area Community College in Danville, Illinois.

PLACES I’VE LIVED AS AN ADULT
Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Martinsville, all in Indiana; Bismarck, Illinois; Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio. I also lived and studied in Luxembourg (that’s in Europe) for a semester when I was in college.

WHERE I LIVE NOW
Columbus, Ohio

MARRIED
Yes

HUSBAND’S NAME
Doug

HUSBAND’S OCCUPATION
college administrator and director of a journalism training program for professional journalists

CHILDREN
Yes. I have two

CHILDREN’S NAMES
Meredith and Connor

HOBBIES
reading, travel, swimming, bicycling, hiking, going to museums, hanging out with family and friends

FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED
Running Out of Time

DATE OF FIRST BOOK PUBLICATION
1995

NUMBER OF BOOKS WRITTEN
“More than thirty” is the safest answer. Redeemed, which came out in the fall of 2015, is my thirty-sixth. But at any given moment, I always have at least one or two books that are in various states of completion or revision/readiness for publication.

WHY I WRITE (short answer)
I love books!

WHY I WRITE (longer answer)
I love making up stories and playing around with words and imagining interesting people in interesting situations.

ADVICE I GIVE KIDS
Read a lot. Write a lot. Think a lot. Enjoy what you read, write and think about.
And, not to sound too much like a mom, but, really, next time start on your report before the night before, okay?

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