Member Bios

Jen K Blom was actually locked in her school – but she lived to tell the tale! She lives in Berlin, Germany with her darling new daughter, fantastic husband and two neurotic hairless cats! Jen writes middle grade with plucky characters and animals galore. Her debut title, POSSUM SUMMER, is forthcoming Spring 2011 from Holiday House.  Feel free to drop by www.jenkblom.com, her blog at jaekaebee.blogspot.com, or her twitter at twitter.com/jaekaebee to get the latest and greatest on her haphazard life!

Amie Borst could never fit enough chocolate in one violin case to last her a whole week, let alone one day.  When she’s not eating chocolate, she’s busy writing with her three daughters.  She lives in northern Virginia soaking up the sun and walking through cemeteries plotting her next idea.  To learn more about Amie, visit her website, www.amieborst.com

Tami Lewis Brown lived on the top floor of a museum for two years and only set off the burglar alarm once. Her picture book biography for middle graders, Soar, Elinor! will be published in October 2010, followed by a middle-grade novel, One Shiny Silver Key in Spring 2011. She lives with her family, two cats, and a dog in one of the oldest houses in Washington, D.C. Visit her at www.TamiLewisBrown.com.

Sheela Chari uses her violin case to store her violin, but she does dream of sleeping in a tall canopy bed with draping some day. She lives 30 minutes from New York City with her husband and two daughters, where they talk frequently about visiting the Met, but end up reading a book instead. Sheela’s middle-grade novel, VANISHED, will be published by Disney-Hyperion, July 2011. Visit her at www.sheelachari.com.

Sue Cowing once spent the night locked in a public library, but in the bathroom wing where she couldn’t reach the books!  Naturally, she made good use of the time drafting a new novel on paper towels. . .not. Her debut novel You Will Call Me Drog was published by Carolrhoda Books in 2011 and will appear in paperback from Usborne UK in April, 2014. Visit her (and the puppet Drog) at www.suecowing.com.

Elissa Cruz has her own unique filing system at home.  When she’s not busy rummaging through her piles of paperwork, she’s writing middle-grade books for boys.  She lives in Utah with her husband, two daughters, three sons, five dress-up princess gowns, seven toy lightsabers, thirteen bicycles, and more books than she cares to count.  You can learn more about her crazy, mixed-up writing life at www.elissacruz.blogspot.com.

Sayantani DasGupta first learned about the birds and the bees by checking out all the books (and I mean ALL) in her local library on the topic. It only figured that she grew up to be a kids’ doctor, then a writer, then a professor, and then a kids’ writer. When she’s not juggling careers, or juggling nine pins in New York area traffic, she’s juggling her two children, husband, and her overdue fines from the library. She’s the author of THE DEMON SLAYERS AND OTHER STORIES: BENGALI FOLKTALES and likes to tweet, blog, and otherwise blather.

Greg R. Fishbone writes galactic fiction from the parlor of a two-hundred year old antique home. He is the author of the Galaxy Games series, combining sports, science fiction, video games, and the end of the world. Find him at www.gfishbone.com.

Jan Gangsei has never felt compelled to run away as she’s had the great fortune to live in some pretty awesome places — Vermont, Key West, NYC, DC and Barbados. Plus, she’d miss her family too much. But when Jan does need an escape, she retreats to the corner of her brain that harbors her inner 11-year-old and writes stories for kids. She thinks her amazing literary agent, Sarah Davies of the Greenhouse, is the most dedicated, hardworking person on the planet. Jan’s travel agent comes in a close second.

Jennifer Gennari is always jumping in feet first and keeping an eye out for the best berries. She lives on a houseboat in Sausalito and returns every summer to Lake Champlain in Vermont. MY MIXED-UP BERRY BLUE SUMMER (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children 2012) is her debut novel. You can read her updates on the writing and floating home life on twitter and on her website jengennari.com.

Hillary Homzie is the author of the tween novels, The Hot List (S&S 2011) and Things Are Gonna Get Ugly, as well as the comedic chapter book series Alien Clones From Outer Space, which is being made into an animated television series.  She has also been privately coaching both published authors and aspiring authors for nine years, and during the summers teaches in the graduate program in children’s writing at Hollins University. A former sketch comedy performer in NYC, Hillary currently lives with her family in Northern California. Please visit www.hillaryhomzie.com.

While in high school, Jacqueline Houtman touched one of Michelangelo’s Slave sculptures in the Louvre Museum and got a stern look from a guard. After her reckless art-touching youth, she earned a PhD in biology. She is a freelance science writer for adults and children and also writes “sciency fiction,” where real science is integral to the story. Her middle-grade novel, The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, was published in 2010. She and her engineer husband live in Wisconsin, where they conduct research in the form of two sciency kids. www.jhoutman.com.

When Michele Weber Hurwitz was 10, she ran away from home with her 5-year old brother. They made it to the end of the block. Now she journeys much farther — her best writing ideas come on long walks in her tree-filled neighborhood. She lives in the Chicago area with her CPA husband and three teenage children. Michele’s debut middle-grade novel, CALLI BE GOLD (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House 2011, Yearling Paperback 2012), was named a Best Book of 2012 by the Bank Street College of Education. Visit www.micheleweberhurwitz.com.

T. P. Jagger once stole a coin from a fountain, but his mom made him put it back. He then decided not to be a criminal and became a teacher instead. After working many years as an elementary teacher and reading specialist, T. P. now stays home and writes a lot, washes his kids’ dirty socks, and teaches online for Indiana Wesleyan University even though he actually lives in the state of Washington. His writing is geared toward middle-grade boys because that’s what the voice of the 10-year-old trapped in his head keeps telling him to write. He is not a ninja. Visit him at www.tpjagger.com.

Linda Johns has always thought there’s something nice and safe about being surrounded by books. She spends her days in an 11-story library that has excellent potential for adventure, even if mummies are kept in the 393′s instead of their own Egyptian wing. She is the author of the HANNAH WEST middle-grade mystery series (published by Penguin) and is a librarian at the Seattle Public Library. Visit her at lindajohns.wordpress.com or on the third floor of the downtown Seattle library.

Kimberley Griffiths Little’s best ideas come when taking long hot baths, but instead of a sunken black marble tub with gold faucets and a dragon-shaped spigot, she has New Mexico hand-painted tiles in her adobe home along the Rio Grande.  Kimberley has two upcoming middle-grade novels with Scholastic Press: THE HEALING SPELL (2010) and CIRCLE OF SECRETS (2011).  Please visit www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com to download the free guides for teachers and book clubs.

Katherine Schlick Noe teaches graduate literacy courses in the College of Education at Seattle University, and believes middle-graders are looking for characters who struggle on in spite of circumstances and who can show them what they might do.  Her debut novel, Something to Hold (2011), is inspired by her childhood experiences living on Indian reservations in Washington and Oregon and explores issues of friendship, prejudice, and speaking out for justice. Visit her at www.katherineschlicknoe.com.

Rosanne Parry knows all about hiding in museums, cheating at cards, and having a bossy big sister. She’s the author of the middle-grade novels “Heart of a Shepherd” and “Second Fiddle” (2011). She and her husband live in an a very old house in Portland, Oregon where they raise four children, three chickens and five kinds of fruit. You can visit her tree house office at www.rosanneparry.com.

Yolanda Ridge likes doing two things at once.  Mother of twin boys, she often reads while she cleans.  She also writes while walking on her treadmill desk, which is how she completed her first two middle-grade novels, Trouble in the Trees and the sequel, Road Block.  Having lived in twenty different places across Canada, Yolanda feels like she is always running away.  For now, she’s settled in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia where she likes to ski and bike (but not at the same time).  Visit www.yolandaridge.com to find out more.

Jonathan Rosen is a high school English teacher and father of three, living in South Florida. He spends his “free” time being a volunteer coach for their sports teams. Some of Jonathan’s earliest memories are of writing. He writes for middle-grade boys, because they share the same sensibilities and sense of humor. Jonathan has lived all over in such varied places as, New York, Mexico, Israel and now Florida. He is hoping to eventually find a place that will let him stay.

Wendy Shang makes penny wishes AND quarter wishes.  One of her wishes came true when she found out that her book, The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, was going to be published by Scholastic.  She lives near Washington, D.C. with her family and is frequently preoccupied by thoughts of gummi bears (the good ones).  To learn more, visit www.wendyshang.com.

If Tricia Springstubb could get locked in somewhere overnight, it would be the zoo!  She’d love to see what the animals do after all the humans go home. Meanwhile, she lives and writes in a plain old house in Cleveland, which she shares with her husband and three cats (who sleep at night, and much of the day).  Her middle grade novel, WHAT HAPPENED ON FOX STREET, will be published by HarperCollins in August, 2010.

Jennifer Swanson dreams of one day running away to the Museum of Science and Industry-  then maybe she could look at all the exhibits and try out all the gadgets without competing for them with her kids. An author of seven nonfiction science books for grades 3-6, Jennifer’s goal is to show kids that Science Rocks! She lives in sunny Florida with her husband, three kids and two dogs. When not writing she’s on the hunt for fun science facts. Learn more about Jennifer and her books at www.JenniferSwansonBooks.com.

Mindy Alyse Weiss spends so much time writing quirky stories, she usually has a laundry mountain large enough to fill a hundred violin cases.  She lives in Florida, and is constantly inspired by her husband, daughters, Bullmasador puppy, and two stinky but loveable ferrets.  You can find out more about her at http://MindyAlyseWeiss.com.