Ellen and her poodle, Charlie — Photo Credit: Barbara Taylor, The Baltimore Sun Growing up in a 27-story building in NYC, I loved to watch people in the building’s elevator and make up crazy stories about them. For instance, there was one woman who was a little chubby and always cheerful, so I pretended that she lived in an apartment made entirely of chocolate. I imagined that her walls were made of chocolate and that she had a chocolate refrigerator which only contained chocolate eggs and chocolate milk. And if she got hungry in the middle of the night, she could nibble on her bed.

I remember the exact moment when I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to be a writer. I was eleven years old and I was in my school library, strolling through the aisles, trying to decide what to read next. Should it be A Wrinkle in Time? Or maybe Harriet the Spy. In a flash, I decided that the best books in the world were written for eleven-year-olds! Sadly, my twelfth birthday was just around the corner. So I reasoned that the only thing to do was to grow up and write books for eleven-year-olds. Which is pretty much what happened (after many years and piles of rejections letters).

These days I live in Maine with my family, three badly behaved dogs and 5, 789 Legos (which occasionally wind up inside the three badly behaved dogs).