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WHERE DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR SHARK GIRL?  This is the question I am asked the most.  The answer is this:  In the summer of 2001, there were many shark attacks around the United States.  There were so many that the media dubbed it "The Summer of The Shark."  I began thinking about all the people attacked by sharks--people who had lost hands or legs or feet.  I wondered what that would be like, to recover from something like that, and to have your story all over the news.  So I began writing Shark Girl. 


After working on it a long time, a tragedy happened in Hawaii in real life.  A fifteen year old girl named Bethany Hamiltion was bitten by a shark and lost her arm.  It was awful and horrifying, and eerily similar to my story. I didn't want anyone to think I was copying the awful thing that had really happened to her, so I put my book away a very long time. Eventually I took it back out again and finished it.  Many people wonder if my book was inspired by Bethany Hamilton, but it wasn't.  Many people think my book is Bethany's story, but it isn't.  It is also not connected in any way to the book or movie "Soul Surfer."  It is  a purely fictional story.






Need a biography?  Please check out the "about me" page.

I NEED YOUR BIRTHDATE FOR A COMPETITION:  I get many requests for my birthdate for competitions.  I am so honored to have any of my work chosen for these competitions, so thank you!  But I do not give out my birthdate.  Usually, the only thing students really need is to confirm that I was born after 1960.  The answer is, YES, I was born after 1960. I hope that helps!


Do you have more books coming out soon?  I am always working on new projects, and plan to have many more novels and picture books in the future.  As for what's coming up next, Moose insists a third MOOSE book is on the horizon.  I better check with Zebra for confirmation, though!

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