About Michele

Many authors can pinpoint a time in their lives when they knew they wanted to be a writer, and for Michele, that realization came in fifth grade, when a story she wrote—The Chair That Knew How to Dance—was one of the winners in a school contest. The prize was reading her story to the kindergarten classes, and it was that small but significant experience that inspired her path toward writing. Good thing, because she was terrible at math.

Michele grew up in a suburb of Chicago. She was quiet and shy as a kid, and loved to ice skate, play softball, and take long bike rides. She has two younger brothers who were quite annoying, so reading provided a great escape. Her family had a cranky miniature poodle named Pumpkin who bit everyone except Michele’s mom and the piano teacher. Michele took piano lessons for seven years but displayed no musical talent whatsoever.

She spent two memorable summers at Camp Chi in Lake Delton, Wisconsin. Michele wasn’t a good swimmer and failed the test to pass to a higher level (almost drowning in the process). The daddy long leg spiders in her cabin creeped her out, but she loved hiking and being surrounded by nature. In high school, Michele was on the poms team and newspaper staff.

She has a journalism degree from the University of Illinois and has worked as a newspaper columnist, magazine writer, public relations director, and menu copywriter, the last of which taught her to come up with many creative names for nacho platters. Her husband, Ben, is a CPA, and she has three kids, who all went to Camp Chi and loved it. (They are much better swimmers.) Michele still lives in suburban Chicago, not too far from where she grew up.

After participating in two mother-daughter book clubs, Michele loved the stories so much that she was inspired to write middle grade novels. Her ideas usually begin as loose threads that seemingly have nothing to do with each other, but then start slowly weaving together as a story (with many knots to untangle along the way). Michele’s not a fan of outlining but has a rough plan for the beginning, middle, and end, plus pages of notes on plot, character, setting, and dialogue. Working at home gives her the opportunity to frequently talk to the walls. They provide no help at all.

Michele has a huge sweet tooth and loves ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and candy. Her kids are amazed at her ability to tell the difference between the flavors of pink and white Good & Plentys.

She enjoys hiking, attempting yoga, doing puzzles, traveling, playing Scrabble, and knitting. Her favorite colors are green and purple. Her favorite animal is a dolphin. Foods she would never eat are olives (ew), smelly cheese (yuck), and peas (don’t even put them on her plate). She vows to never give up her paper calendar and is slightly obsessed with Post-it Notes. Most of all, she is always, always reading. Because what is life without words and stories?

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