Tell me a little about yourself
I’m the author of over fifty books for kids, including The Never Girls series. I’ve also written middle-grade fiction under the name Mimi McCoy. I live in Colorado with my family. I love skiing, hiking, swimming and traveling, but reading has always been my favorite pastime.
When you were my age, did you like to read?
Yes! I read all the time, though I never would have described myself as a bookworm. I just took for granted that reading was part of everyday life. I remember being astonished when a friend in junior high told me she didn’t like to read. I thought it was just something everyone did, like sleeping or bathing.
What was your favorite story?
So many, I can’t name just one. I loved Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and Jane Langton’s books like The Diamond in the Window and The Swing in the Summerhouse. My favorite books often had an element of mystery or magic, but I also liked historical fiction, like Caddie Woodlawn and Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series.
How do you get your ideas?
As your books are related to another series (Tinkerbell), Do others have input?
Ideas can come from anywhere. I’m lucky in that the Never Girls stories are set in Never Land, so there’s a lot to drawn from. I might think, “I want to write a mermaid story” or “Let’s see what happens if the girls take some fairy dust home with them.” When I don’t have a clear idea, I start with a character and think what attributes s/he has that might lead to an interesting conflict.
Yes, others have input. This series is a little unusual in that I have two editors—one at Random House (the publisher) and one at Disney, who reviews the text for consistency with the Disney world.
Is it hard to write a book?
Starting can be especially hard. If I’m struggling to begin a book, sometimes I’ll start writing in the middle with a scene I can see clearly in my head.
You write an ongoing series, is it hard to keep facts straight?
I’ve been writing about the world of Pixie Hollow for a long time. Before I wrote the Never Girls, I wrote some books in the Disney Fairies series. So I feel I know the world pretty well by now.
Do you have a favorite among the books you have written?
Not really. Some were more fun to work on that others, but I like them all.
What author do you really like right now?
I’ve been enjoying books about siblings like Hilary McKay’s books about the Casson family and Rita Garcia-Williams’ books about the Gaither sisters. And I reread the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie at least once a year. It never gets old.
Read a lot! And take revising seriously. No story is ever perfect the first time it’s written.