I hate writing bios almost more than I hate writing thank you notes (they are about as stale), so I will try to make this interesting. I was born on a blustery spring day in [excised], a good year for Republicans and a bad year for zinfandels. I penned my first literary masterpiece in a pink Trapper Keeper soon after: a short story about a wild horse named Babbling Brook. Babbling Brook found herself in a pickle when the field she used for grazing froze over in a blizzard and then, still frozen, burned. While my early appreciation for plot and conflict was encouraging, it was also clear that I lacked a basic understanding of the laws of nature.
After graduating from The University of the South (Sewanee) with an English degree, I moved to Washington, D.C., and then New York City to pursue a career in journalism. My coverage of hard-hitting issues of the day, such as the new poncho trend and doggy yoga, appeared in leading publications including Newsweek, Newsweek International, The New York Observer, Shecky’s, and NYMag.com. When I tired of eating ramen noodles and free packets of ketchup, I took a job as an editorial assistant for a book packager. Thanks to clean living and friends in high places, in 2005 an essay I wrote about being “Southern in the City” was noticed by an editor at Disney-Hyperion. As they say, the rest is history (code for “kind of boring”).
I am now the author of the young adult novels The Debutante, The Lost Summer, and my latest, Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous, as well as an illustrated humor/advice book, Roomies: Sharing Your Home with Friends, Strangers, and Total Freaks. Under my pen name, Lucy Ruggles, I have authored or adapted a number of books, including the bestselling Camp Rock: The Junior Novel. My most recent project is Aerial, a middle-grade and YA fiction packaging imprint at Sideshow Media, where I am a developmental editor. When I am not out spending the thousands of gazillions of dollars that I make writing books, I also blog for SparkLife.
I live somewhere between Nashville, Tennessee; New York City; Portland, Maine; and Richmond, Virginia. I am a strong believer in the healing power of butter, bacon, and Southern rock, and I never, ever wear white after Labor Day – or is it before Labor Day?
Q: How old are you?
A: Old enough to know who the Care Bears are and young enough to sing “Call Me Maybe” on your voicemail - if you are lucky.
Q: Can I interview you?
A: Absolutely. I love doing Q&As, podcasts, and guest blogs. I am also happy to send review copies. Please email me with your website or blog and your mailing address.
Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: I will read almost anything, though my life’s great tragedy is that I’m a slow reader. YA authors I enjoy include Sara Zarr, Sarah Dessen, Lauren Oliver, John Green, Frank Portman, Suzanne Collins, and the grande dame, Judy Blume. Other authors I look up to include Tom Wolfe, David Sedaris, Anne Lamott, and Donna Tartt. This list grows daily, so don’t hold me to it.
Q: What advice do you have for budding writers?
A: Read. And write. I hope that goes without saying.
Q: Can you help me get published?
A: I cannot. I am but a cog in the great publishing machine.
Q: What is your sign?
A: I am a classic Taurus.
Q: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A: 12.3 cords of wood
Q: Do you make school visits?
A: Yes! Meeting readers is the best part of my job. I speak to groups of all sizes and also offer creative writing workshops and Skype visits (a great option for schools that are difficult for me to get to). Please email me for more information.