1. I didn’t like school because my second-grade teacher was so scary. She had long red witch-like fingernails. She used to clunk us on the head with them when we weren’t paying attention. Once she had a conference with my mom and I thought they would talk about why I wasn’t getting better grades, but instead my teacher wanted to know how my mom got my socks so white.
2. I always loved reading, especially the Oz books by L. Frank Baum. I planned to get to Oz, just like Dorothy and I even packed a little picnic basket to take down the Yellow Brick Road. I started down our street one sunny Saturday morning, all ready to go, but somehow I never made it there.
3. My father was a well-known scientist and my brother is a entomologist (bug doctor.) That sounds like bugs go to him when they’re sick, but actually it just means he knows a whole lot about bugs. I did not inherit the science gene and I’m not good at doctoring bugs. In fact, I’m terrified of them, probably because my brother used to tease me by chasing me around the yard with fat hairy spiders.
4. My mother wanted me to become a famous ballet dancer but I couldn’t bend my big toe so it never happened.
5. Writing is my favorite thing to do in the whole world. If I could, I would skip almost everything else (especially cooking) and just write.
6. When I was in Brownie troop one of the leaders said, “Pamie, one day you will wake up and see the whole world going by.” I thought I was going to be an astronaut! But she meant I was day-dreaming. Probably I was thinking up an idea for a story.
7. My chemistry teacher in high school told me he wasn’t worried about my chemistry grade because he knew that one day he would have my books on his shelf. It’s really great when someone, especially a teacher, has faith in you! I made sure I sent him a copy of my first book, Noelle of the Nutcracker. He put it on his shelf, too, which made me very happy.
8. My book,A Vampire is Coming to Dinner! came from a tickling game I used to play with my daughter. I would tickle her and tell her that a vampire was coming for dinner. And he would be very hungry. Or thirsty! The first rule in the book is one I’d be wise to employ myself: STAY CALM!
9. I didn’t go to college. Well, I went, but only a little bit here and there. I went to NYU for a while, where my husband teaches. My teacher’s name was Professor Hubby, but he wasn’t my hubby.
10. When I was growing up, we never had visiting authors at school. I didn’t even know there were any authors who were alive. I thought they were all dead. I’m happy that this is not true. In fact, some of my best friends are authors!
11. I love spicy gumdrops and I make my daughter take them to school and hide them in her locker because if the gumdrops are home I’ll eat the whole bag.
12. I really did have a parakeet called Winky Blue (like in the Winky Blue books) when I was growing up. Once my mom put the vacuum cleaner hose in the cage to clean it. I got so scared she would suck up poor Winky! But he was fine.
13. My daughter gets mad when I use the names of her friends in my books, so I have to change their names and also things like the color of their hair.
14. I like to carry a miniature tape recorder with me when I go for a walk. Some of the best writing ideas come to me when I’m walking. And if someone comes by I pretend I’m talking on my cell phone so they don’t think I’m crazy talking to myself.
15. Nothing I write comes out perfect the first time. I wrote one of my books, Monster Mischief, 200 times.
16. I got the idea for my first book, Noelle of the Nutcracker, from a beautiful ballet doll my Aunt Ruth sent me when I was in third grade. It seemed that this doll loved to practice ballet and was very good at it, unlike me.
17. I have a cat but I can’t get him to stay in my writing room with me. Maybe I should get a dog.
18. I don’t know where I get my ideas. I think they’re in the air. So breathe deeply!
19. I took a career test in 7th grade and it said I should be a forest ranger. My friends and I thought that was very funny, but I do like the woods, so maybe the test was correct. Only I’d like to be a forest ranger who writes!
20. Sometimes when I’m writing, I forget to eat. This is not good and could bring on a spicy gumdrop attack.
21. My favorite book I’ve written is the next one – the one I’m planning to write. Just wait until it comes out!