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" I worked at Sears as a salesperson when I was in college. Makes me nicer to folks to have to stand all day and be nice to picky people. "
" I do research for every single book, regardless. For 'Double Dutch,' I learned to jump and learned the scoring system. For 'November Blues,' I interviewed pregnant teens. I like to get up close and personal with the kids involved in the situations I write about. "
" I'd love to dance with grace and style, to move as easily as I write. "
" When students ask me today, 'What do you think we should learn from this book?' I tell them, 'Whatever you got out of it.' "
" I try to give a voice to teens, who might be afraid to speak up about difficult issues, and a platform for parents and teachers to have frank, meaningful discussions with those young people. "
" I believe I'm a better writer now than I was when I started. I'm grateful that I had good guidance because you don't make it in this business without good editors and a lot of support from your publishers. "
" Girls read a boy book, but boys don't necessarily want to read a girl book. "
" Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It's the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps. "
" I start with an idea or a problem or a conflict, or even a situation that might be pertinent to the lives of young people, then the characters grow from that point. I try to make strong characters that change and develop and learn from their mistakes. "
" Writing, for me, is a very fluid process. I sit down and wait for the words to come. They usually do - in buckets and waves. I look upon it as a blessing because the words come so easily. "
" With the 'Hazelwood High' trilogy, I wasn't sure I was writing a trilogy. I would just write one book, then another, and then another, because the young adults who wrote me told me that they wanted to read more. "
" A good book ought to bring out lots of different responses from those that read it - none of them pre-planned, and all of them very personal. Whatever they take away from the reading of the book is valuable. "