|I was born in New York, in 1960. I spent much of my childhood in a small town in New Jersey, about 10 miles from Philadelphia. I was the only boy in a family with three sisters. Since my parents wouldn't give me a brother, I thought I'd settle for a dog. Mom and Dad took a lot of persuading, but finally my parents agreed to get me a black puppy called Nero. I thought I'd be able to train him to be an amazing rescue dog, but all I could ever get Nero to do was sit, speak, and give me his paw! No search and retrieval, no discovering buried treasure or even leaping his way around an obstacle course — although he was very good at making food disappear quickly. I loved him, whatever he did. |
I spent a lot of my childhood reading; I'd read anything from cereal boxes to Charles Dickens. English was always my favorite subject, and when I graduated from high school I decided to study English Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. As part of my coursework, I was lucky enough to spend a year in Edinburgh, Scotland, and I really enjoyed living in Great Britain.
After graduation, I started to work as a children's book editor in New York City. I edited all kinds of books — sports stories, mysteries, teen romances, and even a series called Sweet Valley High, which was a big success. Five years later, a job at publishing house in England became available and next thing I knew I was living in Great Britain again!
I continued to edit children's books for a few more years, and then decided to try and develop a book series of my own — but I wasn't sure what I wanted it to be about. I had always loved animals — dogs, cats, horses, everything — and by then I had kittens of my own, two Russian Blues called Benjamin and Peter. One day a friend of mine asked where they were, and I said 'in the kitchen.' Suddenly an idea had occurred to
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