Tui? What kind of name is that? Is it short for something?
Nope. Among the many great things to come out of New Zealand (the Lord of the Rings movies, cats that paint, my mom) is a bird called the tui—not as well known as the kiwi, but a heck of a lot noisier!
I was born July 31 (same birthday as Harry Potter!) in Caracas, Venezuela, and lived in Asuncion, Paraguay; Miami, Florida; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, before moving to New Jersey in high school, where I started doing theatre—mostly backstage work, because (a) it was fun, and (b) you got to hang out in the dark with cute boys. (Er, I mean . . . because it was artistically fulfilling, yes.)
I graduated from Williams College in ’98 (go Ephs!) and I currently live in Boston with my husband, my two hilarious children, and my extremely patient little dog Sunshine.
Much to my parents’ relief, I abandoned my theatrical aspirations after college for the far more stable and lucrative career of fiction writing. (<—ha ha! hilarious joke!) But seriously, if you met me, you’d know that I am best suited for a job where I can sleep until noon and work in my pyjamas. Me trying to get up at 7am + struggling to dress professionally = disaster zone.
Now I’ve written about 40 books for children and teens, ranging in age from sticker books and easy-to-reads (Meet Mo and Ella, Fun with Mo and Ella) to middle-grade and YA novels.
My newest books are the New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series, a big epic ten-book dragon fantasy…click around the site and check out my blog for more! I also recently wrote the Menagerie trilogy with my fabulous sister Kari, and all three of those books are available now. And I was lucky enough to write the fifth book in the super-fun Spirit Animals series, Against the Tide. Hooray!
Going further back, my first novel for teenagers was THIS MUST BE LOVE, which retells Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a modern-day high school, from the POV of the two heroines, Hermia and Helena.
Next up was the AVATARS trilogy, because I always wanted to write my own post-apocalyptic supernatural thriller, although I was a little surprised to discover my version has sinister flying dolphins in it. Those books are Book One: SO THIS IS HOW IT ENDS, Book Two: SHADOW FALLING, and Book Three: KINGDOM OF TWILIGHT…which will all hopefully be available one day as e-books, so watch this space!
I’ve also been lucky enough to join the Erin Hunter team as one of the four authors working on the best-selling Warriors and Seekers books (mostly Seekers), which means I get to meet some of the greatest fans around. 🙂
In fact, I’ve written under a bunch of different names. As Rob Kidd I wrote a five-book Pirates of the Caribbean spin-off series entitled Legends of the Brethren Court. I put on my “Heather Williams” hat to write Little House on the Prairie spin-offs: Nellie Oleson Meets Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder Goes West. And if you’re looking for my romantic beach reads for teens, check the bookshelves under Tamara Summers for He’s With Me, Save the Date, and my vampire murder mystery/romance Never Bite a Boy on the First Date.
Or if realistic middle grade fiction is more your thing, try my Pet Trouble series (under my real name!) for all your misbehaving puppy needs. 😉
I love mail, so if you’d like, you can write to me via HarperCollins:
HarperCollins Children’s Books – Author Mail
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
or via Scholastic:
c/o Scholastic Inc.
New York, NY 10012-3999
I can’t guarantee I’ll write back (did I mention the two hilarious children??), but I promise I will at least read your mail! You can also visit me on Facebook or at the official Scholastic Wings of Fire forums, where I sometimes pop up and post even when my own blog is being tragically neglected. 🙂