DONNA GEPHART -- DETAILED AUTHOR BIO
Northeast Regional Library, Phila., PA
Growing up, the local library was my second home. When I was little, my mom took me every week. As I got older, I rode my bike and filled the basket with books. Those books filled lots of lonely days. My favorite books then were Mr. Popper's Penguins and Ben and Me. What are your favorite books?
Here, I'm about age nine (or eight or ten). That's when I sat at our kitchen table, bored out of my skull, and wrote my first short story -- "Happy-Go-Lucky." It was about a horse who died. Even though it had a sad ending, my mom really liked it. That's when I decided to become a writer.
I loved seventh grade. I was in the school play, Music Man, and I made a meal worm city in Ms. Silbert’s science class. I went to my first boy/girl parties and placed 2nd in the school talent show for my hula hoop skills (really). I should have won 1st place, but it’s not like I’m bitter or anything. During graduation, I won a huge dictionary for excelling in… math! (I still use that dictionary today.)
Eighth grade, which back then started junior high for me, wasn't so much fun. I liked a boy who didn’t like me. I wore braces. I felt awkward and uncomfortable almost all the time, and I never got invited to any parties. Besides all that, my emotions seemed to be on a roller coaster ride I had no control over. So… no photos from then!
High school was better. I wrote articles for the school newspaper and our local weekly newspaper, played tennis, won a couple writing contests, worked part-time at a shoe store, got good grades and enjoyed hanging out with my buds.
College was better still. I worked really hard, but had loads of fun, too. I climbed Mount Nittany. Twice. I spent a lot of time at The Creamery. And the library. I loved my short story writing class. Overall, I had a wonderful time living in Happy Valley, attending Penn State. Here I am with my roommate, Linda, celebrating her graduation.
After graduating from college, I moved back to Philadelphia and married this great guy. Dan and I have been married more than twenty years and have two terrific sons, who are now way taller than I am! I spent several years working as an editor at a greeting card company. After that, I worked from home to raise our sons and write for greeting card companies, magazines and, of course, publishers of books for children, like Penguin Random House.
Now, the books I write are on the shelves of that library I used to love as a kid. And I get to meet lots of wonderful people at bookstores, school visits, libraries and conferences. I love what I do -- writing, enjoying time with family and friends, writing, hanging out at the local library and bookstore, writing, riding my bike, volunteering, traveling, writing, taking long walks along the beach and through the woods, writing, and attending local S.C.B.W.I. groups. Oh, and writing!