- ABOUT THE AUTHOR
- SCHOOL & SKYPE VISITS
- CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS & BOOK FESTIVALS
- LILY AND DUNKIN
- DEATH BY TOILET PAPER
- OLIVIA BEAN, TRIVIA QUEEN
- HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL
- AS IF BEING 12-3/4 ISN'T BAD ENOUGH, MY MOTHER IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!
- FOR WRITERS & ILLUSTRATORS
- CREATIVITY CORNER
- PRESS KIT
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 second in the school talent show for my hula hoop skills. I should have won first 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 friends.
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, eating peach ice cream. And I visited the library often. 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 almost 30 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 wrote for greeting card companies, magazines and, of course, publishers of books for children, like Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and Holiday 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, conferences and book festivals. 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!