Dashka Slater’s four picture books have won widespread praise for their inventive language and vivid imagery. Her first book, Baby Shoes, was named one of the best children’s books of 2006 by both Booklist and Nick Jr. magazines and was chosen for the Texas 2 x 2 list of best books for children age 2 to grade 2. Her third book, The Sea Serpent and Me, was a Junior Library Guild Selection and a finalist for the Cybil and Chickadee Awards, as well as being named to the 2008 Librarians’ Choices List of the best books for children and young adults. A recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Slater is also an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in such publications as Newsweek, Salon, The New York Times Magazine and Mother Jones. She is the Going Green columnist for Fit Pregnancy magazine and the author of a novel, The Wishing Box, which the Los Angeles Times named to its list of the year’s best fiction in 2000.
1. I tried to write a novel when I was nine, but I never finished it.
2. My first published poem appeared in Cricket magazine when I was ten.
3. Both my parents are writers.
4. They suggested I find some other kind of job, like maybe working in a bank, but I didn’t listen to them.
5. I once worked at a job that was so top secret that I never found out what it was.
6. It took me ten years to finish my first novel.
7. I often write with a cat on my lap, which probably explains why it took so long.
8. When I say lap, I mean keyboard.
9. My book, The Sea Serpent and Me, is based on a story I wrote when I was ten.
10. My book, Dangerously Ever After, is based on a story my son made up when he was six.
11. I have found several other story ideas under the couch cushions.
12. Most of my books go through ten or fifteen drafts before I show them to anyone.
13. Almost everything I write starts out being too long.
14. I’m terrible at knitting, but I do it anyway.
15. You could say the same thing about my singing.
16. A lot of my dreams take place in thrift stores.
17. I believe you’re never too old or too young to stay up all night reading.
18. I read Alice in Wonderland at least once a year.
19. I have been told I have a very distinctive laugh.
20. By distinctive, I mean loud.
21. I am almost always willing to go swimming, even if the water is cold and possibly shark-infested.