|Caroline Cooney remembers her sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Albert, with fondness. He was the teacher who always assigned short-story writing at the end of class, and Caroline was the student who wrote and wrote and wrote! She decided to become a writer when she discovered story writing in Mr. Albert's class. Caroline was born in 1947 in Geneva, New York, but spent most of her childhood and teenage years in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. She loved to read anything she could get her hands on, but her favorite characters were in the HARDY BOYS and CHERRY AMES books. In fact, CHERRY AMES was Caroline's reason to go to nursing school later on in life; the characters had a life-altering effect upon her. After she graduated from Greenwich High School in 1965, Caroline went on to college--actually, she attended four colleges and "faded fast at all of them." She began writing more and more, and by the time she was about 30 years old, she had written 10 unpublished novels! She never gave up her dream, even though at times it was very difficult because she kept receiving rejection letters. But finally, after all of the "no" letters, her first novel, SAFE AS THE GRAVE, was published. She wrote the entire book in longhand. After that she used a typewriter, and now she uses a computer to write her books because it's so much easier--it's become her "best friend!" Caroline's books have been a hit with young audiences everywhere. They have received lavish praise and awards, including the ALA Best Book for Young Adults, ALA Quick-Pick for Young Adults, Booklist Editors' Choice, ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age. She feels very honored when she visits schools and meets readers and teachers. Her best advice to kids who want to write is that they should read and write whenever and wherever they can, because it takes a lot of practice to get good at it! When Caroline finds time for a break, one of her favorite hobbies is going to bookstores and buying lots of books--she loves to read and see what's new in the book world. She also sings in several choirs and plays the piano for them, too. A fun fact: she uses her children--Louisa, Sayre, and Harold--in all of her books!