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About Hope Vestergaard
As a kid, I was a book fiend. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on, including encyclopedias, cereal boxes, and "grown-up" books. I lived at the library, checking out the maximum number of books allowed each week and blasting through the summer reading programs. When I exhausted the youth and young adult departments at the library, I walked to the flagship Borders store and read new books, cover-to-cover, in one sitting. (I was gentle, I promise. And all the books I buy now more than make up for my childhood borrowing!)
When I was eight or nine, I wrote this sentence in my journal: When I read a good book I feel like I'm hiding inside it, watching the story happen around me. This is still true today. When I read a great book, I fall right in and I'm oblivious to everything else.
When I was in college, Jane Yolen, Patricia MacLachlan and Jane Dyer visited my Children's Lit class. I distinctly remember thinking, "That's a cool job!" But it didn't occur to me that it could be my job. I was planning to be a psychologist or teacher. I taught in early childhood programs for many years before I considered writing my own stories. After reading hundreds of books to young kids, I was fascinated by their responses to different books. Why did they love books I hated? Why didn't they love books I loved? What made a good book good? Eventually I started putting my own words to paper, and later, that led me here.
It's actually a little odd writing this biography. As a writer, I'm always looking for ways to improve my craft and better understand the writing process, so I'm intrigued by the personal backgrounds of my favorite authors. But as a reader, I prefer not to be aware of the writer at all. I just want to fall into books, and I don't blame anyone else who feels the same way. I hope readers fall into mine.
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