Any time someone starts a story with, “I was born in…,” my eyes glaze over and I try not to yawn in their face. So I’ll do my best to find a more interesting way of letting you know I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Brrrrrrrrrr
There, how was that?
I did not go to a private school like OCD and I was not in a rich evil clique of “Massie’s.” I went to Hebrew school until ninth grade and then, to Forest Hill Collegiate, a public high school. A lot of the kids in my grade came from families with tons of money and wore Polo everything (it was really IN back then, okay?). I, on the other hand, was forbidden to wear anything made by anyone other than K-Mart or Hanes. I probably would have been allowed to wear The GAP, but it wasn’t on every block in Canada yet. My parents were on a mission to keep me as grounded and un-spoiled as they possibly could. And now, as much as I ah-dore fashion, I seldom buy designer labels. I like the rare finds. Granted, sometimes I look like a total goof bag but at least I’m the only goof bag at the party.
When I was eighteen I moved to Montreal to become a film major at McGill University. Canadians say it’s the Harvard of Canada. Harvard grads don’t agree.
I left McGill after two years because I knew deep down inside I wanted to be a writer, not a filmmaker and McGill had a tiny creative writing program. So I transferred to Emerson College in Boston where I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing. YAY!
So there I was with a BFA, ten dollars in my Le Sportsac and no plan. Luckily, my friend Lawrence was working at MTV in New York and felt sorry for me. He offered me a casting job on a game show called Lip Service. All I had to do was move to Manhattan– the next day.
I ended up staying at MTV for 12 great years. I had every brutal job there was and eventually worked my way up to Head Writer and then, Senior Director of Development. That’s when things got really cool. It was my job to create and develop new shows for the network like “Room Raiders.” It was MTV, not middle school that inspired me to write The Clique. There were so many employees at MTV who would do and wear anything just to be accepted by the so-called “cool people.” It reminded me so much of life in the seventh grade I had to write about it.
I wrote The Clique and Best Friends for Never while I was still at MTV just in case my life as an author didn’t work out. And in June 2004 I quit my job to write full time, and full time it has been.
In January 2007 I left the harsh winters of New York City in search of the perfect beach town. I found it in Laguna Beach, CA. (No, it had nothing to do with the MTV show even though I have seen every episode.) To date, I have written thirty novels and am currently working on the second installment of my latest series, PRETENDERS: License to Spill, and The Dirty Book Club. I spend eight hours a day writing in my office and admiring my ocean view. Only problem is, I never have time to go to the beach. But I can see it. And that, my friends, is progress.