The author talks about what inspired her to write.
"Starshine came to me one day when I was trying to create a character who was really different. I gave her an unusual name and a weird family, I made her a health-food-eating vegetarian: but I needed to make her even more different. Then spiders popped into my head. Perfect!"
Starshine at Camp Crescent Moon
"I wrote this book because I wanted to know more about Miranda Stockton. Was she really such an awful priss, or was that just the way Starshine saw her? In writing the story, I learned lots about Miranda - and about Starshine’s feelings about her and herself. I also had lots of fun letting Starshine be as naughty as I’d always wanted to be at summer camp!"
Starshine on TV
"I was out walking my dog, Fang, when Star’s voice popped into my head and said, “I want to be on television.” “That’s ridiculous,” I replied, but then I began to imagine all sorts of humorous situations in which she was trying - and failing to get on TV. I actually read the Guinness Book of World Records in doing research for the Young Einsteins try-out."
Starshine and the Fanged Vampire Spider
"Amazingly, the fight between Starshine and Julie was the most satisfying scene to write in this book. I felt all of Stars’s misery as I was writing it. And I was surprised when Peggy, after making her usual pesky appearance, became sympathetic after her own best friend dumped her."
Mr. Belinsky's Bagels
"My grandfather inspired the character of Mr. Belinsky. He was a plumber, not a baker, but he had the same round tummy, bald head and bristly mustache, and he had the same soft heart. I tried to capture the gentleness of my memories of him."
"Writing time travel is fun - you magically whisk your characters through time and space. I enjoyed reading about Baba Yaga, the witch of Russian folklore, and finding a way to weave her into the tale of how Yossi helps his neighbors escape."
"When my friend Pam told me this true tale of herself and her bicycle, chills went up my spine. And I felt similar chills when I held a copy of the finished book in my hands - my very first published book - which I dedicated to Pam, of course."
Born a Woman
"This was a fascinating book to write. I got to travel across Canada to meet and interview the musicians and learn about their lives. With Sylvia Tyson, I sat in a posh women’s club in Toronto and was served tea in a china pot, while classical music played in the background. In Nova Scotia, where I traveled to interview Rita MacNeil, I attended a folk festival where everyone from grandparents to toddlers danced to fiddle music."