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I have always been interested in hidden worlds. Ever since I was little I used to believe that the gateways to these worlds were closer than we thought. One day while exploring the woods that surrounded our farm in Missouri, I found the remains of an ancient house that had been blown away in a tornado. The only thing left was a bit of the foundation and a set of stone steps leading to an invisible door. I often imagined as I stood there that if I just took one step forward I’d find myself in a dreamland—a place where magic existed and adventure called.
The imaginations of my youth have carried over to adulthood and I see myself wanting to return to those places I dreamed up. I want to still believe in the existence of magic and find the rabbit holes leading to wonderlands. At heart I am just a kid—the same boy who stood on the stone steps of a vanished house wishing it was something more. I write middle-grade because I write the books I would have wanted to read when I was a kid.
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What makes middle-grade books so exciting is that they are the books that carry a reader from the boundary of childhood into adult. They are bridges—doorways to something new. Mostly I write these stories for myself—the inner child that never wants to leave the stone steps. I also write for the kids that I know, like me, are dreamers, wanting to find magic in the most unlikely of places. Middle-grade books are truly written with the heart of children in mind.