I’ve always been a writer but for a long time school got in the way. A looong time, also known as graduate school. After completing a Ph.D. in French literature and teaching at various schools for a few years, I did an about-face. I left a solid tenure-track university position in the east and headed west to uncertainty, nicer weather, and lots of diaper-changing. (See “I Used to Be a French Professor”).

Shortly after leaving academia, I started writing again. Maybe it was the weather. More likely it was the books I was reading and the stories I was telling to my daughter, but when I started writing again, the stories that came out weren’t about French literature with its hunchbacks and disillusioned married women (I love those books) but about kids. Kids having adventures, kids solving problems, kids dreaming dreams, kids looking for runaway pajamas that have taken refuge in an underground jazz club. (That one is still in the drawer, but dear to my heart.)

I write about real stuff. Yeah, the stuff may involve ghosts, exploding cakes, or ballet-teaching bats, but the fabric it’s made of–the emotion, the thoughts, the trials and the heart–that’s all real. Kids know that about the world. They know that about stories.

I do also write about real real stuff–the observable world, past and present. I especially enjoy making history come alive, and digging up funny, quirky nuggets of fact that make the dusty, hoary past feel like a really interesting neighbor who you just learned does underwater tango. Really? The VW bug was commissioned by Hitler and adapted for military use in World War II? Yes, it was. And they even made an amphibian model equipped with paddles. Did you know that it used to be fashionable to tour the Paris sewers in special boats and partake in rat-hunting parties? I’m not making this stuff up.

Other stuff I’m not making up: I’m a homeschooling parent. I’ve lived in the UK and in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am currently living in Virginia, where I have a vegetable garden that looks like a cemetery.

Stuff I AM making up: my current work-in-progress is a Middle Grade novel about a 12-year old girl with a debilitating condition and an unusual name. Gravity’s last hope to lead a normal life lies with a magical place called The Midnight Playground. But after uncovering the Playground’s secret mission, Gravity realizes that it must be destroyed, and that only she has the power to do it.

I am available for freelance work and for school visits to talk about writing non-fiction and other oddities. Connect with me on Twitter @feecaro or email author {at} carolynfay.com.