Michele Weber Hurwitz
Michele is the author of four middle grade novels - Ethan Marcus Makes His Mark, Ethan Marcus Stands Up (both Simon & Schuster), The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days, and Calli Be Gold (both Random House). Her books have been nominated for many state reading awards, received several honors, and have been translated into other languages. She loves to write about underdog type kids who do big things.
Michele lives in the Chicago area with her family. Her three children think her most amazing talent is that she can tell the difference between pink and white Good 'n Plentys while chewing them with her eyes closed. She loves to travel, most recently visiting Portugal, France, and England.
I majored in journalism in college, then worked as a newspaper columnist and in public relations. Later, when I was in mother-daughter book clubs with my daughters, I fell in love with the middle grade genre and was inspired to write a book for this audience. I think the books for this age are particularly poignant and meaningful -- those we remember all of our lives -- because this is when we're starting to figure out who we are and how we fit in the world. I love portraying the bravery, emotion, and questioning that occurs in middle graders.
I hope readers take away the notion that they are important, and have a say in what matters. In all of my stories, the main characters come to realize that they can make a difference by their actions, big or small, and they have a voice.
I'm inspired by so many things around me. I'm always jotting down ideas for scenes, bits of overheard dialogue, or a description of a person who might inspire a character. My stories then become woven threads of these thoughts. I spend a good deal of time thinking about a book before I actually write it. When I'm stuck, I've found that walking or hiking helps my creative process, so I carry a notepad with me. The Ethan Marcus books were partly inspired by my son, who once told me his brain works better when he's moving, not sitting at a desk.
I love to travel. I've been to 40 U.S. states and hope to visit all of them. I'm not a very good cook but I'll eat chocolate any time of day or night. I never learned how to swim very well but I love being by the ocean or a lake, as water is also a source of inspiration for me. I also like to bike ride. I did the New York City Five Boro Bike Tour a few years ago, as well as a 25-mile ride in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood last summer.