If you’re here, perhaps you know the basics. I’m a New York Times bestselling author. My first novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, was named one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times. My second book, Night Film, was named a best book by NPR, Cosmopolitan and Bookpage, and is currently in development with Chernin Entertainment at 20th Century Fox. My books have been published in over twenty-five languages.
I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina and currently live with my family in New York City. I attended Northwestern University, where I majored in Film, then transferred to Barnard College where I majored in English Literature with a minor in Playwriting.
After graduating I was hired by PricewaterhouseCoopers as a financial consultant. In my tiny cubicle on the fifty-second floor of the Fox News Building, when my boss believed I was hard at work on PowerPoint presentations, I was actually searching the company database for cool character names for the new novel I was writing called The Anatomy of Butterflies, later retitled, Memoir of an American Girl. Two years later, after moving to London, I finished the book, which came to be known as Special Topics in Calamity Physics.
My favorite part of this job is the creation—building a universe from scratch, populating the planet with characters, landmarks, and hidden tunnels. I used to plot out my books meticulously but now I start with an evocative premise and see where it leads. I’m often asked to explain what my novels are about, but I find it difficult to answer. Writing is a meditation, a brutal trek through the wilderness, and a magic trick all at once.
I’m in awe of fearless people who build companies and outsiders who design worlds, anyone who isn’t afraid to break the mold or stand alone. People who never stop seeking the truth to the mysteries of their lives with courage, humor, and a healthy respect for murk.
A few artists who influence my work are Agatha Christie, John Hughes, Mark Twain, David Lynch, Shel Silverstein, and Truman Capote.
I love anyone who takes time out of their hectic lives to read, so I look forward to meeting you in bookstores around the world.