Laura McGee Kvasnosky began her writing career at age eight, sharpening pencils for her editor father. But what really set her on her way to becoming an author and illustrator was something that happened in third grade: her family moved. “I was the new kid in school,” she says. “As an outsider looking in, I developed observation skills. I made up tremendous stories in hopes of attracting friends. I developed a keen understanding of the blend of fact and fiction a good ‘believable’ story requires.”
Laura McGee Kvasnosky grew up as the middle child in a family of five children, an experience she compares to “growing up in a summer camp.” Being part of a big family has influenced what she chooses to write about, she says, and her own two children are also the source of many stories. But it was not until her youngest child was about to enter high school that she decided to try creating children’s books, a lifelong dream that until then “was just one of those things I never had the bravery for.” Now, more than a decade later, she says writing and illustrating children’s literature is her “dream job,” where “the experiences I value most—nurturing a family, writing, graphic design, painting, reading—all meet in this one enterprise.”
Laura McGee Kvasnosky has published twelve books for young readers, including Frank and Izzy Set Sail: an engaging, amusing tale about appreciating differences that illustrates the fine art of being a good friend—and still being yourself. “I identify with many of the characteristics of Izzy,” Laura McGee Kvasnosky admits, “while my husband takes after Frank. We’re still practicing our ukuleles for the Talent Show.” She is also the author-illustrator of a popular series of books about two young fox sisters: Zelda and Ivy; Zelda and Ivy and the Boy Next Door; Zelda and Ivy One Christmas; and Zelda And Ivy: The Runaways, winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award..
Besides creating her own books, Laura McGee Kvasnosky visits schools to teach children how to create characters and tell their own life stories, then helps them make their stories into books. “Our lives are full of stuff to write about,” she says. “It’s great to see how kids take to it—it warms my heart. Plus, I just love to talk about writing.” Laura McGee Kvasnosky lives in Seattle, Washington.