Alyssa Sheinmel is the bestselling author of R.I.P. Eliza Hart, Faceless, and Second Star.
I still remember the very first chapter book I ever read—The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo, by Judy Blume. Before long, reading was my favorite thing in the world. I loved it so much that when there was nothing to read, I wrote my own stories just to give myself something to read. And when there was no pen and paper to be had, I just made up stories in my head.
When I was eleven years old, I began going to a new school in New York City. The teachers there were very supportive of my reading and writing. One teacher there encouraged me to read F. Scott Fitzgerald, and another introduced me to magical realism, and another tried to convince me that there was more to Ernest Hemingway than lessons in fly fishing. (She was right, of course.) And still another let me write a sequel to one of my favorite novels and call it a school project, even though I would have done in my spare time just for the fun of it.