Gennifer Choldenko

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Where were you born?
Santa Monica, California
Q: How many kids were in your family?
Four. I was the youngest in my family and the youngest of all my cousins. My nicknames were: Snot-Nose, Short Stuff, and Shrimp.
Q: Do you have kids?
Yes. I have two terrific kids: a son, Ian, age 22, and a daughter, Kai, age 17.
Q: Do you have any pets?
I have one German Shepherd dog named Sasha. She has a secret life as a Russian princess. When we are gone, she conducts royal business from on top of the sofa, surrounded by paskha and pirozhki.
Q: Where do you live?
I live in the San Francisco Bay area.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas from lots of different places. One idea isn't usually enough to build a book around, but that first "starter" idea gets things moving. The starter idea for Notes From a Liar and Her Dog woke me up in the middle of the night. I don't honestly know where it came from. The starter idea for Al Capone Does My Shirts came from a newspaper article. The idea for Chasing Secrets came from a nonfiction book about rats which mentioned a plague outbreak in San Francisco in 1900. The idea for 1/3 Nerd came to me when I was having trouble with the revision of another novel. As one of my best friends said: Not many people procrastinate by writing a whole other book. Often ideas come out of an obsessive interest in a subject. Right now, I have four novels under contract, so I’m working on all cylinders. But in the back of my mind where there are a lot of loose mechanical parts, a fifth novel idea is forming.
Q: What are some of your favorite books?
The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 Harriet the Spy On My HonorHoles by Louis Sachar

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963
by Christopher Paul Curtis

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

The Golden Compass by Roald Dahl

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay

Young Adult favorites
A Step from HeavenSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

A Step From Heaven by An Na

how i live now by Meg Rosoff

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

True Confessions of a Heartless Girl by Martha Brooke

Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

 

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