Heather Vogel Frederick
Reading to my cousin Mark
reading to my cousin Mark
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Before I became a writer, I was a reader—and still am.

I was born in Peterborough, New Hampshire into a family of bookworms, and spent most of my childhood holed up in the library or in my bedroom, reading. My mother used to say that if Heather had her nose in a book, the house would have to burn down around her before she'd sit up and take notice! Those are the best books, though, aren't they? The ones that take your imagination by storm and spirit you off into a different world?

My father was an elementary schoolteacher and principal, and every night before bed he'd read to me and my two younger sisters. He's a talented actor (he performs in plays on Cape Cod all the time) and always came up with great voices for the characters. I think his finest role was as Aunt Sponge in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, performed in our living room.

I was also fortunate enough to be born into a family of what my grandmother called “big talkers”—talented storytellers, especially the women. I loved to hide behind chairs and sofas when my mother and grandmother and aunts got together and eavesdrop on their stories. My grandmother's were the funniest and the best, and I begged to hear about her childhood in rural Nova Scotia over and over again.

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