Ellen Potter
Like my character, Olivia Kidney, I grew up in a high-rise apartment building in New York City’s Upper West Side. In fact, the idea for Olivia Kidney came from a game I used to play when I was about eight or nine years old. I would watch people in the building’s elevator (most of whom I knew nothing about) and make up crazy stories about their apartments. There was one woman, for instance, who was sort of chubby and always cheerful, so I imagined that she lived in an apartment made entirely of chocolate! I imagined that her walls were made of chocolate, so she could lick them, and her furniture was chocolate, and she had a chocolate refrigerator that only contained chocolate eggs and chocolate milk. And if she got hungry in the middle of the night, she could nibble on her bed.

I remember the exact moment when I knew, without a doubt, that I wanted to be a writer. I was eleven years old and I was in my school library, strolling through the aisles, trying to decide what to read next. Should it be A Wrinkle in Time? Or maybe Harriet the Spy. In a flash, I decided that the best books in the world were written for eleven-year-olds! Sadly, my twelfth birthday was just around the corner. So I reasoned that the only thing to do was to grow up and write books for eleven-year-olds. Which is pretty much what happened (after many years and piles of rejections letters).

I studied creative writing at Binghamton University. After graduating I worked many different jobs while I continued to write. I was a dog groomer, a construction worker, an art teacher, and a waitress. Having lots of different jobs is a terrific advantage for a writer. Because of them, I know all kinds of oddball things, which I’ve used in my books, like how to remove bubble gum from a dog’s fur (peanut butter). In fact, it was while I was addressing envelopes during a boring stint as a receptionist that a name caught my eye: Olivia Kidney. What a great name, I thought! I jotted it down in my journal. Years later, while thumbing through my old journals, I spotted the name and decided it was perfect for the feisty twelve-year-old heroine of my first children’s book.

These days, my husband and I live in upstate New York with our new baby boy and a motley assortment of badly behaved animals.

For more information visit www.ellenpotter.com.

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cover_9781400099160

Author: Ellen Potter | Narrator: Tara Sands
Release Date: April 26, 2005
If you thought Olivia Kidney's last apartment building was weird, wait until you see her new home. A lagoon in the living room. A room in which a person's every thought can be heard. Strangers showing up at all hours of the night to practice bumping into walls.
cover_9781400099160

cover_9780807216309
Author: Ellen Potter | Narrator: Tara Sands
Release Date: May 13, 2003
Olivia Kidney’s new apartment building is crazy. Talking lizards crawling everywhere. An exiled princess haunting the hallways. A tropical rain forest growing in 7B. Even an apartment made entirely of glass. Maybe Olivia’s father will get fired from his job as the building super, as he always does, and they can leave.
cover_9780807216309