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  • Girl-Stolen

April Henry

As a child

I grew up in a small town in southwest Oregon. I always wondered if somewhere a girl who secretly loved to hunt and fish was growing up in a city. Reading was by far my favourite activity. When I was 12, I sent Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a short story about a frog named Herman who loved peanut butter. Dahl not only sent me a postcard telling me how much he loved the story, he also shared it with the editor of the Puffin Post, a children’s magazine. She contacted me and asked to publish it.

As an adult

I graduated from Oregon State University, with a major in business and a minor in labor relations. I have no idea why I chose that as a minor, since union negotiations usually involve the two things I hate most in the world: arguing and cigarette smoke. While going to school, I lived in Germany for six months. I worked my way through college and graduated during an earlier recession. As a result, I held a number of odd jobs: natural food store clerk, maid, life drawing model, German translator and data entry person. I was even once the girl who jumps out of the oversized cake. I finally got a good job in public relations and decided I wanted to try to write. It took me years - and four books - before I sold a book, but that book sold in three days. So it was like the seven-year overnight success.

Things you didn’t know about April Henry

  1. One of my best friends is a woman I have never met in person. We email each other all the time, though.
  2. I can't parallel park.
  3. My maternal great-grandfather was part of an arson gang.
  4. My paternal great-grandfather gunned down my grandmother's boyfriend for kissing her. (A long-hidden family secret I uncovered just two years ago and that will probably make its way into a book.)
  5. I took kajukenbo for two years and am now taking kung fu.
  6. I speak German (slowly and with mistakes). And I know some sign language.
  7. I'm pretty sure no one noticed me in high school.
  8. I can make a cloverleaf shape with my tongue. It's supposed to be some rare genetic trait. When my kid showed me she could do it, I tried and tried until I could too.
  9. In high school I was a pretty good belly dancer.

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