Bonnie Graves was born in Racine, Wisconsin, the setting for her tween/middle grade novel, Catch Me When I Fall. A tomboy with an active imagination, she loved running barefoot, climbing trees, and building forts in the woods near her grandparents’ farm. When she was nine, her family moved to southern California where she continued her tomboy ways with her boy cousins and their friends, who welcomed her into their rough and tumble world. But then something new and exciting happened – she discovered the magic of stage and screen and her imagination turned in another direction. She started writing plays, producing them in her family’s garage, complete with a stage, lights and costumes, for friends and neighbors or whomever else she could convince to buy a ticket.
In high school and college she dabbled in writing short stories and poems (very bad ones as Bonnie recollects) admiring those writers whose works she read as an English major at Long Beach State College. It wasn’t until she married, taught elementary school, and had two beautiful daughters that she sold her first short stories. It took many more years of writing and submitting and collecting a truckload (Bonnie’s modest estimate) of rejections before she sold her first three chapter books to Disney/Hyperion (coincidentally, her first job as a teen was at Disneyland).
Over the course of her writing career, Bonnie has written or co-authored twenty books (chapter books, non-fiction and textbooks) and has received recognition and awards for her work from the Minnesota Arts Board, the Loft Literary Center, the Society of Book Writers and Illustrators, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and the South Carolina Library Association.
Bonnie currently lives with her husband on the edge of a park reserve in Bloomington, MN where she enjoys hiking, biking and x-c skiing but, unfortunately, no barefoot tree-climbing.