When I was little, my stepfather told me and my older brother wonderful bedtime stories. His made-up characters were animals with traits remarkably like ours (the rabbit was a sore loser like me, the long-horned steer a slob like my brother). My brother was also a good storyteller, spinning yarns to entertain me in the morning before our parents woke up. In fact, I was surrounded by storytelling. 

Our parents made a deal with us that if we read a book, they would buy us a new one, and so, being acquisitive, I read voraciously. Plus, there was theater galore. In Burlington, Vermont, where we lived till I was eleven, my stepfather was head of the drama department at the University, where he directed all sorts of plays, from musical comedies to Greek tragedies. In the summers he started a professional Shakespeare Festival, and later, when we moved to Seattle, Washington, he founded a theater for contemporary plays. So my developing an interest in storytelling probably wasn’t all that surprising. I studied literature at Stanford University and then made my way to New York City to try my hand at writing.

Four years later I sold my first novel, and it helped pay the bills a bit . . . so did driving a cab, working in a bookstore, waiting tables, and tending bar. In the ensuing years I’ve published a dozen novels for young readers, and one for adults. They’ve been translated into a dozen languages and graced by some wonderful illustrators, including Jon Agee, Fred Marcellino, David Hockney, Peter McCarty, Brett Helquist, Brian Selznick, and Brock Cole. For the last decade I’ve taught in the MFA writing program at the New School University. My next book, FIRSTBORN, is about wolves, but it just so happens to coincide with a firstborn of my own—my wonderful daughter, Annabel. I still live in New York City, with her and my partner. 

My books for young readers: THE DULCIMER BOY (Washington State Author’s Award; A Children’s Book of the Year in England); TERPIN (A New York Times Notable Book); A RAT’S TALE (A Publishers Weekly & Library of Congress Notable Book, Children’s Book of the Year in The Netherlands, a Warner Brothers motion picture); THE TAR PIT; THE WAINSCOTT WEASEL (An ALA Notable Book, a Publishers Weekly Pick of the List, a Parents’ Choice Story Book Award); THE SILENT SPILLBILLS; MEAN MARGARET (A National Book Award finalist, a Publishers Weekly & School Library Journal Best Book); THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER (retold for Fred Marcellino’s picture book); THE REVENGE OF RANDAL REESE-RAT; BROTHERS BELOW ZERO; BRAINBOY AND THE DEATHMASTER (A Parents’ Choice Gold Award); TOES (A Parents’ Choice Silver Award); and GULLY’S TRAVELS (Literary Guild Pick).

Tor Seidler is represented by Holly McGhee.
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