My Biography

I have been writing since before I could read. My mother told me that at the age of two, I would come to her and say, "Write this down. I have a poem." While I was growing up, I wanted to write the kinds of books I loved to read: stories that made me laugh or cry, and mysteries � especially mysteries. When I was grown and became a published author of books for young people, my dream came true. Writing fiction is my idea of the most wonderful job in the world, and I love it.

I was first published when I was ten. A poem I wrote appeared in a children's magazine. I sold my first article to a magazine when I was seventeen. I majored in journalism at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, but there were few jobs at the time for journalists, so I took a temporary job teaching kindergarten and first grade in the Los Angeles city schools. I enjoyed teaching so much I went to night school and took the courses I'd need for my credentials.

My husband and I have four children, and when they were young I had only one day a week in which someone could watch the preschoolers and I could write. I discovered that you never find time to write. You make time.

In 1964 my first book was published, and in 1994 my 100th book was published. I've won lots of awards for my books. Among them are four Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America, two Spurs from Western Writers of America, and eighteen awards from various states that invite kids to vote for their favorite books. But the greatest rewards I've received are the letters I get from young people in high school or middle school who write letters like this: "I hated to read. But my teacher gave me one of your mysteries, and I loved it. I'm going to read everything you've ever written." My favorite letter was from a ninth-grade girl who wrote, "Thank you for the gift of reading." You can't beat an award like that.

" | Mystery Writing with Joan Lowery Nixon |" was written in 2001. Scholastic regrets to inform users that Ms. Nixon died on June 28, 2003.