I was born on Long Island and grew up on a street called Salem Court. This probably influenced my interest in witches. When I was five, my mom said I should be an author. And when I was eight, I got my first rejection letter from Highlights Magazine.
I learned to read early. But I compensated for this early proficiency by absolutely refusing to read the programmed readers required by the school system -- workbooks where you read the story, then answered the questions. When the other kids were on Book 20, I was on Book 1! My teacher, Mrs. Zeiser, told my mother, "Alexandra marches to her own drummer." I don't think that was supposed to be a good thing.
My family moved to Miami when I was in middle school. I had a really hard time making friends, so I spent a lot of time reading and writing then. By high school, I'd made some friends and gotten involved in various "gifted and talented" performing arts programs. I studied opera in college (I'm a coloratura -- the really loud, high-pitched sopranos.) and then went to law school.
It was law school that probably helped with my first novel. Breathing Underwater deals with the serious and all-too-common problem of dating violence. I based the book on my experiences interning with the State Attorney's Office and volunteering with battered women. I thought this was a really important topic, as 27 percent of teenage girls surveyed have been hit by a boyfriend. I'm happy that the book is so popular, and if you are reading this bio because the book was assigned for school, I'm happy about that too.
I think I write for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I’m continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy. It’s a way of going back to being thirteen knowing what I know now.
Right now, I live half a mile away from my old middle school, in Palmetto Bay, a suburb of Miami, with my husband, daughters, dogs, and cats.