"My father was a very unhappy person, very sarcastic, and my mother was very nervous and worried about what people thought. They weren't monsters, but it wasn't a good childhood." -- Paula Danziger
Paula Danziger (August 18, 1944 — July 8, 2004) was a U.S. children's author. She lived in New York City.
Danziger, who said she knew in the second grade that she wanted to be a writer, wrote more than 30 books, including her 1974 debut The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Remember Me to Harold Square, The Divorce Express and Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice? She was also the author of the Amber Brown and Matthew Martin series.
She was a graduate of Montclair State University, earning a bachelor's and master's there before becoming a teacher at John Adams Middle School in Edison, New Jersey. After being injured in an automobile accident, she began writing. Most of her books are considered Young Adult (YA) books, although some of the Amber Brown books were aimed at younger readers.
She has collaborated with Ann M. Martin twice, with P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More.
She frequently gave lectures and speeches, wearing elaborate costumes and calling herself a children's Dame Edna Everage. She is quoted as saying that her alternative career choice would have been as a stand-up comedian.
In the United Kingdom, she was best known for presenting a regular item about children's literature on the BBC's Saturday morning show Going Live.
Danziger died on July 8, 2004, following complications of a heart attack at the age of 59. At the time of her death, many of her books had been published in 53 countries and in 14 languages. Paula is buried in the Woodstock Artist's Cemetery in Woodstock, NY.
"At age 12, I was put on tranquilizers when I should have gotten help. There was nothing major and awful, I just didn't feel my family was supportive and emotionally generous.""I deal with unhappy marriages a lot. I've never been married, I'm single.""I didn't expect to be doing a whole bunch of Amber Browns. And because it was just one book, and the father had moved away, I didn't realize I was going to have to deal more with shared custody, divorce and all those issues.""I made the choice long ago to write about real life. And life is both serious and funny.""I think my books talk about kids learning to like and respect themselves and each other. You can't write a message book; you just tell the best story you know how to tell.""I tried to write with someone else once before, but it was not successful.""I try to be careful because technology changes so much over the years. But some things don't change. Kids and parents have disagreements, kids try to manipulate, parents try to sit down with rules and regs. That part never changes.""I want to keep meeting new people, enlarging my circle of friends. I have great friends now... really good people. But I'm always ready for what comes next.""I wish I had had my books when I was a kid, I do.""I'm very lucky. I'm very fortunate that my books have never gone out of print - none of them.""In my next life, I want to be tall and thin, parallel park and make good coffee. But for now, I have lots of stuff to work out in my life, but I'll have that until the day I die. I want to write more books.""None of my characters seem to have had sex yet - I haven't written about that. And I wouldn't want to deal with what's happening in Oregon - the school shootings.""Normally, I name my characters after famous comedians.""Sometimes it's easier to show than it is to tell.""The books are funny and sad, and that's what people respond to.""When my father would yell at me, I told myself someday I'd use it in a book."