The short version: Steve Brezenoff is the author of young adult novels Guy in Real Life; The Absolute Value of -1; and Brooklyn, Burning, as well as dozens of chapter books for younger readers. He grew up on Long Island, spent his twenties in Brooklyn, and now lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Beth, who is also a writer for children, and their children Sam and Etta.
You can have a look at some of Steve’s work for younger readers, including the popular Field Trip Mysteries and Ravens Pass series, here.
The long version: I (please pardon the awkward shift into first person) was born in Queens, NY, in 1974 to a mother and father named Geri and Jerry. How weird is that?
We moved to the suburbs on Long Island* a few years later, to a town called Roslyn, where I grew up only slightly and considered many possible careers, including the mundane (chef, artist, writer) and the very mundane (English teacher). It was in that house in Roslyn, in seventh grade (my brother was in tenth and handed me a little red book that had been our father’s), that I read The Catcher in the Rye, and thought, Heck, I could do this. No, I should do this! Then, I forgot all about that and moved to Binghamton! Actually, there’s a university there, and that’s where I went. We used to call it SUNY Binghamton. Now they call it Binghamton University. They’ve also apparently built a whole mess of new buildings, and I wonder if the campus still looks like a brain and brain stem from the sky. Moving on.
After college, I had all kinds of jobs. There was music publicist, music journalist, bank customer service phone answerer, office manager, pizza deliverer, assistant editor, production editor, copy editor, and singer in a heavy metal band (for which I never got paid). I finally gave all that up and resigned myself to being a writer.
I’m kidding, obviously. It’s my life-long dream and has come true.
During those post-college years, I mostly lived in Brooklyn. Also in Queens and New Jersey and on a couch on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but mostly in Brooklyn**. Brooklyn’s a big place. Now, though, I’ve left New York far behind and am living in Minnesota***, with my wife, Beth–who writes for children under her maiden name Bracken–and our son, Sam, and our daughter, Etta, which I totally told you already in the short version. Come on, people. Let’s pay a little closer attention, shall we?
*Shockingly, this is the setting for The Absolute Value of -1
**A little less shocking now that you’re ready for this, but Brooklyn is the setting for my second young adult novel, Brooklyn, Burning.
***You undoubtedly saw this one coming, but book three (Guy In Real Life) takes place in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I lived for five years before settling in Minneapolis.