I grew up in a rather bland suburban development, not unlike the settings in my books. It was a place that, perhaps because of the sameness of all the houses, often made me feel different, out of place and lonely.
In particular, there’s a scene in the opening of Cut where the main character, Callie, is coming home in the dark and sees ‘houses with windows of square yellow light where the mothers are inside making dinner, and houses with windows of square blue light where the kids are inside watching TV.’
This is a memory straight out of my childhood from a lonely night where I was on the outside looking in on homes that seemed perfectly ordinary and therefore perfect.
Patricia McCormick, a two-time National Book Award finalist, is the author of five critically acclaimed novels – Never Fall Down, a novel based on the true story of an 11-year-old boy who survived the Killing Fields of Cambodia by playing music; Purple Heart, a suspenseful psychological novel that explores the killing of a 10-year-old boy in Iraq; Sold, a deeply moving account of sexual trafficking; My Brother’s Keeper, a realistic view of teenage substance abuse; and Cut, an intimate portrait of one girl’s struggle with self-injury.
McCormick grew up in central Pennsylvania, went to Catholic grade school, high school, then Rosemont College. She worked as an assistant press secretary to the Governor of Pennsylvania from 1974-78, then went to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. McCormick worked as a reporter for daily newspapers, and went into magazine journalism where she wrote book and movie reviews. McCormick studied fiction writing at The New School in New York City and went on to publish critically acclaimed books for young adults.
Never Fall Down was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2012 and was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2012. It was also named a Best Book of the Year by iTunes, The Huffington Post, School Library Journal and the Chicago Public Library.
McCormick was named a New York Foundation on the Arts fellow in 2004 and a MacDowell fellow in 2009. She is also the winner of the 2009 German Peace Prize for Youth Literature.
McCormick currently lives Manhattan.