Nora grew up in central New York and studied painting at Yale University before heading west and taking up writing. After working her way up the left coast, she now makes her home in Portland, Oregon with two kids, two dogs and two cats. Besides reading and writing, she loves cooking, camping, and whittling spoons while dreaming of her future miniature donkey farm. A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts (Writing for Children and Young Adults), Nora is the author of Dill & Bizzy: An Odd Duck and a Strange Bird and Dill & Bizzy: Opposite Day, both published by HarperCollins, and the forthcoming Too Early (Nov 2022), published by Abrams.
Whew, now that we got that out of the way, we can get on to the….
Long Rambling List of Things About Me!
I love peanut butter and pickle sandwiches and ate them regularly as a child. Seriously, try them, they are delicious. Salty, sweet, sour, crunchy…. I want one right now!! But you have to eat them open-faced, on toast, with dill pickles. That is the Ericson Way. Peanut butter and tomato is also pretty good, but nothing beats PB&P.
I grew up in Central NY, right next the Erie Canal. Thus I’m always game to sing a few verses of the Erie Canal song: “Low bridge, everybody down….”
Speaking of barges, my sister, parents and I lived in a pretty small house when I was growing up, with one tiny and hotly disputed bathroom. There was no lock on the door and someone was always barging in on someone else. The rule was that you had to say “It’s the barge canal!” before, you know, barging. Okay, that was actually a totally boring thing to tell you. Sorry. I just didn’t want you to think my life was all amazing things like peanut butter and pickles sandwiches and Erie Canal songs.
My childhood phase of wanting to be an astronaut lasted for a really long time. All the way until college, really. I even interviewed for the Air Force Academy because I read that it was the best path to get into space. But other than my affinity for math and science, not much about me was a good fit for the Academy. (I told them I wanted to major in art and wore a some pretty funky clothes to my interview.)
I didn’t have a lot of the popular toys growing up, but my sister and I were always begging for a Barbie doll. Finally, when I was about 9 years old, my parents gave in and us each pick out one Barbie. My sister got a bride Barbie – a classic choice with long hair and a fancy dress. But I picked out a “grow and shave” Ken doll. It came with a little brown marker with which you could draw on body hair, and a little sponge “razor” to shave if off. Seriously, I’m not making this up. I don’t think they made that doll for very long, because it was, um, a bit odd. But it was the only “Barbie” I ever owned! Strange choice, Nora, strange choice.
My big sister was ALWAYS better at drawing than me (and not just because she was older.) There was a lot of “why can’t you just draw quietly like your sister?” when I did annoying things like bite all the corners off a freshly baked loaf of bread or cut the hair off our dolls. Luckily, even though my sister is super talented, she’s also super nice and she even let me live in her closet for a year after college (true story.) So even though she is STILL better at drawing (and pool, and ping pong, and house decorating, and just about everything in the world other than cooking), her skills came in pretty handy when she got to illustrate my first two books! But seriously, she’s an amazing artist: www.lisaericson.com.
There’s my sister Lisa, drawing quietly
While I’m, well, hammering things again.
Are you still here? Wow! If you actually came back from my sister’s website and are still reading this, then THANK YOU! But also, you are weird. Because she has so many pretty pictures and I just have boring bathroom stories.
My best friend Ali and I started the Brown Duck Club in the 9th grade (membership:2). There was a pond between our houses, with a small island in the center. We spent a lot of time hanging out there with the ducks and building various sailing contraptions to visit the island (which it turned out was home to some very territorial geese!) One time we even built a giant floating duck sculpture that swam around in the pond for a few days before it mysteriously disappeared. The original Odd Duck perhaps? Maybe it flew off with Strange Bird…
Proud members of the Brown Duck Club.
Which of these kids looks most likely to cause trouble?
Yup, that one!
My hair did not behave either.
Gosh I was annoying.
But hey, sometime we were cute in our matching 80s shirts!
Of course now that I’m adult, I’m much more mature and sophisticated.
I’d never bite all the corners off a freshly baked loaf of bread or barge in on anyone in the bathroom! Geesh.
No, I’m a very serious and reliable person now. I’m very good at a lot of things.