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Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of several acclaimed books for young readers, developed an interest in writing children's literature at a young age. She was "Dear Gabby" for her sixth grade newspaper, and she edited her junior high and high school newspapers. Following graduation from journalism school at the University of Kansas and from Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, she began writing fiction. She is recipient of the 2001 Wordcraft Circle Award for children's literary prose. Her latest novel, "Tantalize "(Candlewick, 2007), marks her debut as an author of dark fantasy for young adults. A tribal member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, she lives in Austin, Texas.