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One of the most valuable pieces of writing advice Marilyn Hilton ever heard was, "Throw your heart into the air and see where it lands." For Marilyn, that place is middle grade children's literature, where she can explore with readers the vast and varied landscape of the human heart, its delights and longings, and its sweet and complicated connections to others and the world.

Marilyn grew up in New England, where she graduated from University of Massachusetts with a BA in Japanese. She then lived in Kyoto for a year, where she studied the Japanese tea ceremony and wore kimono every day, and learned what it was like to live in another culture. Later she moved to Northern California, where she worked as a technical writer for software companies and attended graduate school. While Marilyn studied for her MA degree for creative writing, she lived in England for six months, bought a house, married a wonderful man, and had two baby girls. Their third baby, a boy, came after graduation. She has kept a daily diary for several years, because often what may seem ordinary alone is extraordinary in the weave, and because sometimes she forgets to say "I love you."

All during this time, Marilyn wrote stories and articles and columns and poems for all kinds of readers. She wrote a nonfiction book for tween girls, and then another. Finally, distracted by all the possibilities but feeling drawn toward the particular, she threw her heart into the air, and ever since has been delighted at where it landed.

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