I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1967, very near the small town that was the setting for my first book, Ruthie's Gift. I attended Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts, and graduated with a degree in chemistry just a few weeks before I married my high school sweetheart---Bart Bradley.
I studied chemistry in college because that was what I most loved to learn, but it's not what I most love to do, and I knew that even then. I remain always grateful that my sophomore roommate talked me into taking an Introduction to Children's Literature class, and that the teacher of that class, Patricia MacLachlan, not only encouraged my earliest writing, but helped me join a writer's group and learn both the art and the business of writing for children. (Jane Yolen ran that writer's group; I remain forever grateful to her as well.)
I worked as a freelance writer for equestrian magazines in college, and later as a part-time editor. While my husband was in medical school I worked as a research chemist, but wrote at night, on weekends, and sometimes in the very early morning---and from freelancing I moved onto ghost-writing. Fortunately, I began to get enough work that I could quit being a chemist at exactly the same time as I found out I was pregnant, with my son, Matthew, born in 1994.
Not long after that, we moved to Bristol, a small town on the Tennessee/Virginia border, where Bart joined an ophthalmology practice. Our daughter Katie was born in 1998. We live now on a 52-acre farm, with ponies, dogs, cats, sheep, goats, and lots and lots of trees. We are in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. I love it here.
RUTHIE'S GIFT, my first novel, was published by Delacorte in 1998. It won a Publisher's Weekly 'Flying Start' Award, and was on six state book award lists. Since then I've published fourteen books, in all age groups from preschool to young adult. I especially love writing historical fiction. To my great joy, my novel WEAVER'S DAUGHTER was selected by the Tennessee Library Association as the juvenile book that most represents Tennessee, for an ALA national booklist for 2005.
My most recent book is JEFFERSON'S SONS (Dial, 2011)
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley