Marti Leimbach is known for her bestsellers, Dying Young, made into a film starring Julia Roberts, and Daniel Isn’t Talking. She is interested in neurodiversity and has shared the stage with young inventors at the Human Genome Project (Toronto), the National Autistic Society, and the University of Oxford. Her interest in science influenced her YA thriller, Dragonfly Girl.
She teaches on the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. Dragonfly Girl is her eighth novel, but her first for young adults.
A little more, if you’re interested…
My first novel, Dying Young, was a number 5 New York Times Bestseller and made into a film starring Julia Roberts. The book was also once on the TV show, Frasier! I wrote it by hand on notepaper or on one of the terminals in a computer laboratory while I was a master’s student at the University of California, Irvine.
The novel, Daniel Isn’t Talking, is based very loosely on my experience as a young mother with a son with autism. It was a terrifying time during which I mostly taught my son, hour by hour, how to communicate and play. Once he was in primary school I returned to writing and along came Daniel Isn’t Talking. I sometimes think I should write a non-fiction follow on book called Daniel Speaks Greek, because my once non-verbal son now speaks many languages, including modern Greek. His favourite thing is travelling and learning about other cultures. His amazing brain sparked my interest in neurodiversity and neuro-inclusion.
My son’s unusual mind sparked my interest in science, especially the incredible inventiveness of our youngest scientists. I began writing Dragonfly Girl after having a vivid dream about being able to bring back the recently dead and how it changed everything, including our notion of what death is. I became obsessed with its characters and have a finished manuscript if the sequel, Academy One.
If you read the book and wonder if I like rats, the answer is yes. I breed fancy rats as part of the National Fancy Rat Society, UK!