Allison van Diepen
Born in 1977, Allison grew up in Canada's capital city, Ottawa. It's a beautiful city with lots of historic landmarks, parks, and cute guys in baseball caps. In her pre-teen years, Allison was a voracious reader, and it wasn't long before she started writing stories of her own. At fourteen, she wrote her first full-length novel.
In high school, she began writing mini-romances featuring her friends and their favorite celebrities. The stories became popular and classmates started paying her to write them. After several months, Allison decided to stop taking orders in order to focus on her own fiction.
Allison attended Carleton University in the English program, but quickly switched to History, because she found most of the books she was supposed to read boring, and the task of analyzing them even more boring. She excelled in History, and spent the last year of her undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, though she admits that a good deal of that time was spent in pubs and coffeehouses and cheesy dance clubs.
Allison is an optimistic person despite the fact that trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes. In Scotland, she was an extra on the set of the film House of Mirth when her dress caught fire and she had to STOP, DROP and ROLL. (At least it earned her special treatment on the set along with the nickname FIREBALL.) Always charitable, Allison volunteered at a distress center taking phone calls from troubled youth, only to be kicked out for refusing to lie to callers about their conversations being recorded.
Her pursuit of trouble didn't end there. After finishing teacher's college she decided to find the most pleasant, serene place to begin her teaching career: Brooklyn, New York. She taught at Sheepshead Bay High School for 3.5 years and managed to survive riots, death threats and assaults (if being pelted with coffee constitutes an assault), while still being a well-liked teacher called V Dep.
While teaching in Brooklyn, she began writing teen fiction. She wanted to write the sort of gritty story that would appeal to her students. Three years later, Street Pharm was sold to Simon and Schuster.
Since then, Allison has returned to Canada. She teaches at an alternative high school, and continues to write novels for teens.
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