The short version: Blair Thornburgh writes books for and about smart teenagers. Her first book, Stuff Every College Student Should Know, came out from Quirk Books in 2014 and makes a great gift. Her first novel, Who’s That Girl, will be published by HarperCollins in 2017. She lives in Philadelphia.
The Extended Edition™:
I was born in Philadelphia at the tail end of the ’80s to a pair of preppies-turned-yuppies with adorable matching sweaters (one of which my dad still owns. Yes: he has a sweater that is older than his eldest child. That sweater could’ve voted four years before I could!)
I didn’t speak English until I was almost two and a half, but I had a great made-up language that I would shout from the top of the stump in our backyard and scare the feral cats.
Despite a really gnarly peanut allergy, a congenital heart murmur, and an unfortunate twirling-in-the-living-room incident that ended with five stitches, I had a great childhood. One time, my mom built my sister and me an indoor playhouse out of a refrigerator box. Another time, my grandmother sewed me a complete tiny Amishwoman outfit for our first grade barn raising, and I used to play in it after school until it got too small. I fell asleep with books in my bed a lot. I cried a lot. I sang a lot in the church choir. I caught the bouquet at my aunt’s wedding reception but remained mysteriously unmarried. In fifth grade, I wrote a story about a lady knight and shape-shifting evil trees. In eighth grade, I spent a lot of time playing Neopets and burning my forehead with my hair straightener. Needless to say, I was not a popular child.
In high school, I managed to talk myself out of some boring classes (9th grade History, Advanced Calculus, and gym, which I had to forge a signature for. DO NOT TELL ANYONE AT GERMANTOWN FRIENDS SCHOOL) so I could take more Latin and French. No regrets. I also had the best group of friends who would stage a DIY Thanksgiving feast once a year in the math department just because we liked food and each other.
I went to college at the University of Chicago because it had a big scavenger hunt and nowhere else accepted me. I majored in Medieval Studies because I adore everything pre-Columbian and wanted to read as many dead languages as possible. I got some new friends who also regularly gathered to eat food and laugh. In 2012, I graduated and delivered a commencement speech to at least 5,000 people—which should have made me want to barf, but my speech was about how much I love my friends, so it was easy to deliver.
Now, I live in Philadelphia again and work as an editor. I write and blog and occasionally teach. Life is grand.