Best subject in school: "Math. That makes me sound so geeky. And biology. You got to do these really cool experiments with flies, and we never had to dissect anything. And I liked drama. . . . I can still recite 'The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere' and I can sing the theme songs to all my favorite [TV] shows."

Favorite book: "I love the Oz books. I read them all over and over and over. You'd get into this whole different world and there were adventures and the kids were heroes and you'd meet these crazy creatures."

Worst subject in school: "Chemistry. It was so hard. Thank God for David Fishberg. Must I go further? He was my lab partner. He 'helped out' -- it was a beautiful thing. I think he became a doctor. He was so darn smart."

Idea of a perfect day: "Good food. Go out and do something I've never done before. French fries, extra crispy. Great movie, with popcorn. Spend time with good friends."

Pets: Two cats. "One comes into my office every morning and bats all my pens and [eye]glasses off my desk. That's Shadow. Rayne is a great mouser but she's also a lazy bum."

Susan Goodman's next book is on skyscrapers.