For years Laurie Halse Anderson had loved writing, but had considered it little more than a hobby. It eventually dawned on her that people would pay her to write and she became a freelance journalist. In 1999, she wrote what is arguably her most famous novel, Speak, which won numerous awards and was a New York Times bestseller. Speak was adapted into a film in 2004.
Read more on her website at http://www.writerlady.com/