The BEAT listens to some 'ghost stories' from this year's Children's Writer in Residence - Kristen Kittscher.

The Thurber House Residency in Children's Literature offers talented writers a month-long retreat in the furnished third-floor apartment of Thurber House. Besides having time to focus on his/her own writing project, each resident spends up to ten hours per week teaching children the joys of writing in both a community-based agency and as part of the Thurber House Summer Writing Camp for children.

This year's writer is Kristen Kittscher. She is a former seventh grade English teacher and author of The Wig in the Window, the first in a funny new middle grade mystery series published byHarper Children's in 2013. Hailed by Kirkus as "a thrilling debut" and by Publishers Weekly for its "perceptiveness, honesty, and well-targeted humor," The Wig in the Window was a Southern California Indie bestseller and earned a starred review from School Library Journal.

Kristen drew upon her memories of playing childhood spy games to write the debut, which recounts the adventures of Sophie Young and Grace Yang, two twelve-year-old best friends and who think their school counselor is a dangerous fugitive…and might be right!

Officially a native of Pittsburgh, Kristen grew up in over thirteen cities -- including San Francisco, Reno, London, and Dallas. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in Comparative Literature and worked as a story editor in Hollywood before becoming a teacher. A contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Rumpus, Kristen is a frequent presenter at schools, libraries, and festivals and is very active in promoting community literacy initiatives in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, Kai.