The short version:

In addition to writing books for teenagers, her favorite people, Nicole Kronzer is a high school English teacher and former professional actor. She loves to knit and run (usually not at the same time), and has named all the plants in her classroom. She lives with her family in Minneapolis.

photo credit: Dawn Busch

photo credit: Dawn Busch

Here’s the long version!

I’m originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin where I grew up with a mom and a dad and two younger sisters. Also a dog and a pair of cats and a really robust goldfish named Harold that lived for way longer than he should have. (Like 10 years. Seriously. What’s in the water in Eau Claire?)

When I look back on my childhood, I wrote for fun a lot, but as an extrovert, I didn’t notice how prevalent it was in my life because it was always this quiet thing I did. The louder, noisier things (theatre, band, raising my hand in class á la Hermione Granger), got more of my attention and identity.

I went to college in Stevens Point, Wisconsin and graduated with a BFA in Theatre. If I could go back in time, I’d pick Point all over again.

After college, I moved to Minneapolis and worked as an actor for five years. Most of my income came from performing and teaching improv, but I was also in a bunch of plays, designed costumes, dialect coached, and did one local commercial voice-over which ran long enough for my first few years of students to say, “Oh yeah…that was you?”

I was getting work, but as much as I loved theatre, there were some lifestyle things that didn’t jive with my personality like staying up late and not knowing where my next job was coming from. Once, I was in a sketch comedy show that had two shows on Saturday nights, then after the second show, we’d do an hour of improv. My director said, “If you don’t feel like you have to throw up at the end of the night, you haven’t worked hard enough.” I remember thinking, “This…might not be for me.”

But I stayed long enough to meet my husband. Yay!

I’d always wanted to teach, so I went to grad school at the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities, and they turned me into an English teacher.

Armed with my brand-new Masters of Education in Communications, Arts, & Literature, I started teaching Creative Writing and English at a high school just north of Minneapolis. I took my improv skills and ease in front of a crowd with me, and then fell in love with diving into books and writing with teenagers. Partly, I loved the transition into teaching because it was like acting but without all the auditioning and staying up late. But swiftly, I realized I loved teaching because of just how truly great teenagers are. Of course we all have our good and bad moments, but overall, my students are optimistic about their futures and it’s intoxicating to be with all that hope. Teenagers make me believe I can have that bright future, too.

In the middle of all that teaching, Danny and I had two daughters. Turns out, when two comedians have kids, those kids are hilarious. I recommend it.

When the girls were three and six, I started writing a novel. My second novel got me an agent, and so now here I am: a teacher and an author. It’s pretty great.