David Elliott says, "Before I began writing THE COOL CRAZY CRICKETS, I spent a lot of time eavesdropping on my son and his friends."He advises readers who want to writers to "develop the fine art of eavesdropping. Stare into space like you are thinking about something really important. Then, slowly lean in the direction of the people you are spying on. Try not to get caught. Some people don't like it." Paul Meisel spends his days drawing in his "clubhouse" in Newtown, Connecticut, where he lives with his wife, three sons, and the "mascot," Rusty, a Brittany spaniel.