"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, November 10, 2014

29. Michelle Knudsen

Brooklyn, New York · Arts and Sciences

Name at Cornell

Michelle (Mikki) Knudsen

Twitter: www.twitter.com/michelleknudsen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michelleknudsen.author

Tell us about what you're doing with your life.

I'm the author of more than 40 books for children and teenagers, including the New York Times best-selling picture book LIBRARY LION. My newest book (September 2014) is the young adult novel EVIL LIBRARIAN—a funny, creepy, paranormal, musical-theater-horror-romance adventure, about which Kirkus said, “The spirit of Buffy is alive and kicking in this bloody debut for teens ... snappily narrated, tightly plotted and generally just right.” I also do some freelance editing and teach occasional writing classes.

What was your favorite class at Cornell, or the one you found the most useful?

I have very fond memories of many of my English seminars, especially the smaller ones that involved strange and interesting books I never would have come across on  my own. I learned a lot from both the essays and the class discussions. The English program in general was wonderful, and helped prepare me for my work as an editor and writer and for going on to get my MFA several years later.

What advice would you give to a student starting at Cornell this year?

Take advantage of as much of what Cornell has to offer as you can! It can be a little daunting at the start, but the more involved you are with both your classes and your extracurriculars, the more people you'll connect with and the more supported and fulfilled you'll feel throughout your Cornell experience. Also, invest in a really good pair of winter boots. I *still* have the boots I bought the summer before my freshman year (in 1991!) and they made walking across those icy bridges in the winter a lot less scary. :)

What extracurricular activity or hobby from your time at Cornell was the most meaningful?

Definitely all the student-run and community theater! My closest friends from Cornell were (and still are) those I met doing shows with Risley, Gateway, and the Cornell Savoyards.