Justine Fontes was born in New York City. She grew up on Long Island and later graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in English Liternature from New York University. Justine found her first job in publishing while she was a Freshman. She worked at various publishing houses before becoming a freelance writer. At Little Golden Books, Justine met her future husband, Ron Fontes. They started writing together and have written over 500 children’s books. Justine and Ron moved to Maine in 1988.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
- HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON by Crockett Johnson.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
- "He who knows enough is enough will always have enough," from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu (translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English).
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
- Rosemary Well—I love her Voyage to the Bunny Planet; Frances Hodgson Burnett; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I’m a Sherlock Holmes freak).
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
Because I’ve always loved playing pretend and writing fiction is playing pretend on paper, and it’s even more fun than reading!
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Develop skills that will help you find employment in publishing. Working in the industry will help you understand what publishers need and you will meet people who can hire you.