PJ McIlvaine was born with a pen in her hand, a prolific and creative children’s author/screenwriter/writer/journalist.
PJ’s debut picture book Little Lena and the big table (June 2019, Big Belly Book Co.), illustrations by Leila Nabih, is about a determined little girl tired of eating with her annoying cousins at the kid’s table, only to discover that the big table isn’t much better. She has another picture book, DRAGON ROAR (MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing, publication date TBA), about a lonely, sick dragon who has lost his mighty roar, and the brave village girl who helps him find it again.
PJ is also a co-host and founding member of #PBPitch, the premiere Twitter pitch party for picture book creators.
PJ has been published in numerous outlets including The New York Times and Newsday, and is a regular contributor for The Children’s Book Insider newsletter (paid firewall), writing about the path to publication and interviews with established and debut kid lit authors.
Also, PJ’s critically acclaimed Showtime original family movie MY HORRIBLE YEAR with Mimi Rogers, Karen Allen, and Eric Stoltz, was nominated for a Daytime Emmy.
A born and bred New Yorker, PJ lives in Eastern Long Island with her family. She is not a fan of the Jets, Giants, Mets, and Yankees, never had a knish until she was in college, sat on Meat’s Loaf’s knee, and only recently discovered the gustatory pleasure of Pesto Pizza. Distantly related to the French writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir, her maternal grandfather was the son of a Baron and grew up in a castle with enough family drama to fill several novels.
When not writing, PJ's usually running after her rambunctious grandchildren who are an endless source of inspiration, exasperation, and perspiration. When she has enough butter on hand, it’s not too hot, and the oven works, she loves to bake brownies and other goodies. She's been known to consume copious amounts of vanilla ice cream after 9PM.
In an alternate universe, PJ was the literary love child of Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte, the inspiration for her rich, diverse, Middle Grade alternate history mystery set in Victorian London. Death by corset, solar eclipses, unreliable narrators, and spiritualism.