McKernan started traveling at the age
of eighteen and spent many years working her way
around the world, hitchhiking and sailing. She
graduated in 1982 from George Washington University
with a BA in theatre. Since learning to scuba-dive
on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, she has worked
as a scuba instructor, underwater model, and divemaster
on several ships. She lives in Washington
DC with a dog, two cats, and a boa constrictor.
She has written four mystery/thrillers
for adults, all of which feature underwater adventure.
Her most recent adult novel, THE
MOSQUITO WAR (under the name
of V.A. MacAlister - Tor, 2001), deals with international
conspiracies to control a cure for malaria that
comes from an underwater plant.
The award-winning book, SHACKLETON’S
STOWAWAY (Knopf, 2005), is
her first young adult novel. Knopf will publish
PAINTBOX, her next young adult
novel, in Spring 2009.
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