My sister Helen and I were six and nine, first and third grade, in this old photograph. The other photo shows her at age eleven. My sister and I were great buddies when we were young - sidekicks - though like all sisters we fought. The opening scene in A SUMMER TO DIE, when the older sister divides their bedroom with a chalk line, is a true incident from our lives. Like Meg in that book, I would go on to miss my sister, after she died young, for the rest of my life.