Every summer I would go and join the library reading program where you sign up and you have to kind of compete against other kids to see how many books you could read over the summer.
I think I won five years in a row.
And it was my favorite place because the my parents weren't readers. We had one book that my grandma left at our house and so I'd always go and get all my books at the library. And it was air conditioned, so I loved going there and now I take my kids to the summer reading program, too. And we do the craft programs and the singing programs, so it's been a strong part of my life.
One of the people that was really helpful was my Junior High School librarian, actually. She remembered me and she came to my book signing when my first book came out in 2010.
I remembered going to the a library. She remembered me going and being like this very well behaved little girl.
They'd always have events. And they actually brought in an author there, to the Junior High School Library. so that was the first time and that I met a real, live author. And everybody at that school told me that someday this is going to be you. So I was very supported.
We use it weekly. We get music there. We get music. We find new books and new authors. There are all kinds of programs that our library has. They have a knitting program, which I haven't been to yet.
They had a free chess program, so my son went and learned how to play chess over a period of like six weeks. And they have all these crafts programs, so it's not just books. They also have art displays, they have all kinds things going on at our local library.
We have several that we like to frequent. And we get lots of used books there, too, at their sales.
[On budget cuts} Well it's funny, in San Diego the budget just got expanded, so the libraries have more hours actually, which I'm not sure how that all worked out. But yeah, it's a terrible thing because you know, when you don't have any money, and there have been times where we didn't have money, you want to go to the library get as many books as you can and keep yourself entertained. That's certainly what I did. And what my kids have done at various times.
[On censorship] Well, I always kind of hope that my book will get censored one day. I don't write on enough of a controversial topic, usually to get censored. I think that books shouldn't be censored. I don't think books are the same as movies or the same as talking to somebody. It's not like you're viewing pornography on the computer screen where everybody can see it . It's you and the book.
I don't think they need to be censored. I don't particularly censor my kids reading. I wasn't censored as a kid and I didn't expire.
So I think it's a way to expand your mind, and one thing I want to say is that my parents, my dad, sometimes found young adult books that he felt were giving me a bad ideas, but, I never got the ideas from the books. I already had the ideas about, you know, disrespecting your mother, fighting with your family or whatever, and the books just helped you through that time, instead of inspiring it.
So I think knowledge is power.
Right now I just finished the first complete draft of a new project that's about a Samurai woman who might have been a real person named Tomoe Gozen, who would've been in my family tree way back when, she lived in the Twelfth Century. It's partly historical novel and and partly contemporary novel about two sisters who find at Tomoe Gozen manuscript that their deceased mother wrote and set about seeking to translate the story. And the story sort of inspires change in their own lives.
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