Author Videos

Well, I was partially raised by the library, I feel. My parents used to drop me and my brother off at the library all the time, especially during the summers. I learned how to read in the library I developed a deep love of Dr. Seuss at my library. I remember going to the programs that they used to have in the common room under the...you know, downstairs. I saw my first episode of Star Trek in the library. Libraries were hugely influential on me.I did a book in 2013. It came out in 2013, called "Boxers and Saints," which is all about the Boxer Rebellion, a war that was fought on Chinese soil... READ MORE
Well, growing up in Richmond, Virginia, we would go to the library every weekend.  And I was able to check out far more than the limit because I had deals the librarians. You know, they knew which kids read books and which ones didn't. And I would go home with a stack and read them during the course of the week and take them back and you know, check another stack.And I was able to see the world, in many respects, without ever leaving my hometown. And had a profound effect on me because if you make a reader earlier, I think you make a reader for life. That certainly was the case with me.... READ MORE
The libraries have kind of saved my life. As a kid, whenever the books at the local school where reaching at the point that they had to be taken off the shelves and thrown out because the spines were broken in some way, the librarians would call my mom and she go over there and scoop them up and so  I got alot of good free books and alot of adventure because of that so I have a very fond place in my heart for librarians.You know, I grew up in a very insulated environment. We were inner city, if you like to call it that, Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama, but now when I think about what a real... READ MORE
I used to write a column for Outside Magazine, back in the 1980s into the mid/late 90s. It was a column about Natural Science and once a month I would go up to my local university library, Montana State University,  and I would go  scrambling and rampaging through the stacks of Montana State University's library pulling down bound volumes of journals, books and things, and desperately lookin for a topic to write this natural science column.One week out of every month I was haunting the corridors of that library and eventually finding something to write about.  It might have... READ MORE
Well, I always love books as a child. I remember reading "TheWizard of Oz" as a child, "Black Beauty." And one of my favorite books when I was really young was a book about  famous inventors. It was a children's book aimed at about third grade that had pictures of all the famous inventors like  Thomas Edison and the inventor of the sewing machine and a whole lot of other inventors.My mother really worked on fostering reading. She read to us, both my sister and I, when we were little kids and books were always a really important thing in our house.Well, I'm probably doing most of my... READ MORE
I moved to the states when I was eight years old and didn't speak any English. Went to public school and found that I was a little different than alot of the kids I went to school with and so a lot of times, you know, had lunch alone and spent a lot of time in the library reading and also cooking.Those are the two things that I found alot of fun in my life. And between the reading and the cooking I sort of built my self-confidence.I think that libraries, for many children, is the first time they're really introduced to reading. And so I think it's really really important. You know, I had a... READ MORE
Well it probably started certainly in high school where the high school library in Valier, Montana, opened up world of reading to me, and then college at Northwestern University and in my novels, which often have a lot of historical research. More than a dozen novels.Libraries are my life when it comes to research like that, so I have endless memories from St. Andrews in Scotland to Juneau, Alaska, and libraries all in between.  Today it's the University of Washington library, by and large.  And I'm still going in there, as I did as a grad student, 35 years aog, I guess.  Going... READ MORE
I was researching this book, "The Ghost Map," and there are these two characters, it's true story based on this cholera outbreak in London in the 1850s, and there are these two characters who kind of come together to help solve the mystery, in a sense, of where cholera is coming from, John Snow and Henry Whitehead.  And one of the things that I wanted, as an author, to happen was for Snow and Whitehead to become friends out of this kind of alliance on the streets of London, but I had no evidence of it and so narratively, I really wanted to be able to... READ MORE
I grew up being an avid reader my parents were divorced when I very young and my dad lived in Connecticut and my mom lived in Nebraska, so when I would go to Nebraska for the summer, I'd go to in library, the Omaha Public Library, and borrow the maximum number of books, read them, one a day and return them and do the same thing about six times during my trip.So, I ran a lot and spent a lot of time in the library. My junior and senior of high school my bus route changed and I got dropped off at school about an hour before classes began. And I went to library every morning and read The New York... READ MORE
Well, I think that there's alot of different ways to slice the question of e-books in libraries.There are questions of principle, there are questions of immediate income, there are questions of sensible policy, there are questions of law.As a practical matter, I think that libraries have been so important to the careers of writers, and librarians are such fabulous advocates and, in particular, nonpartisan advocates for authors... I mean when you think of the people who advocate for authors right now, we have one enormous Internet bookseller that really wants to sell books, don't get me wrong... READ MORE

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