I live in this great little town called Kettering, Ohio. And right down the road there is a wonderful public library called the Wright Memorial Public Library, and those reference librarians are my heroes.
I do all my research for my books there. All my books kind of center around a social issue that I really care about. And when I was working on "Two Truths and a Lie," which dealt with addiction, I remember one of the librarians was this African-American man who had this deep voice like James Earl Jones, he had this amazing voice, And I'm in the periodical room and he says, "Katrina," in this voice that makes everyone turn around, "We have a new book on heroin that I think you might enjoy." And everyone's looking...like what?
So I teased him about that.
But they really look out for me. They've always done receptions when my books come out. I always donate books to them.
And you know Ohio has really had a hard time. The region I'm from has had a hard time in this economy and a lot of the libraries are taking big cuts so I try to help them however I can, and that's an amazing one.
We have several in the area. We're very lucky and I hope we get to keep them.
I think it shaped me completely as a writer. I remember as a kid, one of my favorite things to do in the summer was...my sister and would take a red wagon to the library and fill it every week, because there were too many books to carry.
I know there are so many easy ways to do research on the Internet, but I still love to go and put my hands on books and just search... a lot of times with the research I won't know exactly what I'm looking for, but you have to just kind of be able to leaf through it and you'll find the picture or the phrase or the little nugget...the anecdote that cracks everything open for you, and you're like, "I can use this. This is what I was looking for."
I've taken on some pretty edgy topics in the past : AIDS, addiction, chid abuse. This one, the social issue is marriage. People always chuckle; it's not nearly as edgy as the others, but it's one that affects a lot more people. And it's really just kind of a look at what marriage is, what it means to several different couples in our society, in 2010 in this culture.
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