I actually am a huge supporter of libraries. I'm on are several library boards. And I think part of that is that I remember the first day I walked into the Perrot Library in Old Greenwich, Connecticut.
This was back in the day where just for breathing librarians would tell you to be quiet. And... it was marble and it smelled of paper and glue and I went into a corner and I just sat down on a little floor and I grabbed books off the shelf and I left where I was and I've never come back and I've never been the same.
For my first novel, "Never Look Back," which was... at the end of the eight and a half years of writing six hours a day, I finally sold a novel. "Never Look Back" was a spy thriller set in Canada. I'd never been a spy. I'd never been to Canada, but I took 82 books out of the library, via library loan.
So without libraries, I couldn't written my first book.
And, I also, in my first library experience at Perrot, I found "Harold and His Purple Crayon." "Harold and His Purple Crayon" has a little boy who can draw on walls and everything he draws comes alive, and I suddenly realized that my imagination was a tool as the result of that book and it was all because of libraries.
Libraries have not only fostered a love of reading in me, but libraries have been a source of research for me for years and years and they even maybe the topic of a future thriller series I'm writing...stay tuned.
My goodness, well my favorite librarian is my former wife, Colleen Daley, who was the director of the Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho for about 15 years.
I go to the library regularly, usually to speak and my family comes along and they get lost in the aisles and pay no attention what Daddy's doing, because he's over in a Conference Room C, actually speaking... trying to sell books, trying to drum up readers for Ridley Pearson novels. They read. They enjoy library. They take advantage of all the services a library has to offer.
[On budget cuts]
The only place I think any tax money should go to is education and libraries. Anyplace else it's going, I think is misspent money. I like roads, but people can build roads, you can't build a mind.
I have thoughts on banned books. I think that there ought to be an institution in this country where anyone who bans a book goes and is banned, for about a year, can't see their family, can't read any books, can't any entertainment. That would, to me, about solve it.
Because my favorite book in the world is "To Kill a Mockingbird." I re-read that book every year. I taught it when I taught in China. I taught creative writing in China and I used "To Kill a Mockingbird," and as I understand it, it is often on a banned book list. It is perhaps the greatest book ever written in American... in the American opus of writers in my opinion. And the idea that anyone would get the idea to ban that book means that person should be banned.
Since I started writing for younger leaders, I have multiple projects. So at the moment, I've just finished... I'm just about to finish a sixth book in the Kingdom Keeper series. There's one more after that. I've just finished the second John Knox, Grace Chu novel to follow "The Risk Agent" called "The Knot Shop." I'm contracting for two more of those, three books to Disney with Dave Berry and five more Kingdom Keepers in various forms. So I'm contracted and to write eight or nine books in the next three years, so I will have to say goodbye.
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