William Dietrich

William Dietrich: 'It was a very formative experience'

"The South Tacoma Public Library was the place where I got my love of reading and my dream of being an author."

I grew up in South Tacoma, Washington, and the South Tacoma Public Library was the place where I got my love of reading and my dream of being an author. And so I can still remember each aisle and which ones have my favorite books...and where the fairy tales were and where the adult books were...it was a very formative experience.

I'm an avid researcher. My books are set in Napoleonic times, and so I have to do a lot of research, and so I use both public and university libraries as well as my own books. It's been interesting to go abroad, I've become kind of a library junkie, so I've used the libraries in London and Paris, places like that, and they're always beautiful. The historic library in Prague, in the Czech Republic, it's more beautiful than most churches.

School libraries? Well, I think what the library does for authors is create an audience; they buy our books they, of course, distribute and introduce us to new people and so in my case, I think my books are suitable for teens and so it's really important to get that kind of exposure and endorsment from school librarians.

I think the whole book industry has been under siege from all kinds of different pressures and of course, with the recent recession, libraries have to cut back and it's so important, because that's where our readers of the future come from.

It's what seniors rely on, often, because they can't afford to buy books. And so I just hope that those cuts are restored as soon as possible.

Well, I think our society works because of the free exchange of information...that's made Western Civilization so successful. So anytime you put a clamp on what people can read and what they can hear, it really gets in the way of intellectual discourse and intellectual freedom, and so I'm very much of a Libertarian in terms of freedom of expression and oppostion to censorship.

I've got this series going with an American heroin a Napoleonic period, so I'm currently working on book number seven. Book number six is coming out in May and so I'm probably engaged through the beginning of Napolean's career...on through his adventures all over the world, so it's been a lot of fun to work on. 

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Library Name: 

South Tacoma Public Library