Gabrielle Zevin at the 2013 Texas Book Festival.
October 24, 1977
|Notable works||Elsewhere, Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac|
For the record, I have long suspected that my favorite book is actually 'Charlotte's Web.'
I'm like a unicorn; I'm a midlist writer who hasn't done anything else but write. But because I wasn't amazingly famous, I didn't become Stephanie Meyer, or even a huge literary name like a Jonathan Franzen or a Joshua Ferris.
When I first started writing, I used to listen to music all the time because it would make time pass more quickly. And then I started to wonder if the music wasn't affecting my writing in ways that I didn't necessarily intend.
Sometimes, readers, when they're young, are given, say, a book like 'Moby Dick' to read. And it is an interesting, complicated book, but it's not something that somebody who has never read a book before should be given as an example of why you'll really love to read, necessarily.
Writing blurbs for books means you have to read the book, and it cuts into the business of bookselling. So every time I get a blurb from a bookseller, I try to write a thank you note.
I hadn't ever felt any particular calling to be a novelist, and I clearly remember telling a friend of mine about six months before I started work on 'Elsewhere' that I would never write a novel.
I think you can do a lot, like describing people with their physical characteristics, things like that, but to me, I've always found it to be a much more informative question to ask somebody what they read.
I'm in the middle of a 25-city book tour, and I like watching what people buy in bookstores. I see people buy books that I strongly suspect they will never read, and as an author, I must tell you, I don't mind this one bit. We buy books aspirationally.
When I was around eight, I learned how to touch-type at school, and I received a computer as a present. I started writing plays, and for many years I thought I would be a playwright.
I wish that the adults who are 'in power' cared more about what their children read. Books are incredibly powerful when we are young – the books I read as a child have stayed with me my entire life – and yet, the people who write about books, for the most part, completely ignore children's literature.
I knew I wanted to do something creative, and you don't necessarily go to Harvard to do that. It's not the best choice for creative writing.
In a way, publishing in 2005 was similar to publishing in 1950. Nobody kept blogs; that was still optional. I didn't even have a website then.
I'm very privy to the way bookstores work, and I think a lot about the ecosystem that my books have been published in. I think it's great to be aware of how publishing works.
On some level, I think we want our reading self to represent our best self.
I like to believe, as a writer, that anybody who isn't a reader yet has just not found the right book.
I remember visiting my grandmother Adele in Ponce Inlet, Florida, when I was three years old, and she had an IBM electric typewriter. I thought that this electric typewriter was about the most fascinating toy in the world – I liked the little bell and the sounds and the feel of the keys and especially the erase key.
Before I liked to write, I liked to type. I remember visiting my grandmother Adele in Ponce Inlet, Florida, when I was three years old, and she had an IBM electric typewriter.
People choose to read, and it takes effort. It's not one of those hobbies that asks nothing of the person who is doing it. It's more than a hobby.
I myself am mixed race – my mother is Korean, and my father is an American Jew – so I've always felt other.