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Thursday, November 02, 2006

David Baldacci & The Collectors

In our final author feature for the month of October, Book Help Web had a delightful interview with the charming and intelligent David Baldacci. He shared delightful insights into his research for The Collectors, including such tidbits as:

I read a lot, talked to lots of people and with that knowledge I put myself in the role of a con and came up with some of my own scams. It was great fun figuring ways to score big at the expense of others, which probably doesn't say much about my underlying character, but there you are. The key with the con characters, particularly Annabelle, is to humanize them. You show their fears, frailties and you make the motivation for the scam one which many law-abiding types could understand. I made Annabelle a real person who happens to be a criminal. Yet she doesn't physically hurt anyone and her targets are not sympathetic ones.
He's a fascinating personality who is committed to such causes as literacy, cystic fibrosis, cancer research, and multiple sclerosis. In the interview, he talks about why literacy is so important to him as an issue--for reasons that are far more altruistic than a desire to sell more books:
Illiteracy is the greatest challenge we face as a nation. Democracies are totally dependent on a literate, well-informed electorate. Our three greatest rights as Americans are grounded in words: freedom of speech, freedom of press, exercise of religious freedom. Take away one and we're no longer a democracy; take away two and we're clearly a dictatorship. An illiterate, uninformed population is a population that is easily manipulated. History has shown us hundreds of examples of what happens to such a people. And all of them are bad.
Tune in during November for interviews with Ken Jennings and David McCullough.

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