OROVILLE – Gordon Korman, world-renowned author of children’s books, came to Oroville to inspire the budding writers in the elementary school’s third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades.
Perhaps best known for his “The 39 Clues” series, Korman, who began writing at age 12, has written over 75 books and has 20 million copies in print.
Korman told the kids about how writing about what he loves makes it easier.
“Always pick topics you like or you’ll get bored,” he said, adding that he started to get bored writing his “funny” books and decided to switch to adventure.
Although he uses his own experiences to help him write, he emphasized the value of research, giving examples from his works on Mount Everest and The Titanic.
“I had to replace my experience with research. I knew Everest was a mountain and it was big. Could you imagine if that was all I had for a book about Everest?” he asked.
He talked about how research led him to know that the air gets so thin going up Mount Everest that no helicopter could reach you if you needed help.
“There’s nothing for the blades to push against,” he said. “And for every four people that make it to the summit an average of one person dies in the attempt.” So if I had a team of four of you there would be a good chance one of you would not make it back. Knowing those things about your subject are so important.”
In his book about the Titanic he talked about how only 706 people were rescued from a total of 2223 who made up the list of passengers and crew.
“There was so much talk about staying away from the ship when it goes down or you’ll be sucked down with it. In one case some people were standing on a grate and were about to be sucked down with the ship when a boiler blew in another part of the ship pushing water through the grating shooting them to the surface where they were rescued.
“No matter how good your imagination is you’re not going to make something like that up,” he said.
The author’s visit was sponsored by the Oroville School District and North Central Washington Regional Library, according to Oroville Elementary School Principal Joan Hoehn.
“We really appreciate his coming here to speak with the kids,” Hoehn said.