Hi Im Gary Paulsen, I have been a lover of books from the time I learned how to read, and Ive been writting my stories for over 40 years, mostly coming of age novels. I want children to have the same love of books that i have. I want them to enjoy cracking open a book and become completely involved in a novel. I feel that there are more books geared towards girls especially coming of age stories. So while I hope everyone enjoys these books I want boys to enjoy the books I’ve written and become inspired. I have devoted my years of writing to young adults. I have written more than 200 books, 200 magazine articles and short stories, and several plays, all primarily for teenagers.
I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 17th, 1939. When I was younger, I was not a committed student in school, I had a hard time in school and struggled in classes, and with peers, but I have always had a love for reading. I think it all really started when I received a book and a library card from a librarian, from then on I spent many hours reading books and getting immersed in the story. It was my passion. I have been married twice and I have a lovely wife Ruth and 3 great children- James, Lance and Lynn they have been by my side and encouraging me the whole way.
I have done a lot of different things in my life, I love trying something new and going all into it. Some of my favorite things to do when I’m not writing are sailing on the pacific, working with my dogs, being around my family, riding my horses, reading, and being on my ranch in the mountains.
I try giving back to the community whenever possible most of my time is spent in the school talking to children about reading and writing. I wan to let kids know that you don’t have to be a good student or enjoy school to find a joy for reading and writing. I often hold a reading corner for kids. I try to instill in children that they can do anything. If a child wanted to be a writer I would say “Write about anything don’t be afraid, and enjoy what you do. “Read like a wolf eats. And write something every single day. Commit to writing every day for at least 5 minutes, no excuses, no skipping, gradually add more time at the desk. Keep writing, don’t just sit there. Even if you wind up deleting everything you’ve written, at least keep your hand moving and the words flowing. The best way to get over or through writer’s block is to keep writing. Eventually, you’ll get to the good stuff.”
A little about how I came to write the stories I did-
When I was 14 I ran away from home and joined a carnival. I started doing odd jobs as a farmer, construction worker, engineer, sailor, and truck driver, any thing I could do to make some extra cash. When I was a little older I even joined the Iditarod, which is an Alaskan dog sled race. Those years of my life gave me countless countless stories and material to begin my writings. In 1959, when I was 20 I started at Bemidji College in Minnesota, and to help pay my way through college I worked as a trapper.