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"What could be more interesting than thinking of mysterious happenings, finding the answers to intriguing questions, and making up new worlds?"--Jeanne DuPrau

Jeanne DuPrau has been a teacher, an editor, and a technical writer. The People of Sparks is her second novel and the sequel to the highly acclaimed The City of Ember. Ms. DuPrau lives in Menlo Park, California, where she keeps a big garden and a small dog.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

“When did you decide to be a writer?” people often ask me. Well, it was like this:

At about age 6, I wrote my first book, or at least the first book of mine that survives to the present day. It’s called “Frosty the Snowman.” It’s five pages long, illustrated with red and green crayon, and bound with loops of yarn.

My next extant work dates, I think, from the seventh grade. It’s a collection of stories handwritten on lined newsprint. One is about a merry-go-round that mysteriously flies off into the air. Another is about a girl who mysteriously disappears while ice skating. A third is about a seashell that mysteriously opens a door to an underwater world. It’s not hard to deduce that mysterious happenings were what I loved best at the time–a wardrobe door leading to Narnia, a rabbit hole leading to Wonderland, a nanny who flew away when the wind changed.

A year or two later, I started reading Dickens. I loved the world of Dickens’s novels, full of colorful characters and wildly complicated plots. I decided to write Dickensian stories myself. To prepare for this, I put together notebooks with headings on each page for character names, settings, plot ideas, and beginning sentences. I wrote pages and pages of great names (Ophelia Gordonswaithe, Hester Hollyhock), lists of settings (an insane asylum, a deserted railway station), and beginning sentences (“A sharp laugh broke the heavy silence”). I didn’t actually write very many stories, though. I think I wrote three or four, but only one of them went all the way to the end. The rest petered out after a couple of pages–or a couple of paragraphs.

But I kept at it. All through school, I wrote and wrote. Some of this writing my teachers assigned–book reports, college essays, my senior thesis. Some I assigned myself–stories, poems, journals, letters. After I graduated from college (an English major, of course), I did several different kinds of work, but they all involved writing and reading in one way or another. I taught high school English (and started a creative writing club for my students). I worked as an editor in educational publishing companies (and wrote stories for reading textbooks). I worked for a computer company (and wrote about how to use computers).

At the same time, after work, on weekends, whenever I could fit it in, I was doing my own writing. I wrote about people I knew, experiences I’d had, books I’d read, ideas that had occurred to me. I started sending these pieces of writing out into the world, and quite often they were published. I wrote a book, and then another book. The more I wrote, the more things I thought of to write about.

So the answer to the question, “When did you decide to be a writer?” is: Never. I never decided anything–I just wrote and kept on writing, because writing was what I liked to do. What could be more interesting than thinking of mysterious happenings, finding the answers to intriguing questions, and making up new worlds? Writers have a great job. I’m glad to be one.

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The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel by Jeanne DuPrau 0375867937 9780375867934 The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel
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Voyagers: Escape the Vortex (Book 5) by Jeanne DuPrau 0385386702 9780385386708 Voyagers: Escape the Vortex (Book 5)
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The Diamond of Darkhold (Ember, Book 4) by Jeanne DuPrau 0375855718 9780375855719 The Diamond of Darkhold (Ember, Book 4)
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The Prophet of Yonwood (Ember, Book 3) by Jeanne DuPrau 0375875263 9780375875267 The Prophet of Yonwood (Ember, Book 3)
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The People of Sparks by Jeanne Duprau 1439518726 9781439518724 The People of Sparks
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The Books of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau 037585116X 9780375851162 The Books of Ember
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The People of Sparks (Ember, Book 2) by Jeanne DuPrau 0375828249 9780375828249 The People of Sparks (Ember, Book 2)
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The City of Ember (Books of Ember) by Jeanne DuPrau 0385736282 9780385736282 The City of Ember (Books of Ember)
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The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau 0552552380 9780552552387 The City of Ember
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Voyagers: Escape the Vortex (Book 5) by Jeanne DuPrau 0385386729 9780385386722 Voyagers: Escape the Vortex (Book 5)
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The Earth House Jeanne Duprau 0942257324 9780942257328 Two women apply the practice of Zen to the building of a house in the California Sierras.   The Earth House
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The People of Sparks (Book of Ember) by Jeanne DuPrau 0756973309 9780756973308 The People of Sparks (Book of Ember)
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Car Trouble by Jeanne DuPrau 0060736755 9780060736750 Car Trouble
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THE City of Ember by JeAnne DuPrau B0013BFZ28 B0013BFZ28 THE City of Ember
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The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel by Jeanne DuPrau 0375868216 9780375868214 The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel
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The Earth House by Jeanne DuPrau 0449908143 9780449908143 The Earth House
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Car Trouble Jeanne Duprau 0060736720 9780060736729 Duff Pringle has bought his first car. (Used.) Hes got six days to drive 3,000 miles cross-country to California and start a new hi-tech job that will make him wealthy. (Sort of.) Nothing can stop hi Car Trouble
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The KidHaven Science Library - Cells Jeanne DuPrau 0737706473 9780737706475 The basic unit of all living things, the cell is a world in itself. This book explores the workings of plant and animal cells -- what they look like, how The KidHaven Science Library - Cells
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PEOPLE OF SPARKS, THE by Jeanne DuPrau 0552552399 9780552552394 PEOPLE OF SPARKS, THE
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La Cit de lombre  2070558630 9782070558636 La Cit de lombre   La Cit de lombre
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Car Trouble Jeanne Duprau 0060736747 9780060736743 Duff Pringle has bought his first car. (Used.) Hes got six days to drive 3,000 miles cross-country to California and start a new hi-tech job that will make him wealthy. (Sort of.) Nothing can stop hi Car Trouble
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LE PEUPLE DEN HAUT (FOLIO JUNIOR 2) by JEANNE DUPRAU 2070514919 9782070514915 LE PEUPLE DEN HAUT (FOLIO JUNIOR 2)
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The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau 143951870X 9781439518700 The City of Ember
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The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau 0385606877 9780385606875 The City of Ember
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The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel by Jeanne DuPrau 0375968210 9780375968211 The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel
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The City of Ember (Book of Ember) by Jeanne DuPrau 0756933951 9780756933951 The City of Ember (Book of Ember)
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The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau 0552559989 9780552559980 The City of Ember
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