Humans Of Maryville: John Wickersham

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#HumansofMaryville feat. John Wickersham

John Wickersham photo courtesy of Katie Mann
John Wickersham shares why he wrote a book and how it reflects his childhood. Photo courtesy of Katie Mann.

What inspired you to write a book?

“I wanted to work with my son, Jamie. He and I have talked [for] many years about working on a project together. We always talked about [it] and never really did much, so I thought that maybe it would be fun to work on a novel together, and Jamie could illustrate it. That was kind of my idea. It seemed to me that my high school years have been [my] so-called crazy years, which I lived in a remarkable ancient time where my brothers, sisters and I were free-range children. We were able to do pretty much whatever we wanted and lived in a great place called Rattles. I had a lot of adventures, and that seemed to me to be a subject that I could weave into a novel, and Jamie could do the illustrations; So that was kind of it.”

Why would you recommend this book to others?

“It’s hard to talk about your own work, but I think that some of the stories would be interesting. The point of the story is that the Danny character, which is in some sorts me is a 12-year-old boy growing up in Colorado and spending a lot of time with his brother and sister is the mountains. He is gaining insight and wisdom and understanding the idea that life has a purpose and life is going somewhere. So it’s really basically about Danny understanding that his life is heading in a direction and is going somewhere. People call it coming of age. It’s about Danny going from being a child into a young adult.

Describe your book in one word and why would you describe it that way?

“If I would have to say one thing about my book [it would be] that it’s interesting. I hope people will find it interesting…I think the stories are interesting and the illustrations.”

What is your favorite book to read and why?

“I’m an avid reader of military history, which is really totally unrelated to my book. But I have [an] obsessive interest in history, war and military history. I also like to read poetry because I’m a poet and love poetry. Another class of books I really enjoy are the history of polar exploration and navigation. The great exhibitions to the south and north pole. I love those stories. It’s something I’m fascinated by. I’ve always loved wild country and doing dangerous things, which I have done a lot of dangerous things in my life, including being in wild country in my life as well. I like stories about those kinds of things.”

8 recommended
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