Robert D. San Souci

Robert D. San Souci

Bio

A native Californian, Robert D. San Souci was born in San Francisco and raised across the bay inBerkeley. Reading and writing have always been a part of his life — his earliest memories are ones of being read to.

“I always knew I wanted to be a writer.Before I knew how to read and write, I would listen carefully to stories that were read to me, thenI would retell them to my younger sister and brothers. But I would add a new twist or leave outparts I didn’t find interesting — so the storytelling impulse was already at work in me”.

In elementary school, Mr. San Souci wrote for his school newspaper, and in high school, heenthusiastically worked on his school’s yearbook. He was thrilled to have an essay of his printedin a book titled T.V. as Art. As a student at St. Mary s College, he took a variety of classes in creative writing, English and world literature. In graduate school, he focusedon the studies of folklore, myth and world religions.

As a budding writer, Mr. San Souci supported himself in the publishing field as a copywriter and abook editor. “All the time, I was writing newspaper articles, book and theater reviews, andstories for magazines”, he notes.

“In 1978, my first book, The Legend of Scarface, was published and illustrated by myyounger brother, Daniel San Souci. The book was highly acclaimed. I was lucky to have anartist/illustrator in the family — it s great working with Dan”.

Many of Mr. San Souci’s ideas for books come from reading and researching. He also findsinspiration by traveling and keeping his eyes open. “I love to travel by bus. I can sit and stare outthe window and simply observe”. And sometimes he just listens to people talking. “I love tolisten for the flow and rhythm of the language that different people use”.

When writing books for children, Mr. San Souci knows that it’s important to listen to the childinside. He has always had a love of folklore which inspires many of his books. As a boy, he wasfascinated by knights, dragons, and the Arthurian legends. As an adult, he continues to mine thewealth of oral tales from around the world and brings this literature and history to life in dramaticstories for today’s children.

Altogether, Mr. San Souci has published 56 books, most of them based on legends, myths andfolklore. His latest book, Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend (Dial), is the true story ofKate Shelley, who at 15, risked her life to prevent a passenger train from plunging off astorm-wrecked bridge near Boone, Iowa in 1881. She received a gold medal from the state ofIowa for her heroism.

Robert San Souci resides in San Francisco, California, and is the recipient of several major awardsincluding the 1993 Aesop Prize, a prestigious annual award for a children’s book thatbest incorporates folklore in text and illustration.copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.