C. Alexander London is an award-winning author of non-fiction for grown-ups, an accomplished skeet-shooter, a master SCUBA diver, and a fully licensed librarian. He has watched television in 23 countires, survived an erupting volcano, a hurricane, four civil wars, and a mysterious bite on his little toe in the jungles of Thailand. Currently, C. Alexander London lives in Brooklyn, New York.



C. Alexander Says:

Here's a secret: when I was in middle school, I didn't like to read.

Sure, there were one or two books I loved and a few more that I endured because teachers told me I had to, but no one would have ever accused me of being "A Reader."

Even though I didn't like to read, I still craved stories. I watched television. I played videogames. I daydreamed. I was lucky to live in a house with a lot of books and I spent hours and hours and hours staring at the book covers, imagining what was inside and making up my own stories about them.

I did, eventually, discover that I loved what was inside the books even more than their covers, and the more I read, the better I became at turning my own daydreams into words on the page to share with others. Daydreaming made me a storyteller, but reading made me a writer.

I even went from reading stories about adventures in distant lands to having my own adventures and getting paid to write about them. All that daydreaming turned into my job! That's how I ended up writing We Are Not Eaten By Yaks.

Here's a bonus secret about We Are Not Eaten By Yaks: It's autobiographical. It's about me.

I've never actually been thrown out of an airplane or battled an angry Yeti, but I thought of the idea while I was on a flight between Rangoon and Mumbai on the other side of the world. In Rangoon, the capital of Burma, thousands of red-robbed monks were battling with hardened government soldiers, and I literally walked into the middle of it. Within days, the government had sealed off the country, shut down the internet and scrambled all foreign television stations. No CNN. No Cartoon Network.

And I really missed it. Even as things were going insane in the world around me, TV somehow made me feel safer. Even though I was having the adventure of a lifetime, all I wanted was to be curled up on the couch at home watching TV. So it was on that flight in Asia that I first imagined Oliver and Celia Navel, who are doomed to have a life of adventure, when all they want is peace and quiet. They aren't just some kids I made up. They're me. Not exactly, of course. I've thrown in a good chunk of daydreaming.

And my sister isn't nearly as bossy as Celia. Or so she tells me...

—C. Alexander

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