A native Californian, Robert D. San Souci was born in San Francisco and raised across the bay in
Berkeley. Reading and writing have always been a part of his life -- his
earliest memories are ones of being read to.
Robert D. San Souci
About Robert D. San Souci
An Interview with Robert D. San Souci
More About Robert D. San Souci
"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, then
I would retell them to my younger sister and brothers. But I would add a new twist or leave out
parts 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, he
enthusiastically worked on his school's yearbook. He was thrilled to have an essay of his printed
in 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 focused
on 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 a
book editor. "All the time, I was writing newspaper articles, book and theater reviews, and
stories for magazines", he notes.
"In 1978, my first book, The Legend of Scarface, was published and illustrated by my
younger brother, Daniel San Souci. The book was highly acclaimed. I was lucky to have an
artist/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 finds
inspiration by traveling and keeping his eyes open. "I love to travel by bus. I can sit and stare out
the window and simply observe". And sometimes he just listens to people talking. "I love to
listen 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 child
inside. He has always had a love of folklore which inspires many of his books. As a boy, he was
fascinated by knights, dragons, and the Arthurian legends. As an adult, he continues to mine the
wealth of oral tales from around the world and brings this literature and history to life in dramatic
stories for today's children.
Altogether, Mr. San Souci has published 56 books, most of them based on legends, myths and
folklore. His latest book, Kate Shelley: Bound for Legend (Dial), is the true story of
Kate Shelley, who at 15, risked her life to prevent a passenger train from plunging off a
storm-wrecked bridge near Boone, Iowa in 1881. She received a gold medal from the state of
Iowa for her heroism.
Robert San Souci resides in San Francisco, California, and is the recipient of several major awards
including the 1993 Aesop Prize, a prestigious annual award for a children's book that
best incorporates folklore in text and illustration.
copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
Find Books by Robert D. San Souci
To keep up-to-date, input your email address, and we will contact you on publication