March 16, 2018
The Arts Alliance Mountain Empire presents Kimberly Brubaker Bradley as part of its Speaker Series.
Baker speaks at the Bristol Public Library April 10 at 7 p.m.
Her latest book is â€œThe War I Finally Won,â€ her 17th. It is the sequel to Newbery Honor and #1 New York Times bestselling book â€œThe War That Saved My Life.â€
She was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1967. â€œI loved to read. I was the sort of kid who would skip recess to go talk with my school librarian — "but I didnâ€™t know any writers, and I didnâ€™t think it was the sort of job I could have. I loved chemistry, too, and I majored in chemistry in college. I was lucky, though, to go to Smith, a liberal arts school where I was encouraged to learn everything that interested me, and I took lots of writing classes, and, fortunately, a class on childrenâ€™s litera-ture taught by none other than Newbery medalist Patricia MacLachlan. She and Jane Yolen, who ran a writerâ€™s group nearby, encouraged my very early (and very bad!) efforts,â€ she says.
She married her high-school sweetheart, and they both started medical school. She dropped out after six weeks, which she says was â€œan excellent decision even though it took a lot of courage at the time. I realized I really wanted to be a writer. My husband stayed in medical school — another excellent decision — and for a while I worked as a research chemist and wrote stories late at night and on weekends. By the time I was pregnant with our son, I was getting enough freelance and ghostwriting jobs that I could quit being a chemist. A few years later, my husband finished his training to become an eye surgeon, and we moved so he could join a practice in Bristol, Tennessee.
She and her husband still live in Bristol on a 52-acre farm with an assortment of horses, a dog and cats