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Khaled Hosseini, coming to an interviewer near you

Now and then someone will ask me, “How did you learn how to interview authors?” I often reply that I’m still learning how to do it. This author interviewing gig has been a work in progress for some 20 years now. I still have lots to learn.

I have been giving some thought lately to the subject of author interviews as I’m preparing to conduct an important one. The author Khaled Hosseini is coming to Dayton on his book tour. He asked the folks at Books & Co. to find someone to conduct a live interview with him at this event. Sharon Kelly Roth at Books & Co. asked me if I would like to do it? I was delighted to be asked.

Are you familiar with this author’s work? Hosseini was born in Afghanistan. After moving to America he became a doctor. In 2001 he began writing a novel. That first book, “The Kite Runner,” came out in 2003.

When “The Kite Runner” was initially released in hardcover it was one of those word of mouth phenomenons championed by knowledgeable book store clerks; “hey, you really have to read this book!” By the time the book came out in paperback it had turned into an international hit. It was a publishing sensation and spent a couple of years on the New York Times best-seller list.

In 2007 when he published his second novel, “A Thousand Splendid Suns”

Hosseini was long past being that once unknown author. That book became an instant best-seller. His first two books have now sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. The year 2007 was also when a film adaptation of “The Kite Runner” was released.

Last year Hosseini published his third novel, “And the Mountains Echoed.” The paperback edition has just came out. The author is coming through Dayton on book tour to publicize it. All three novels are set primarily in the author’s place of birth, Afghanistan. If you are one of the millions of readers who enjoyed “The Kite Runner,” you’ll recall that that story also shifted to California where the author now resides.

How am I preparing for this interview with Khaled Hosseini? Well, I have re-read all three books. “The Kite Runner” is a particular favorite of mine. This is a very dramatic story, especially the first half of it, the power of that tale vaulted an author from obscurity to worldwide recognition.

A Google search generated almost 2 million references. I learned he founded a philanthropic organization, the Khaled Hosseini Foundation.

It “works with the United Nations refugee organization (UNHCR) to build shelters for refugee families. It also provides economic opportunities, education, and healthcare for women and children of Afghanistan.”

When I conduct an author interview I try to put myself in the place of the person who is reading an author interview in this newspaper or listening to me talk to an author on the radio. I hope to ask questions that newspaper readers and radio listeners might wish to have asked.

Please come to Books & Co. to meet him and to observe a Book Nook interview in person. I hope to see you there.

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