Despite her experiences researching eugenics, ghosts, death row, Amish country and forensic science, the most fascinating thing about Jodi Picoult just may be how down to earth she is.
Her personality and wit seem to be part of why readers relate to her storytelling.
On Saturday afternoon, March 10, the 1,040 person auditorium at Scotia-Glenville High School was filled for \An Afternoon with Jodi Picoult, sponsored by the Schenectady County Public Library.
The event honored Picoult's bestseller, My Sister's Keeper, which was chosen as the current "One County, One Book" read.
Since its publication in 2003, the book has generated a lot of buzz, mostly with readers calling it the best book they have ever read. Like in Picoult's other 13 other successful novels, the book addresses complicated issues.
Picoult said when she first started writing books, she wasn't sure her all-American childhood would give her enough to tap into to. The Long Island native soon discovered that being a woman and being a mother of three would serve her well.
"Being a mom has made me a better writer. The 'what ifs' that every mother asks herself; the love we have for our children; it allows me to think in a way I never did before. In My Sister's Keeper, the direction came to me with the question of how far are we willing to go for our children," said Picoult on Saturday.
After speaking at the high school, Picoult met with a smaller group for interviews. Talking with Picoult is like talking with a sister or friend, who immediately makes you feel as if you already know her.
Combining motherhood and writing comes down to two things, she said: time management and motivation.
"When my children were younger, I would grab 15 minutes to write whenever I could, like when they were watching Barney. The great thing about writing is that you can always go back and edit. It's a balance of prioritizing and using your time very wisely," said Picoult.