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FIVE ON FRIDAY with Richard Jennings

Richard Jennings has been called ‘the master of middle American whimsy’ by Kirkus Reviews. His newest book Ghost Town is on sale this week. Richard can be visited on the web at

When did you know that you first wanted to be a writer?

At age ten I received a used Smith Corona typewriter from my parents as a birthday present. I had no desk, so I sat on the floor to begin writing my first story.

What book or writer do you feel influenced you the most?

Kenneth Grahame’s wonderful story for young readers The Wind In The Willows.

What book or books are you currently reading or have recently read that you’d recommend to others?

The Times Atlas of The World, Ninth Edition (Times Books).

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Never seek critical advice of your writing from other people no matter how celebrated they may be.

Can you share with us your next project or any information about the next book you’re working on?

The Octopus that Ruled the World in which a 75-pound giant Pacific octopus named Armoire, now believed to be approximately 63 years old, has developed a brain that is bigger — and smarter — than that of any other living creature.

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