Bestselling author to visit college

New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins will be in Susanville for a free community session at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 23 at the Lassen Community College’s Middleton Hall.

Hopkins is a poet, freelance writer and the award-winning author of 20 non-fiction titles, 13 NY Times bestselling novels-in-verse and three novels for adults.

Hopkins is coming to Susanville to share one of her most current novels, “People Kill People.” The book’s purpose is to generate discussion about gun violence, suicide (a main topic with one of the six main characters), white supremacy and other timely subjects.

The event is sponsored by the Lassen-Modoc Adult Education Consortium, which is funded by the California Adult Education Program from the California Community Chancellor’s Office and the California Department of Education.

LCC has invited Lassen Union High, Mt. Jefferson Charter High School, Mt. Lassen Charter High School, Westwood High School, Herlong High, Alturas High School and Bieber’s Big Valley to an exclusive event the day after the free community event Thursday, Oct. 24.

Shar Murphy, director of LCC’s library and learning center, who organizes the events, even went to Bieber to address their board and community.

Murphy said they were enthusiastic and supportive.

Hopkins writes of the novel, “People Kill People,” “Guns just make it easier. A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for needed protection. But which was it? Each has the incentive to pick up a gun, to fire it. Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race, who possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Or Noelle, who lost everything after a devastating accident, and has sunk quietly into depression.”

Hopkins has published hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from aviation to child abuse to winegrowing, and is a regular speaker at schools, book festivals and writer’s conferences across the country as well as throughout the world.

On Oct. 23, Hopkins will share her visit and the NY Times best-selling book to stimulate a dialogue or conversation about guns.

However, she does not advocate either side, and said she, “simply promotes responsible gun ownership.”

Born 1955 in Long Beach, and grown up in Palm Springs, Hopkins shares she learned the value of hard work and honesty from her father, the love of language and reading from her mother.

Hopkins published her first poem, a haiku, at age 9, and was always encouraged by her English teachers to write and won pretty much every creative writing contest she ever entered all the way through high school.

She started freelancing newspaper and magazine articles and moved into children’s nonfiction, publishing 20 titles before her first novel sold. She tried her hand at different things — picture books, early chapter books, etc. She became a certified Lutheran and goes to church regularly, where she sings alto in the choir.