After graduating from Colorado College, John Shors lived for several years in Kyoto, Japan, where he taught English. On a shoestring budget, he later trekked across Asia, visiting ten countries and climbing the Himalayas. After returning to the United States, he became a newspaper reporter in his hometown, Des Moines, Iowa, winning several statewide awards in journalism. John then moved to Boulder, Colorado, and helped launch GroundFloor Media, now one of the state's largest public relations firms.
John has been lucky enough to spend much of his life abroad, traveling in Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, Africa, and North America. Now a full-time novelist, John spends his days writing and going on family outings with his wife, Allison, and their two young children, Sophie and Jack.
John's first six novels, Beneath a Marble Sky, Beside a Burning Sea, Dragon House, The Wishing Trees, Cross Currents, and Temple of a Thousand Faces have won multiple awards, and have been translated into twenty-six languages.
In an effort to provide readers with an unparalleled travel experience, John also leads participants on literary tours to the settings in his novels.
John Shors's website
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John Shors discusses his third novel, Dragon House
What inspired you to write Dragon House?
For a long time, I've found Vietnam fascinating due to its historywhich is dominated by its external conflicts as well as its internal ones. In part due to this fascination, I've been fortunate to travel extensively throughout the country. While exploring Vietnam I felt quite connected to its citizens, who usually went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I talked about peace with a man who once dug tunnels that were used to attack American bases. I listened to stories from people who endured tremendous hardships. Most important, at least in terms of Dragon House, was the fact that I interacted on a daily basis with some of the thousands of street children who are so visible in parts of Vietnam. I felt like the stories of these children needed to be brought to life on the page.
Can you describe your trips to Vietnam?
I first went to Vietnam in 1993. Only recently had the country opened itself back up to American tourists, and it felt almost surreal to explore the landscape. I was only twenty-four, and often thought about young men my age being sent...
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