Browsing the first editions at my local independent bookstore, I came across 'Pastoralia', a collection of stories by George Saunders. I'd read one of the stories in it already, and several other Saunders stories in magazines and anthologies, and liked them all.
Trenton Lee Stewart
I was always interested in the possibility maybe of finding my way into a big adventure.
I tend to find characters who lack vulnerability dull.
I remember distinctly running through my neighborhood, thinking I knew how to get to 'Sesame Street', and then finally finding myself among some scrub trees and realizing I don't know where to go from here. I had to just mope back home.
I think when I started to write 'The Mysterious Benedict Society' that I had that kind of thing in mind - the notion of having to be able to solve puzzles and riddles because enormous stakes rode upon your ability to do that.