Author Spotlight: Orson Scott Card

ScottCardWith the annual conference of LTUE fast approaching, I thought it would be prudent to spotlight some of our all-time favorite authors who will be in attendance there. So… today’s author we’re spotlighting is Orson Scott Card. He is the third of six children. Card served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil and graduated from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah; he also spent a year in a Ph.D. program at the University of Notre Dame. (I can’t believe he found the time to write during all of that!)

Card and his wife Kristine have five children, each named after one or more authors he and his wife admire. Their children’s names are Michael Geoffrey (Geoffrey Chaucer), Emily Janice (Emily Brontë and Emily Dickinson), Charles Benjamin (Charles Dickens), Zina Margaret (Margaret Mitchell) and Erin Louisa (Louisa May Alcott). Charles, who had cerebral palsy, died shortly after his 17th birthday and their daughter Erin died the day she was born. Card and his wife live with their youngest child, Zina, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

If you’re not familiar with his works, you should start reading! His most popular work of fiction is Ender’s Game. In 2013, the big motion picture came out, starring actors such as Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley. He also wrote another series that follows the same timeline as Ender’s Game. The first book of that series is called Ender’s Shadow. It’s my personal favorite of his work, but you have to read Ender’s Game first to truly appreciate the brilliance of it. (Sorry – enough of my personal gushing here!)

Orson Scott Card, while mostly famous for his science fiction novels, has also dabbled in other genres. He’s also worked on dialogue for a few video games (LoomThe Secret of Monkey Island, Advent Rising, and The Dig), launched his own sci-fi and fantasy magazine, and has worked as a critic, public speaker, essayist and columnist.

In 2005, Card accepted a permanent appointment as “distinguished professor” at Southern Virginia University. Card has worked closely with colleagues to develop ways to educate aspiring writers and has published two books on the subject. He was eager for the opportunity to apply these techniques in a university environment—his assorted workshops did not allow the follow-through he desired. After being deeply moved by stories of his students’ parents in some of their essays, he decided to stop teaching regularly at the university to spend time with his youngest child who still lives at home.

Card has run an annual, one-week class that consists of an intensive critique workshop for aspiring writers called “Literary Boot Camp” and a two-day workshop called the “Writer’s Workshop.”

Many attendees at LTUE are looking forward to hearing what he had to say on his panels!