Whether Garth Stein is talking with kids or adults, one question usually comes up: Does he have a dog?
It’s natural to wonder, since Stein is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is told from the point of view of the soulful philosopher-narrator Enzo, a lab mix.
Spoiler alert: Stein does have a dog.
He also has a lot of insight to share about his writing process, inspiration, and about The Art of Racing in the Rain and his other titles, including a series of children’s books centered around Enzo.
Stein will be at the Bookworm in Kennewick on Friday for a pair of events.
Books are read individually. It’s a personal experience. I feel it would be presumptuous for an author to say, ‘I want you to get this out of my book.’
Garth Stein, author
A children’s story time is scheduled for 4 p.m., followed by a presentation and book signing at 7 p.m.
Stein said he looks forward to returning to the Tri-Cities, where he’s participated in other literary events.
The author is based in Seattle. Before becoming a full-time writer, he was a film director, editor and producer, with credits including The Last Party starring Robert Downey Jr. and the Academy Award-winning short film The Lunch Date.
Stein’s novels include Raven Stole the Moon, How Evan Broke his Head and Other Secrets and the smash The Art of Racing in the Rain.
That title has a young readers edition, plus Enzo stars in a series of children’s books, including Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt! Stein will read the adventure during the 4 p.m. Bookworm event on Dec. 9.
Stein loves speaking to kids about his craft, he said.
The author is based in Seattle.
“We talk about themes in the books, like personal destiny. I like to talk about the writing process and to get kids excited about reading and writing,” he said. “It’s a great deal of fun.”
At his 7 p.m. presentation, geared toward older readers, Stein will talk about how The Art of Racing in the Rain came together. He’ll also talk about his newest novel, the family drama A Sudden Light.
Stein isn’t the kind of author who wants readers to take a particular lesson from his novels, he said.
“Books are read individually. It’s a personal experience. I feel it would be presumptuous for an author to say, ‘I want you to get this out of my book,’ ” he said.
“That being said, especially when I talk to young people, the most important thing is to be enthusiastic about reading,” Stein told the Herald. “(Reading) is very important to our society and culture. It’s about feeling empathy. You can’t read a novel without feeling empathy. You won’t get it. And, we need more empathy in our world.”
The Bookworm is at 731 N. Columbia Center Blvd.
For more on Stein, go to garthstein.com.