Season 5, Episode 18: Edward Packard

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Edward Packard knows about choices. He went to Columbia Law School, but he never really wanted to be an attorney. He admits he was often "sleepwalking" through life before landing on an innovative idea for young readers. He eventually began writing full time, and many 80s kids (like Colin) can thank him for that.

Edward created and wrote for the popular "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of paperbacks. Edward's idea was so successful that it inspired spin-offs (including his own Space Hawks series) and imitators. The series began in 1969 as a book called Sugarcane Island that Edward wrote for his children. A few years later, two books in the iconic CYOA series had appeared. One was a western, the other a sci-fi story. Edward wrote for the CYOA series for twenty years. While he has not been involved with the brand for a long time, CYOA is still generating new stories.

Edward just turned 90, but he shows no signs of slowing down. He recently wrote a memoir and is trying his hand at a novel for adults. Colin talks with him about his "Essay the View from 90" as well as why Colorado has proven far more hospitable than southern Florida.

You can check out Edward's work at

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