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"Humboldt," by Emily Brady

Humboldt, Emily Brady
Caroline Bennett, Hachette Book Group

Jeff Glor talks to Emily Brady about "Humboldt: Life on America's Marijuana Frontier"

Jeff Glor: What inspired you to write the book?

Emily Brady: In early 2010, I moved back to California after some years away and was struck by how mainstream the marijuana industry had become. That summer I drove north to Humboldt County. At the time, I thought was doing research for a book about how California was going to legalize pot. What I found in Humboldt was so fascinating that the place and the people who lived there became the story.

JG: What surprised you the most during the writing process?

EB: Honestly, most of the surprises came during the reporting process. I was amazed to learn that there was a community in this country that was economically dependent on marijuana. I was fascinated by the family nature of the business, and how people lived so independently, up dirt roads, off the electrical grid. As for the writing, I was surprised at how hard it was to sit alone day after day. Writing is a solitary art.

JG: What would you be doing if you weren't a writer?

EB: I would probably be a human rights lawyer or an international aid worker, or be involved in some other kind of social justice work. I also think it would be pretty amazing to be a dancer.

JG: What else are you reading right now?

EB: I'm reading an amazing book by Jonathan Schuppe called "A Chance to Win." It's about a Little League team in Newark, New Jersey, their incredible coach, and the struggles that come with life in the inner city.

JG: What's next for you?

EB: I'd like to take a trip to Morocco, so I can sip sweet mint tea and wander in the Atlas Mountains. When I get back, I'd like to turn my attention to Silicon Valley and the untold stories there.

For more on "Humboldt" visit the Hachette Book Group website.