I was sad to learn today of the passing of RA Montgomery, of Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) fame. He was the original publisher of the series - then titled The Adventures of You - and went on to write tons of CYOA books. The bio that is posted on his obituary at the CYOA website shows that he was an extremely cool guy. Not only did he publish and write loads of books, he also worked extensively with the Peace Corps and believed strongly in the value of games as teaching tools.
Montgomery also believed in the power of his books to encourage readers and improve literacy, and I think that he was right. So many people have told me, when I tell them about Armageddon being a Pick Your Plot book, that they read TONS of the CYOA books as kids. There is a heavy nostalgia there, and for good reason - the CYOA books drew thousands of young readers into reading. That is part of the reason that we are participating in Read Tuesday this year - to throw our names into the hat as people who support literacy, and also to get our name out there to folks who are looking for great books to help teach young people to love reading the same way that Dan & I do.
RIP RA Montgomery. Thank you for the work and love you put into everything you did, for inspiring thousands of people to love reading, and for developing a genre of fiction that I love writing.