George and Lizzie, the two people whose lives are chronicled in Nancy Pearl’s first novel, just happened to show up in the former Tulsan’s bedroom one night.
“I was trying to fall asleep, and these two characters just came to me,” Pearl said. “I knew their names. I knew where they first met, which was in a bowling alley, and the circumstances of that meeting. They just took up residence in my life.”
Over the next few years, Pearl would find herself thinking more and more about these two people, fleshing out their life stories, imagining their reactions to things Pearl encountered in her own daily life.
“They were very real to me as characters,” she said. “But for the longest time, I never wrote any of these things down. It was just a series of vignettes or little stories I would tell myself.”
But then, Pearl has lived her life surrounded by stories. The former Tulsa resident, who earned a master’s degree in history from Oklahoma State University, is perhaps best known for her series of “Book Lust” volumes, in which Pearl, who worked for the Tulsa City-County Library and the Seattle Public Library for many years, shared her recommendations for the next thing one should read.
She continues to appear regularly on Public Radio Tulsa’s “Studio Tulsa” program to discuss new books, and she hosts a monthly TV show in her current hometown of Seattle — “Book Lust with Nancy Pearl.”
Pearl’s image as “America’s Librarian” was cemented in 2003, when she served as the model for the “Librarian Action Figure” created by toy company Accoutrements.
But adding “novelist” to her list of accomplishments wasn’t something she considered — until she encountered a situation that can plague even the most voracious and wide-ranging readers.
“It’s something I think a lot of readers can…