Author Feature: John Wilson

Gold_Wilson, John

In Gold, Sam and Annabel are on vacation with Annabel’s parents in Italy. While visiting the small hilltop town of Civita, they hear rumors of looted gold from World War II buried somewhere in the town’s network of underground tunnels and caves. Once again the two friends cross paths with their old nemesis, Humphrey Battleford, but he is not the only one in pursuit of the gold. An intimidating man named Kurt, the grandson of a ruthless Nazi, is also snooping around. After Annabel is kidnapped, Sam must solve the mystery of the hidden treasure to save his friend.

This is the fourth mystery featuring Sam and Annabel, after Stolen, Bones and Lost.

What planning and research did you do for your book?

I was in Italy looking for ideas for the next Sam and Annabel adventure when my cousin took me on a trip to Orvieto and Bagnoregio. Both these towns have networks of Etruscan tunnels beneath them and, on exploring them, I thought, “What a great place to set my adventure.” Later I came upon an article about a teen who had discovered a bar of WWII gold bullion while swimming in a lake. I put the two ideas together, did some historical research, and came up with Gold.

Gold_Wilson, John

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

Trust your imagination.

What’s in your to-be-read pile? What makes you want to read those books?

The Mini-Ice Age: A history of Europe between 1200 and 1850. It’s an examination of how a changing climate affected the development of culture in the western world. I want to read it because I am fascinated by all history, but particularly by books like this one that challenge what we think we know about cause and effect in the past.

Do you listen to audio books? Why or why not?

Yes, when exercising. I usually listen to books that I read many years before. It’s a good, easy way to recapture the book.

What book do you think you learned the most from reading or admire most?

George Orwell’s essays. He taught me that writing about complex and difficult issues does not need to be done in a way that is complex and difficult for the reader.

What’s your favorite movie that was adapted from a book or short story?

Don’t Look Now.

Do you listen to music when you write? Why or why not? What do you listen to?

No. There’s enough going on in my head without adding to it.

Do you have a quote you like to live by?

“This too shall pass.”

Gold is available now!

Wilson, JohnBorn in Scotland, John Wilson is addicted to history and firmly believes that the past must have been just as exciting, confusing and complex to those who lived through it as our world is to us. Most of his thirty-four novels and ten nonfiction books for kids, teens and adults deal with the past. John spends significant portions of his year traveling across the country, telling stories from his books and about their historical background and getting young readers energized and wanting to read and find out more about the past. John lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. For more information, visit

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