One fact about Gary Paulsen is that as a 14-year-old he ran away from home and traveled with a carnival. Another is that Paulsen is a former competitive dogsled racer. Paulsen is the author of many popular young adult books, including ﾓHatchet,ﾔ ﾓDogsongﾔ and ﾓThe Winter Room.ﾔ
Paulsen joined the carnival as a child and worked a number of different jobs before finally becoming a writer, including engineering, construction, ranching, trucking and sailing. Paulsen was working as a satellite technician for a California aerospace firm when he decided he wanted to become a writer. Quitting his job, he moved to Hollywood and worked as a magazine proofreader while focusing on his own writing in the evenings. After working in Hollywood for a year, Paulsen moved to northern Minnesota, where he finished his first novel.
Aside from writing, Paulsenﾒs most serious work has been dogsled racing, which he took up while living in Minnesota. During the 1980s, Paulsen competed twice in the Iditarod, a 1,180-mile dogsled race in Alaska. After running the race in 1985, Paulsen suffered from an angina attack, forcing him to give up the sport. Paulsen says that after quitting dogsledding, he transferred his dedication entirely to writing, devoting up to 20 hours each day to his work. Paulsenﾒs work ethic has made him one of the most prolific contemporary authors, with over 175 books to his credit.