"It teaches you to ask questions and think logically, which are useful skills for just about any job." she says. "But when I looked in the Want Ads under P, no philosophers. I've been a pinball mechanic, a photographer, and done paste-up for a printer.
"I've lived in San Francisco most of my adult life. The city wears its past in layers, glimpses of other eras visible on every street. I love to look through old newspapers and photos, trying to piece together its stories.
"I was at the Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum, working as proofreader, when they were looking for a science writer to do a children's science activity book. No science background, but I convinced my boss that in order to ‘translate' from a PhD physicist, I had to ask lots of questions, just like a curious kid. I got the job.
"My desk was covered with baking soda, Elmer's glue, balloons, soap bubbles, and dozens of other common objects that became experiments, and the office echoed with the ‘Science-at-Home' team saying, ‘Wow! Look at this!'
"My co-writer, Pat Murphy, a science-fiction author, encouraged me to write stories of my own. I've now sold more than a dozen. "Basement Magic," a fairy tale set at the beginning of the Space Age, won the Nebula Award in 2005.
The Green Glass Sea is not science fiction, but it is fiction about science. And history and curiosity."
Ellen Klages lives in San Francisco. The Green Glass Sea is her first novel.