Steve Berry, Distinguished Author Award Recipient

From left to right: Dr. Hal W. Baillie, Provost; Steve Berry; Dr. Gretchen A. Welby, Chair, Distinguished Author Award Event; Charles E. Kratz, Jr., Dean of the Library and Information Fluency

Steve Berry was presented with the Royden B. Davis, S.J. Distinguished Author Award at a gala dinner with an oriental theme on Saturday, March 19 in the DeNaples Center Ballroom.  Steve Berry spoke to the audience about how he became a writer.  He stated that he did not begin writing until he was 35 years old.  He said that “every writer has a little voice in their head” that keeps nagging at them to write and is not satisfied until they start.  He started writing and kept at it for a number of years, going to a weekly writers’ criticism group, to improve his work.  And then he got lucky.  He got an agent which can actually be more difficult than getting a publisher.  He got 88 rejections and then he got a break.  In spring 2002, Doubleday bought a book from an unknown author.  The book turned out to be The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.  It turned out to be a blockbuster hit.  Because of the genre that he writes, mystery thrillers, the next thing he knew Berry was signed by a publisher.  The main character of many of his books, detective Cotton Malone, is featured in his most recent work, The Emperor’s Tomb. Berry’s books have been translated into multiple languages and are now in 51 countries.  Along with his successful writing career, Berry’s love of history has led him and his wife Elizabeth, to create a foundation:  History Matters ( to help raise funds for the preservation and restoration of historical treasures.  His advice for anyone who is writing or wanting to write is to: “stick in there.”