Not really, but they both do cite growing up in Wellesley as one of their influences on the way to becoming successful writers.
Science writer Richard Preston hit it big in 2004 with The Hot Zone, his way-too-graphic book on the Ebola virus, and his latest offering, Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science, sounds like more light-hearted fare. On his web site, Preston describes his days in Wellesley: “I attended Wellesley High School, where I had mediocre grades and a bad disciplinary record, including an assault on a teacher. (I didn’t hurt the man, but I shoved him, and that’s morally and legally an assault.) However, I had some wonderful teachers, including Wilbury A. Crockett, Ph.D. , who taught English at Wellesley High.”
Here’s a USA Today interview with Preston, in which he is asked about punching out the front two teeth of brother Douglas as kids in Wellesley. His reply: We’re close friends now. We talk shop a lot. Doug and I were rebels growing up… Fortunately, I had a lot of support from my parents, and I stabilized in college, where I developed an intense passion for writing and science simultaneously. (Both attended Pomona College in California.) Our other brother David (a physician in Maine) is the true intellectual of the family.
Meanwhile, brother Douglas Preston, co-author of suspense novels such as Relic and Riptide (with Lincoln Child), also has a few things to say about “the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley” on his website: As they grew up, Doug, Richard, and their little brother David roamed the quiet suburbs of Wellesley, terrorizing the natives with home-made rockets and incendiary devices mail-ordered from the backs of comic books or concocted from chemistry sets. With a friend they once attempted to fly a rocket into Wellesley Square; the rocket malfunctioned and nearly killed a man mowing his lawn. They were local celebrities, often appearing in the “Police Notes” section of The Wellesley Townsman.
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