I'm taking a short break from my blogs about Rush's new album to post this:
See the link over there to the left of the screen, under Literary Resources, directing you to the website of James Rollins? Well, Rollins is one of my favorite thriller writers and I’ve basically been following him since the beginning of his writing career. I first discovered him on the bookshelf at Barnes & Noble, shortly after the publication of his second book. At that time, he was just writing paperback thrillers – he wasn’t even publishing in hardback yet. I was so intrigued by his two books on the shelf that I decided to buy them both, despite having never read any of his stuff prior to that, nor having ever even heard of him. Well, I loved the two books, and have been buying his novels upon release ever since then. He’s one of the very few authors whose books I have been reading since more or less the beginning of his career (along with co-authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and Steve Berry).
ANYWAY, I got onto my Yahoo! email account last week to check for any stray messages I may have received. I don’t check that account very often anymore, because I use Gmail, but I still receive a few author updates there, as well as weekly statistics on my blog site visit counter. I hadn’t checked it in well over a month, but I had a few extra minutes on Tuesday, so I popped on there to see if anything had come through. In addition to several weeks’ worth of blog statistic emails, as well as a bunch of Spam, I had a mass email from James Rollins, letting all his readers know that his new book was coming out. I’ve emailed with him several times in the past, and if you email him, he adds you to his address book.
ANYWAY, so there was a link at the bottom of the email to his book signing tour. I decided to check it out, just in case he was going to be anywhere close. I was surprised to find that he was going to be in Dayton the very next day. I don’t have class on Wednesday, so I briefly considered driving up to Dayton to be at the book signing. After deciding that was probably unreasonable, I scrolled on down to see where else he was going. Lo and behold, he was going to be in Lexington the day after Dayton, at Joseph Beth Booksellers (which frequently has big name writers there to sign books – they’ve had everyone from Stephen King to Anne Rice to Jimmy Carter).
So on Thursday, I left class early and headed over to Joseph Beth. He was already speaking when I arrived, and I sat down next to an empty chair that had water dripping into it from the ceiling (it’s a vaulted ceiling, probably 100 feet high, with glass on top, and the rain was dripping from all the way up there, down two levels, and hitting the chair beside me). There were about 15 people there listening to him, including a couple of employees. Rollins talked for another 30 minutes or so after I got there, ending with a Q&A session. I found him to be personable with a good sense of humor. Seemed very much like just a regular guy. At the end, he signed books, and I was pleased to discover that he recognized my name when I told him who I was. As I said above, I’ve emailed with him a number of times in the past, although it’s probably been a year or two since our last exchange. I believe our last conversation entailed a discussion of Matt Reilly (another thriller writer, whose stuff I really, really detest). We’ve also talked in the past about the publishing industry and finding an agent, etc. He’s always seemed very nice and forthcoming by email, and he seemed the same way in real life.
So anyway, that was my big adventure of Thursday night. That’s the first author book signing I’ve ever attended, and it was nice to finally meet a favorite author in the flesh and get the chance to speak to him for a few moments. And his new book looks very promising too – it’s called The Judas Strain and it deals with ancient Jewish mystical symbology. I’ll be sure to report on it once I’ve read it.