Archive | 10:03 AM

A Night with Author Veronica Kirin

19 Feb

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine surprised me with a message to our group of friends.

My sister wrote a book! If anyone wants to grab dinner in Ann Arbor then see her

This was accompanied by a link to an event that I was unable to attend. Thanks to the extreme cold, the event was rescheduled, and my husband and I were able to go!

Veronica is an anthropologist by training and explained that her involvement in her tech company made her think about how people of different generations connected with technology. And what people of older generations thought about that technology. She began interviewing people of the Greatest Generation (we can talk later about who names the generations) about technology and how they feel about it. She’d interviewed thirty people in our metro area and wanted to meet more, up to 100. She turned to Kickstarter with her idea and the proposal for this book and raised the money to travel America and meet and interview these people. She’d networked to get the names of the people she’d meet and she took off, ready to learn. The result was her book, Stories of Elders.

Veronica, me, and Gerrie

Veronica taped her interviews and began the evening (hosted at the amazing Nicola’s Books) by showing a documentary with highlights from those interviews. The elders shared their stories and opinions on technology today in a quick 15-minute summary. From there, we had a group discussion on what she’d found. Veronica shared stories that hadn’t made the documentary and gave us some background on the people we had met. We were fortunate that one of the women interviewed for the book, Gerrie, was in attendance. She shared some stories outside of what was in the book and her daughter was able to chime in as well.

It was a very different author event than I’ve attended in the past. Primarily because of the nature of the book. Fiction and non-fiction authors have a very different path to their books and very different goals with publication. Veronica is sharing the stories of these elders and the analysis she’s able to put together by having spoken to all of them. She’s trying to entertain, but in a different way than I would if I published my book. Having someone involved in the book appearing as well changes the nature of the event. It was much more of a communal experience than I’ve had at most other readings. We all felt encouraged to speak, ask questions, and share our own experiences.

Veronica has several more events in the area pending. She told me she’ll soon be recording a TEDtalk about her findings (so expect that post soon) and may be releasing the documentary we watched. There is another book in the works as well and I’m excited to see where she takes this idea and how she can create another book with it.

She ended the night by signing her books and Gerrie signed as well. Apparently, there is a Pokèmon-esque element to this book where you can try to get all the elders interviewed to sign by their name in the back. I’ve got 99 to go!

Until next time, write on.

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