Archive | 10:49 AM

Author Ann Pathcett

28 Oct

It’s been a long time since I went to an author event so big that I didn’t get to meet the author. Tickets for this event were $35 and included a signed book and a seat. It was $80 for a chance to meet her and have books signed individually. That seemed like a bit much so I decided hearing Patchett talk was enough. I was supposed to go with a friend of mine but I had the date wrong and when we figured it out, it was too late for her to change plans. Luckily, my mom was free that night so we went together and had a grand old time.

I’m often surprised by how funny authors can be and Patchett was no exception. She had us laughing constantly and I adored her dramatic pauses and quips. She set up her presentation in three parts. The first was to talk ‘around’ (not about) her novel, The Dutch House, which this was part of the tour for. She was on a deadline for this book and ended up having to write it quickly. When she read it over for revisions, she realized she didn’t like it. She was so frustrated, she did what all authors are told never to do, she deleted all the files and copies she had of it and started over. She wrote the first thirty pages twice more and realized it still wasn’t working. Being a famous author, she has many famous author friends and was able to talk through some of her issues with amazing women like Barbara Kingsolver and Donna Tartt. She was able to meet her extended deadline and is happy with the results but recognizes it was a bit rushed to finish in time with something she’s proud of. Patchett recommended always being specific about what goes on the cover of a book. She did not want a house on her cover and reached out to a friend to paint the cover she ended up with and is very happy with the result. She also was brave enough to ask Tom Hanks to do the audiobook and was surprised and elated when he agreed.

The second thing Ptchett talked about was interviewing other writers. As the owner of a bookstore, she’s expected to interview authors when they’re on a book tour in her city. Her store has been open for eight years so she’s done this a few times. On top of that, she’s asked to do interviews with other authors who are putting out major book releases. She joked that every book published in America seems to make its way to her store or her house. She even received J.K. Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy as a manuscript so she could do an interview with her. Unlike me, she loved it. She agreed to interview Melinda Gates when her book, The Moment of Lift, came out. She wasn’t going to but heard that for their wedding anniversary, Bill and Melinda had read Patchett’s book This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage out loud to each other. She said her favorite interview was Harlan Coben. She’s not a big reader of his genre but agreed to interview him because she’d dated two guys who lived on his floor at Amhurst but hadn’t met him.

The third thing Patchett wanted to do was recommend books. Luckily, she lists all of the ones in her book tour presentation on her website and you can see the link here.

Patchett was wonderful and mom and I really enjoyed getting to hear her talk. I’m hoping to do a buddy read of The Dutch House with the friend I was supposed to see her with. I bought a signed copy as an ‘I’m sorry I’m terrible at dates’ present.

Until next time, write on.

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