Archive | 10:09 AM

Author event with Amor Towles and Erik Larson

15 Nov

The last book my Reading Buddy and I managed to read together was A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It seemed like fate that my local Indy Bookstore did an event for Towles’ new book release, The Lincoln Highway. Even better, he’d be in conversation with Erik Larson! Two authors I love talking about books? Yes please! My partner helped me figure out a way to keep Baby close and still focus on the event which gave me a great virtual evening.


Towles revealed he had the idea for this book ten years ago. It came to him quickly, in about ten minutes which he jotted down in a notebook that he takes with him much of the time. Years later, he was able to flush out the details. He’s an outliner and had a plan for the book from the beginning. While there are eight perspectives in the final version, early versions had only two. In revisions, this was expanded and Towles worked to make sure each voice was unique and the readers would get something distinct from each person. After he finishes a first draft, Towles will research the time period of the topic a bit better and work those findings into later drafts. Larson asked him about the time periods he writes in. They are right on the edge of what living people can remember vividly so the majority of Towles’ readers don’t know what life was like in his time periods. This gives him some liberty to make up some things while others are grounded in fact and research.

Towles didn’t think this book would sell as well asĀ A Gentleman in Moscow and has been pleasantly surprised by the success he’s seen so far. He lives in New York and told us that the Lincoln Highway still exists and that you can find the beginnings of it in Time Square.

Towles and Larson are personal friends. They connected over Twitter where they said they admired the others work. While Larson kept the focus on Towles for the majority of the evening, he did speak briefly about himself. While Towles does a lot of historical research once he’s finished writing, Larson will spend years doing research before he can begin a work. I’m a huge fan of both of these men and was glad to find I’m in good company with my well-planned writing style!

An amazing event. Thank you to Literati Bookstore for hosting! It’s always a joy.

Until next time, write on.

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