David Baldacci was the Saturday keynote luncheon speaker at Sleuthfest 2017. He began his talk by relaying a humorous story about why he won’t go up to anyone reading his book. He said he saw a man reading one of his books and offered to sign it for the man. The man told him, “No way.” It was his book and he wasn’t letting him (Baldacci) put his name in it. Baldacci then tried to explain that he wrote the book. The man still didn’t believe him until Baldacci finally pulled the book out of the man’s hands and held the book up near his (Baldacci’s) face showing the author photo on the back cover. Only then did the man believe him.
I was impressed by the fact that sixteen years ago David and his wife started a literacy foundation: the Wish You Well Foundation®. “Reading is food for the mind and body,” he said. “Dictators take over when libraries close.”
He also told a cute story about when he went to Italy with his family, to a small town near Tuscany where his relatives had come from. He thought it was going to be a simple affair where he, his wife, son and daughter would stop by and see the mayor. It turned into a huge affair. There were signs all over proclaiming it David Baldacci Day, and he ended up giving a speech in the town’s center courtyard. He met relatives who came from all over. He writes about the experience in “Coming Home” which appeared in an anthology titled An Innocent Abroad: Life-changing Trips from 35 Great Writers Site for anthology
His advice about writing:
- Listen to people.
- Ask questions, sit down and shut up.
- Leave out 99% of your research.
- Face to face interviews are the best.
- You can watch the body language.
- You have eye to eye contact.
- Where you grow up has an effect on what you write.
- Every writer does it differently. What works is what is important.
- Writing should be fun.
- It’s a fabulous way to live your life.
Today I’m also on Leslie Ann Sartor’s blog. Do drop by and say Hi. http://anindieadventure.blogspot.com/2017/04/take-five-and-meet-multi-published.html