Category Archives: Author Events

Author Event: Daniel Kalla Visits One More Page Books

Earlier today, I reviewed Daniel Kalla’s stunning historical thriller, The Far Side of the Sky.  Last week, I had the privilege of meeting Daniel when he visited my favorite independent book store, One More Page. Following is a short write-up of the event.
Daniel Kalla lives in Vancouver where he still works part-time as an emergency room physician. The Far Side of the Sky is his seventh book, his first six books are medical thrillers.

Kalla recounted how his professional life converged with his writing life. His first patient to read one of your books was crazy, literally, and he commented that her most lucid periods were those when she was singing the praises for his book.

At this event, the audience jumped in with questions rather quickly, so many unfamiliar with a large part of the story that takes place in this novel, despite having family members who experienced the events of Kristallnacht. The passion Kalla holds for retelling and educating the public on these these periods in history were evident in his discussion.

Overall, this was one of the most educational and rewarding events I have attended. The way Japanese, Chinese & Jewish history intersected is quite fascinating. Intrigued and captivated by Kalla’s writing in this novel and, given my interest in medical thrillers (how I survived two years of nursing school…before switching majors) I now plan on going back and picking up some of this author’s previous work.

I stated in my post early but I can’t help but reiterate: The Far Side of the Sky is the must-read historical fiction of the summer.

TSS: One More Page Books Really Knows How to Throw A Party!

Last Tuesday, One More Page Books welcomed Rebecca Rasmussen, author of The Bird Sisters, for a reading and signing. The weather was quite atrocious: we were in the midst of a thunderstorm.

As always, I arrived early as to avoid traffic. My boys & husband (who was celebrating his birthday that day) joined me for the event. We were all just hanging out in the store, waiting for Rebecca to arrive.

Then, a huge bolt of lightning blazed across the sky. Within minutes, the fire alarm system in the store started blaring. You know the sound: loud blips that cause your brain to ache? Yep, that’s it.

Rebecca arrived within minutes of the alarm going off. By this time, we were all outside in the horribly hot & muggy day. Two fire trucks arrived (one of the high points of the evening). After many minutes of waiting, we learned that the sensor for the fire alarm was under water and the firemen were unable to shut it off. We would have to wait for someone from the building management to turn off the alarm.

By this time, it was well past the start of Rebecca’s reading. The alarm was still blaring. She had several adoring fans (including me) who wanted the event to go on. So, we all eventually moved across the street to a delightful Italian cafe who had a room large enough to accommodate us all.

Rather than read a passage from the book, Rebecca decided to answer questions from the group. She discussed her motivation/inspiration for the book, her experience in writing and selling the book, etc.

All in all, I think this was one of my my favorite signings. All the unforeseen circumstances (rain, fire alarm, etc) served as an icebreaker, allowing us all to feel like we were old friends. Overall, a wonderful experience.

I didn’t take many pictures, but you can view several at One More Page Books’ Facebook page. You can see the humidity in some of the pictures!

Thank you to the lovely staff at One More Page  for keeping it all together, and to Rebecca for being flexible in how/where her event took place!

In case you missed it, here’s what happened on the blog last week:

Frightful Friday: The Ridge by Michael Koryta
Review: The Beach Trees by Karen White
Review: Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron
Literary Road Trip: May Link Round Up!

 

A Night of Bookish Awesomeness: A Visit with Meg Waite Clayton

This morning, I posted my review of Meg Waite Clayton’s latest, The Four Ms. Bradwells. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending a signing/reading by Meg, joined by several of my favorite bookish people, including Swapna and Kristen (DC area book bloggers) my good friend Jackie, and the lovely Alma Katsu, author of the upcoming book, The Taker.  A suprise appearance was made by the wonderfully talented Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters. I’m not afraid to admit that I literally squealed, jumped out of my seat, and hugged Eleanor when she introduced herself.  I make no apologies; I’m a hugger!

Back to the signing…

Meg was originally slated to tour with author  Sarah Addison Allen (The Peach Keeper).  Unfortunately, shortly before the tour was scheduled to tart, Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her book released one day & the very next day she started chemotherapy.  To honor Sarah, Meg arranged that a breast cancer survivor do Sarah’s reading for her. Judy, a friend of Alma’s and a breast cancer survivor, did the reading:

Photo credit: Alma Katsu

Meg started her portion of the event by doing a reading from The Four Ms. Bradwells. She chose to read one of my favorite scenes in the book in which Betts, in the middle of a Senate confirmation hearing, gets asked a particularly difficult question:

Photo credit: Alma Katsu

‘I’d like to ask you what you know about a death that occured in the spring of 1982, at a home in Maryland where I believe you were a guest?’

‘Oh, shit,’ Ginger says–mercifully not before the silent blink of the crowd absorbing the question gives way to a collective murmur, the photographers surging forward as even the senators exhaled their surprise…we watch as Betts, oddly, unlatches the clasp at her throat and lets the pearl necklace slide into her hand…She doesn’t stand, though.  She remains in her chair…she smiles the way she smiles when you stumble upon her doing yoga on her screen porch in the morning: a little embarrased, but somehow more for you than her.  And in the same soft, self-possessed voice she and I rehearsed again and again over the telephone–a voice even I almost believe–she says ‘Senator, I don’t believe I have anything to add to the public record on that.’ (pg. 10)

What a powerful passage, yes?

Meg then went on to answer questions about her writing, the characters in her books, and her life overall. Here are some nuggets of information I learned:

  • The Four Ms. Bradwells wasn’t orginally “planned” to contain the mystery storyline.  Meg’s editor asked that she add a contemporary spin on the novel, and voila!
  • Meg was tempted to change the point of view from first person to third person.  Writing from the point of view of four very different women was challenging.  Both her husband and editor convinced her to continue with the first person narrative, a decision I am forever greatful for!
  • Meg got the idea to write The Four Ms. Bradwells based on her own law school experience (I’m assuming there were no mysterious deaths, though!). Additionally, the names of several individuals who had an impact on Meg are featured in the book. Meg did get their approval before publishing their names :)

Following the event, we all (Meg included) went out for drinks & dinner: the cherry on top of the wonderful bookish evening!

I’ve been a fan of Meg’s since reading The Wednesday Sisters but attending this event, seeing her in person, engaging in conversation with her, truly made me appreciate what a talented and skilled writer she is!

Thanks to Alma for arranging this “meet up” and for telling me about Meg’s visit. Oh, and for the pictures! As often happens when I attend author events, I get so involved in the reading that I completely forget I have a camera in hand!

The Event You Cannot Miss! Brad Parks Visits One More Page Books!

Tomorrow night, from 7-8:30 PM, One More Page Books will be hosting a visit by Brad Parks, esteemed crime fiction author!

I’m currently listening to Brad’s debut novel, Faces of the Gone.  I love how his sense of humor makes an appearance via the main character. 

Fans of crime fiction & suspense, you can’t afford to miss this event!  I’ll be there & I’m hoping record most of the event.  To RSVP, please visit the event page.

Here’s a bit about the author:

Brad Parks’ debut novel, Faces of the Gone, made him the first author in history to win two of crime fiction’s most coveted awards—the Shamus and the Nero—for the same book. Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman and Dennis Lehane head the short list of writers who have won both over the course of their careers.  

Besides the Star-Ledger, Parks has also written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and other outlets. The 36-year-old Dartmouth College graduate lives with his wife and two small children. More about his writing can be found at www.bradparksbooks.com