Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Nicest Author in the World?
Working in the book business, we have pretty special access to authors. Between trade shows, book tours, drop-in visits, and just plain old customers who are writers, we meet dozens of authors every year. And, of course, we booksellers think of authors like some people think of movie stars or popes. The authors vary, of course, in their level of success, from self-published scribes to Pulitzer Prize winners. And they vary, of course, in how they treat booksellers and the general public.
Some swoop in with an entourage (like Maya Angelou did a few years ago). Some sneak in under the radar (like Oliver Sacks did with actor Robin Williams once in my early days of bookselling). And some try to steal their own books. Well, OK. One tried to steal his own book. But that's another story.
This winter, I was invited to a publisher sponsored dinner with Howard Norman at a book industry trade show. Alas, at the last minute, he canceled--a combination of his mother dying and crazy winter blizzards kept him from coming. Understandable, right? Sure, I was disappointed. I LOVED the Bird Artist and his short story collection Kiss in the Hotel Joseph Conrad and very much liked The Museum Guard and and The Haunting of L and enjoyed his most recent book What is Left the Daughter (coming this summer). But when your mom dies, all bets are off, right?
So it surprised me to get hand-written card in the mail about a month later apologizing for missing the dinner, thanking Green Apple for its support over the years, offering to come by in August when he's in the area, and giving me his snail mail and email addresses.
A real mensch, I say.
Any other nominations for nicest author ever?