Sunday, May 15, 2011

David Baldacci- Part Three STONE COLD (and a rant)

This week I continue my series of interviews with David Baldacci. We discuss STONE COLD, the third novel in the Camel Club series. It was during this interview that I began developing a rapport with Mr. Baldacci. The first time that I interview an author they expect the standard "Who is your favorite author?" type question, followed by "Why did you write this book?"

When I began my website seven years ago I promised to never go through the motions with an interview. I have recorded several interviews that I did not use because the author was 'going through the motions'. It works both ways. The time demands on an author are tremendous; they often teach to supplement their income. Once their books sell in numbers that alllow them the freedom to write full-time they are barraged by people like me asking for their time.It is a vicious cycle.

The near disappearance of independent bookstores and the problems at Borders have made the path to publication even more difficult than it was before for aspiring writers. I read an interesting article last week that showed some much needed creativity on the part of publishers. Here is the link:

Perhaps desperation will make publishers come up with ideas to make the marketing of books more successful. My background is in business, I started my website to help authors reach a larger audience after Oprah changed the format of her book club (thanks to Jonathan Franzen). I have been less than impressed with the way that most publishers market their books and their authors. I'm delighted to see ideas like the one mentioned above take root. The future of the bookstore depends upon it.

I'm all in favor of ebooks- I've stopped fighting that battle. What concerns me is how will readers be able to discern a good book from a bad book? There are differences; ask any editor or agent the difference. The number of books being written is increasing, at times it seems that more people want to write books than read them. What will serve as a filter if readers depend upon an ipad to select their books? Editors, agents, and reviewers perform a critical task. I have come to fully apprecaite their roles over the past seven years.
I have a few editors that call me from time to time and tell me they're sending me a book that they think I will like. Often times I do.

Enough of my ranting (for now).

There is one publishing company that has consistently provided me with excellent service. That company is Hachette and their subsidiaries. Little, Brown (and Grand Central) provided me access to Michael Connelly and David Baldacci when their careers were taking off. Miriam Parker (now with the Mulholland division of Hachette) put a copy of THE HUMMINGBIRD'S DAUGHTER, written by Luis Albert Urrea, in my hands seven years ago and said, "You have to read this." I interviewed Mr. Urrea when THE HUMMINGBIRD'S DAUGHTER (you must read it if you haven't already) was published six years ago, and again in 2006 when THE DEVIL'S HIGHWAY was published. I cannot wait to read the sequel to THE HUMMINGBIRD'S DAUGHTER this fall. All of this because of a publicist that knew my taste in literature.

Back to Mr. Baldacci. He has always been generous with his time. That is one of the reasons he is succcessful. He is also a genuinely nice guy. He always takes the time to chat for a few minutes after our interviews to talk about my website. He is interested in seeing books and their publication continue.

So here is my third interview with him. Enjoy!


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