Last month I was lucky enough to be able to attend and author talk by Steven King, held at the Ryman in downtown Nashville. I went with a friend and we both felt very lucky to have gotten tickets as the event was completely sold out 15 minutes after the tickets were made available. It was only the second author talk I’ve been to, the first being more for my daughter’s benefit when Maggie Stiefvater was in town. (She was very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, even though I had never read her books.)
When Mr. King took the stage he was partly what I expected (entertaining ~ how could he not be?) But also party not what I expected in an intriguing sort of way. I didn’t expect him to be gregarious, but he was a bit more soft spoken than I expected. I suppose the pictures I have seen of him over the past few years were older ones as I was expecting to see him with salt and pepper hair, black mixed with gray ~ but he had a full head of perfectly gray hair. He had a tall, slender, fit appearance.
He was rather enamoured with being at the Ryman – standing on the stage of the Ryman. He talked about music for a while and told us we had to humor him as he was on stage at the Ryman and one couldn’t do that without speaking of music. :0) He told us a bit about his childhood and formative years. How he attended a one room school house with several grades all together, no indoor plumbing, and with outhouses out back. He shared some of his more odd encounters with fans (after coming to after getting hit by the van years ago he looked up and asked the man, “Did you just hit me?” The reply, “Yeah, sorry about that…but I sure do love that book you wrote about that dog!”)
He also shared a bit about his writing process and how he gets his audience from point A to point B when point B seems unbelievable. But by making every step of the way between the two seem realistic, by the time he gets them to his very unrealistic point B ~ they are completely on board and now believe it. And, being Steven King, he even walked all of us through that process during the evening to see exactly how it’s done and let’s just say – after we all left he had about 2,000 people checking the back seats of their cars and checking their bathtubs when they got home!
He spoke for about an hour and fifteen minutes and took a few questions from the audience. He kept us laughing, interested, and intrigued the entire time. Upon leaving we all received a copy of End of Watch ~ I haven’t gotten to it yet, but it’s definitely on my TBR list. It was so fun to get to hear him speak and to get to see the real man behind the mystery. If you ever have the chance to attend one of his author’s talks, you really should go. It’s well worth it and I know you’ll enjoy the experience. (FYI: He’ll be at the National Book Festival on September 24!)