This past Saturday, I had the wonderful experience of seeing Tobias Buckell at a local bookstore. He spoke about his youth in the Caribbean, growing up on a boat (and having very little space for books!), being very in tune with weather and weather changes, and moving to the United States after a devastating series of hurricanes destroyed his home. Without a doubt, Toby Buckell is one of the most authentic people I have ever had the honor of meeting.
He talked a bit about his newest book, Arctic Rising, and how he serendipitously had perfect timing for a near-future thriller about climate change. A life time lover of all things James Bond, Arctic Rising has plenty of winks and nods to 007 fans. The book is getting rave reviews, you should check some of them out!
While I love the idea of techno-thrillers, I often find that I prefer that style of story on the screen. Luckily for book snobs like me, Buckell has his far-future scifi adventure space opera Xenowealth series, which started with Crystal Rain in 2006 and thanks to a Kickstarter project will soon have a fourth book for fans to devour. I’ve got a copy of Crystal Rain waiting for me at the library, and after hearing Buckell talk about the series I can’t wait to dive into it. And he did graciously sign my copy of Robots:The New AI anthology. His short story, A Jar of Goodwill, was one of my favorite entries, it was just so wonderfully and unexpectedly strange, and I love that!
Beyond the name dropping and link splatting, I actually have a point to this post: In the past year I have been ridiculously lucky in having opportunities to meet authors. And in some cases, I only had to drive down the road to the local bookstore.
if you are reading this blog, there’s a good chance you have these same opportunities.
Do you have family owned bookstores in your town? Ask to be put on their mailing list, or check out their website. chances are, they have authors come in a few times a year. Libraries do this too, sign up for their newsletters. As do the big guys like Barnes and Noble. Even if it’s an author you’ve never read, but maybe only ever heard of, go. that’s how I got completely hooked on Sarah Zettel.
do you live in a bookstore desert? Order everything off Amazon and haven’t stepped foot in a brick and mortar store since before your kids were born? Library only brings in authors of genres you aren’t interested in? Authors like to travel too, see the sights, drive eight hours up the highway. check out the websites of your favorite authors, see if they have a schedule of where they are going to be and when. Tweet them and ask them.
You’d be amazed at how many cool authors live not too far away from you. You might have to drive an hour. They probably drove six. It’s worth it. go.
still can’t make it happen? well, there’s always Skype.