We don’t get many author events in Utah. I mean, why would we? It’s Utah, for crying out loud. Besides a few speculative fiction authors who live here (Brandon Sanderson, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Dan Wells [until Wednesday] and a few others) there really isn’t much that happens here. A few authors pass by occasionally. It seems like most of them decided to flow through the Greater Salt Lake area when I was pregnant and basically paralyzed and thereby completely unable to go to the events. That being said, you can imagine how thrilled I am when author events grace this desert state of mine at a time I was actually capable of going to said event.
I actually just finished reading both The Hollow City and I Am Not A Serial Killer, so this signing is incredibly timely and I was very excited for it. I tried out a new Indian restaurant on the way down to Orem and by the time I got there, Dan Wells was standing before a small, intimate gathering over in the diet books section of Barnes and Noble chatting it up with fans. I was expecting him to read a bit from his book, but I was beyond thrilled that, instead of reading from The Hollow City, he talked a bit about the inspiration behind the book, and all the research it took to write it, and various sources of inspiration for it (paranormal investigation, a brother with a psychological disorder, a person he knows who is paranoid schizophrenic, etc.).
It’s not that I wouldn’t have enjoyed a reading from his book, but it was so fascinating to hear an author talk, live, about all the thought, effort and inspiration that has to come together to create a truly remarkable book. Plus, after he discussed that, he opened the floor up for questions. There were some good ones asked. For example, I learned that he has a book in the works about a cosmetics company that can change your DNA with skin cream (or something), a steampunk-ish series, another John Cleaver novel which will deal with Alzheimer’s disease (in a demonic sort of way), and a (not officially announced) getaway being planned for the Writing Excuses podcast. I also learned that he sells more books in Germany than in any other country.
Truth to tell, if there’s one author on the planet with a whole truckload of very exciting projects coming down the pipeline, it’s Dan Wells. He’s an author to watch.
I won’t go on forever about the signing. I’ll end it by saying that Dan Wells is incredibly personable, friendly and easy to talk to, and this event put him solidly in my list of authors to pay close attention to. Furthermore, when he was signing my book(s), he asked if I was a blogger and I said yes, and told him who I was. He actually has heard of me and remembered me from my webpage and Twitter. Now, if that’s not flattering as hell, I’m not sure what is.
At the end of the day, this was the best signing I’ve been to yet (though I’m comparing it to two massively packed Brandon Sanderson signings). It was small, informal, intimate, and incredibly informative. I got a true feel for who the author is, and everything that goes into writing his amazing books. It was incredibly well done, lots of fun, and helped me gain a ton of respect for Dan Wells and his books.
I’ll leave you with a few pictures.