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Monday, November 12, 2012

Books to Die for Tour Stop : John Connolly

Books to Die For Tour Stop South Portland Maine
October 18, 2012 : 7pm
(John Connolly and I)

On Thursday, October 18th , I met John Connolly for the fourth time. I arrived, rocking my Burning Soul T-Shirt that he gave me last year. I was, of course, excited when I got there and was able to snag seats for my fiancé and myself in the front row. Someone even asked me, “Are you the official John Connolly cheering squad?” Yup, that would be me! They continued, “Where did you get your T-Shirt?”
“Oh, he gave it to me,” I answered like it was a normal thing.
“Are you related to him?”
“No, I have met him three times; he is awesome.” (Thinking: That would be flipping awesome, don’t I wish.) I think I gushed some more because her response to that was: “I can see why he gave you a T-shirt.” I guess I sort of praise him when I talk about him, but I can’t help it. He is awesome and so friendly and personable. When he saw me in the crowd, he waved at me; and, when he was coming up front to speak, he said, “Hi, Christie; how are you?” My brain went OMG OMG HE REMEMBERED MY NAME! I was seriously impressed. I met him three times before, but the last time was a year ago; and he meets a ton of people. I thought he would recognize me again, but I honestlydidn’t expect him to remember my name. I was sitting there smiling like an idiot, doing a happy dance in my head while the librarian introduced him and Julie Spencer-Fleming, who was also speaking.

The entertainment started right off; the library had these low, comfy-looking seats set up for them, but other than the people in the front row, they wouldn’t have been able to be seen. The whole time John Connolly spoke, I was almost always laughing. He is absolutely captivating and charismatic when he speaks. He talks very fast and so easily transforms whatever he is talking about and makes it funny or makes a joke about it. Inappropriate jokes - yup, he does that also, but I won’t repeat them. I will go to every event he does in Maine. I don’t care what he is talking about; I always enjoy listening to him. He is a ton of fun. Oh, and did I mention... HE REMEMBERED MY NAME! I still can’t get over that.
So, this event was about the new book Books to Die For that he helped put together and edit (and he says he will never take on anything like this again, but he was also glad that he did it). I’m not quoting because I can’t remember the exact words he used, but it was along those lines.

Forget books to die for... how about authors to die for, or at least authors you should meet before you die? John Connolly is definitely one of them; of course, if you don’t have a sense of humor, that may not be a good idea, but for most of us that do, you have to meet him. Even minus the humor, he is worth meeting because he is such a nice person. His parents must have brought him up right or something because he isn’t mean, arrogant, or full of himself at all - just a genuine, down-to-earth guy. If he ever comes to your town, seriously - make the time.  It is more than worth it.

I also still can’t get over how personable he is. He seriously cares; he has millions of fans, but he cared to remember me and remember my name. He was even trying to remember how to spell my name - he was wrong, which is totally fine, but he cared, so hey - maybe next time he will even know how to spell it. I’m totally not holding him to that, though. I have had teachers spell my name wrong for an entire year before and even family members, so if a national best-selling author just remembers my name and never knows how to spell it, I’m still ecstatic.

We also got to hear the story of how John Connolly ended up in Maine in the first place. It is a funny story and, even though he thinks we are all insane in Maine,  he keeps coming back.
The event was great and I will have to check out Books to Die For which is essays from popular authors today about mystery/crime books that influenced them. “Every author was a reader first” was how the concept of the book was being introduced. If you are a mystery/crime fan, this book is a great way to find out what your favorite authors' favorite books are.
(Autographing my books)

After the event he autographed books. I got two Charlie Parker books autographed and I also got Every Dead Thing, the first book in the Charlie Parker series, autographed for Michele from A Belle’s Tales. I talked so much about him she asked me to get her a book autographed for her, so of course I did. John talked to me and wasn’t offended that I didn’t get to finish Every Dead Thing myself before the event because of my insane school schedule. I really, really wanted to but just didn’t have the time. He gave me a set of cool post cards based on his Charlie Parker series, and he also gave me a set to give Michele. Even though I didn’t buy Books to Die For yet, he gave me a set of the trading cards anyways. Have I mentioned that he is awesome!?

(Trading Cards)

(Post Cards)

He also talked to my fiancé, asked him his name, shook his hand, and congratulated us on being engaged.

Thank you, John Connolly, for doing another event in Maine and I hope to see you here next year! Thanks for being so awesome; I will continue to get excited about you and I look forward to finishing Every Dead Thing and also reading the entire Charlie Parker series.

With most authors, I read the books and then want to meet them, but in this case, it was the opposite. I met the author and it made me want to read his books.

I know my post is totally gushy, but I can’t help it. I had a fantastic time and I can’t wait until I can see John Connolly again. Seriously, if you are reading this, you need to meet him at some point!

Books To Die For edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke

BOOKS TO DIE FOR is a unique, must-have anthology for any fan of the mystery genre, featuring personal essays from 120 of the world’s most beloved and renowned crime writers on the mysteries and thrillers that they most admire, edited by two of their own—John Connolly and Declan Burke.

Tana French on The Secret History by Donna Tartt; Jo Nesbø on Jim Thompson’s Pop. 1280; Kathy Reichs on The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris; Michael Connelly on Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister, and Charlaine Harris on Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male: these are just a few of the 120 internationally bestselling mystery writers showcased in this collection—a book every reader of crime fiction should own.

In the most ambitious anthology of its kind ever compiled, each author pays a deeply personal tribute to one mystery that means the most to them, explaining why that book affects them and how it has influenced their own work. This collection presents a treasure trove of works in the mystery genre by the people who know it best, and is an essential guide for all readers and writers. (Goodreads)

About John Connolly:

John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute. 

He is based in Dublin but divides his time between his native city and the United States. (Goodreads)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome recap! I have never read his books, but now I am interested since you are a big fan. Sounds like you had an awesome time!!


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