ERT/Booklist Forum Authors Open Up
Best-selling authors Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats, All Over Creation), Terry Brooks (Genesis of Shannara series, Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy), Gregg Olsen (The Deep Dark: Disaster and Redemption in America’s Richest Silver Mine), and Ivan Doig (The Bartender’s Tale) were the featured guests at the ERT/Booklist Author Forum held on Friday afternoon at Midwinter 2013. Moderated by Booklist Adult Books Editor Brad Hooper, the discussion touched on the quartet’s personal lives, careers, work, and writing processes. The future of the novel and the publishing industry as a whole was an overarching theme. Ebooks were debated. Midwinter’s host city was given nods as well, with the authors, each of whom have ties to Seattle and/or the Pacific Northwest, relating how the area has influenced their work.
The authors were light, open, self-effacing, and often very funny, but also sincere and serious. They genuinely enjoyed being in front of the Midwinter crowd. Their words speak volumes.
Ruth Ozeki: “When I write books, I have some sort of question that I want to investigate. (Writing is) a process of exploration.”
Terry Brooks: “There’s not a lot of difference between being a trial lawyer and a fantasy writer.”
Gregg Olsen: “I’m really good at telling other people’s stories.”
Ivan Doig: “My writing skills came out of journalism and my imagination.”
Brooks: “I wanted to be a writer since I was 10 years old.”
Ozeki: “My new book is the story of a reader and a writer. I guess you could say it’s a love story then.”
Olsen: (on transitioning from true crime to young adult writing): “I write the same story essentially—about murders—but the protagonists are twin girls.”
Olsen: “Writing fiction has been the most fun of my career.”
Brooks: “I hate those Kindles. I want nothing to do with ’em … but there’s room in the world for both.”
Doig: “Rain is the ink of the Northwest… I’m convinced that there’s a real connection to the great art of the Pacific Northwest and the fact that it’s on the giant rain coast.”
Olsen: “There is something creepy and dark about the Pacific Northwest. We’ve had our share of serial killers. The best!”
Ozeki: “Librarians are my favorite people; my heroes. They’re the people of the book. I secretly want to be a librarian.”