Friday, July 29, 2011

Author Sighting: Erik Larson

When I heard that Erik Larson, the author of my all-time favorite non-fiction book (The Devil in the White City) was going to be in town, I literally jumped for joy!  I was so excited and I did everything in my power to be able to hear him speak!  In fact, when I arrived at the hosting local library, the event room was already packed and there were only a few spaces left for standing room.  There was an overflow room available where you could watch the event on a big screen, but this was simply not good enough for me.  I found myself a piece of wall to lean on and got comfortable!

Erik Larson came to speak about his newest nonfiction release, In the Garden of Beasts, featuring an outsider perspective on Hitler's Germany from the point of view of Americans living in the country in the years prior to the Holocaust.  Listening to him speak about his research and his passion for the story was so absolutely amazing that I cannot even begin to put into words this man's talent!  His talent has brought about his ability to write a nonfiction book with a fiction feel, and hook you on the most random and little details about an event so many years ago.  He tackles some of the most difficult subjects, and does it with style.  And, when he speaks to his fans about his writing, he uses wit and humor that was so unexpected based on the topics that he writes about.

One of my favorite things about attending author events is that I get to step into the mind of the writer, even if it may be in snippets.  I get to peak into a world behind the world that I read about.  I get to find out the inspiration, the process, the time, and the sweat that goes into the stories that I love.  Erik Larson was no exception!  For example, in a span of a couple of hours, I learned that Larson finds the research and writing the easy part of his job.  The difficult part is the "idea hunt" -- what to write about next.  I also discovered through an hilarious story that his own daughter called him out on national television, challenging him to share if he "makes this stuff up."  (For those who are curious . . . he does not!  And, his daughter almost found herself stranded hundreds of miles from home!)  And, I walked away with my favorite quote of the night . . . "If I give someone nightmares, I declare that a victory."  As morbid as this sounds, this is my kind of author!

Erik Larson speaking to a packed crowd.
I had yet another fabulous night filled with some local literary love.  I purchased his latest release, chatted in line with other book lovers, had my books signed, and left on a natural high of once again experiencing an evening with a favorite author.  If only all of my pictures had remained on my camera (my pictures of the actual signing were mysteriously deleted), I would have even had a pictorial account of the night as well.  Instead, I leave you with just the one from a distance.

What have been some of your favorite author events?  What makes them your favorite?


  1. He's one of my favorites too. What a great event to get to go to.

  2. carolsnotebook ... He was so fabulous in person! If you get the chance, I highly recommend you go!


Thank you in advance for your comments! I love to hear reader's thoughts and respond to each one within the comment section. Please feel free to subscribe to the comment feed to ensure you can fully participate in the conversations.

Comments on posts older than 14 days are first approved through comment moderation. Word verification should not be turned on, so please notify me if it randomly appears.