Last night I had the opportunity to go to a free event at our local library. The guest author was Doug Dorst. He has written other books, is a three time Jeopardy champ AND works at Texas State University! “S” was collaborated with J.J. Abrams. I had not heard of this book until a few days before the event. The concept was so intriguing I made going to the event a priority!
You can read about this concept and wonderful writing on his website! I recommend checking it out! I personally am looking forward to the read since it is so different to any other books I have read. It has multiple story lines, hand written margin notes, and treasures within the book. I really can’t put into words how excited I am about such a concept and how well it has been put together! He mentioned there are a few ways to go about reading it and I have yet to decide which way I will choose. Last night I read over about 8 pages and just flipped back and forth and read every word on every part of the page. So interesting!
OK…to the event details – I really enjoyed the talk, not only did I learn more about the book and concept, but he shared his writing process as well. Seeing his notes of a first draft through changes and to the final was so interesting! He was so down to earth and his passion for writing came through in every enthusiastic answer he shared with the group. After his very informative and interesting ‘interview’ questions were encouraged and then a book signing opportunity.
I was about fifth in line and tried to think of how to put my emotions into words. During his talk and passion of writing shining through I started thinking of my own novel and how I have been researching and that is necessary, but I have not put pen to paper in quite some time. His words were sparks, the fire grew and I started writing notes down about more story ideas during the interview. I wrote quotes of his and put little arrows by them to character names and notes like “remember to change this or that”. I thought of all of this while waiting in line, a bunch of words came to mind to say, but I wanted them to make sense!
My turn came and I told him I appreciate the concept of a book that really reads best in hand. As much as I enjoy my ereader, it’s nice having a book like this to use as an example of why books will never cease to exist and how I was looking forward to the adventure of reading it! He thanked me and was so kind, he mentioned not being against ereaders, we laughed and I said “of course not”. I nervously mentioned getting a bigger purse so I could fit my ereader and books in it! As he started to sign my book I mentioned my writing and how inspiring it was to hear his talk and passion about the written word. He gave me his full concentration something like (don’t quote me exactly, but he said…) – it’s so important for writers to see and hear other writers, it’s how we learn. “We”… wow. He and I writers… He was kind to say “we”. I mentioned having a concept of adding a few diary pages from a mother that her son finds and how I wanted to put them in as actual pages. (the diary is pretty much for her son and discusses a difficult time they are going through, but she is not sure when he is going to read it, but it is planned that he will see it at some point). Doug said, again no quotes, but the concept of his comment was something like, – Isn’t it fun for us writers to write something with multiple concepts and character development…?
Yes, it is fun. And again, thank you for automatically grouping me into something of ‘us writers’…I told him he had inspired me and sparked a fire in me to continue writing and gave me such valuable ideas to move forward. A lot was said during out 3 minute interaction. As I started to walk away, he thanked me and said ‘good luck on your writing’.
Writers do need to be around other writers, it’s priceless education to hear another author discuss their writing and writing process. I’m so glad I went last night! He made so much sense and helped me clear up some questions I had about my own writing. I believe I owe him a thank you in my acknowledgments! 🙂