Thursday, September 30, 2010

How I Met David Baldacci (part two)

After getting Sue and I on the guest list to meet David Baldacci, I called my local library and begged our librarian, Alicia, to help me out.

She also had never read David Baldacci. But she had lots of his books there!

So the boys and I made a library run where I picked out two of his books, True Blue because it’s the latest and Absolute Power because it seemed to be the top of all his book lists and I don’t like to read books out of order.

These books also seem to be about 500 pages or so. When I checked the two books out I asked Alicia if she thought I could finish one that night. She looked over at my boys playing and chuckled “With your four boys? No.”

(Note here: Alicia really does love our boys)

Alicia was right, I never even cracked open the book. I was just too exhausted.

The next day I had a meeting with Sue to get our magazine done (ohhh, it’s gonna be great!) and we had Pioneer Woman dinner to make and then it was home to get snacks for the boys and then it was…WHAT TO WEAR???

I literally tried on four different outfits. Because our full length mirror broke, I stood on a chair in the dining room, in front of some funky mirror I bought at a garage sale when we first moved in, snapped photos with my blackberry and then sent them out to get feed back.

No one answered.

I found out later that they DID answer; my phone just didn’t recognize it until the NEXT day. A little late...

When Sue stopped to get me, I was panicked but she took one look at the outfit I had on and said “Yes, that one”. So I slipped on my most favorite heels, kissed my boys goodbye, had them snap this photo and away we went.

To Watermark Country Club.

I have never stepped foot in a Country Club.

If you have to visit a country club for the first time ever, I highly recommend this one. Wow.

And I’d have taken pictures for you but, really, that might seem…un-country club like. So look at the site…and then notice the floors. I think Tonka Trucks run over those floors would be so loud but I think the floors could withstand it. What do you think?

The Author Reception was all around classy. The room held about 100 to 120 people we guessed, all excited to meet David. We bought ourselves a book, I bought a book for my friends who are apparent huge David fans, had our books signed, realized we should have gotten a picture with him, took a picture with David and ate an appetizer like dinner while chatting with two ladies from Grand Rapids Magazine who were truly sweet, truly funny and truly a joy to chat with.

Then a woman (forgive me, I completely forgot her name, but she worked for WGVU) interviewed him and I was awed by what he had to say. He spoke candidly, he was very funny, a great story teller, and answered the crowds’ questions.

He stressed, “To Read is To Think. They are the same verb.” David spoke on the foundation he and his wife have created, Wish YouWell, to help the fight against illiteracy.


What really pierced to my heart, as a girl who had no idea who this man was, was him talking about writing. I have always heard that you must write every day. Not only must you write every day, you must right about 1,500 to 2,000 words every day to be considered a writer. David said that there are days he writes all day long, and there are days he doesn’t write at all. The key is, he writes what is in him to write, what story he has to tell.

I loved that. As a girl who has to get to the computer to pour out the words jumbled up in my head, I drank that in.

David told some hilarious stories too. Uproariously funny. Just some fun facts are…Mark Twain is his favorite author. He has gone boating with the first President Bush, but I think he will head Barbara’s advice and not go again. He is privy to some serious military information. When researching True Blue, he walked with a DC cop who arrested some guy and when the guy had his face down on the pavement getting cuffed he looked up at David and said, “ I love your books!” David will never ever approach you if he sees you reading one of his books because he has a rule against doing that and one time he broke that rule, offered to sign a guys book, and quickly realized he had made that rule for himself for a reason.

Great great great funny stories.

After the Author Reception, we drove the short distance to Forest Hills Fine Art Center to hear his speech on “Why Read?”

There we were given reserved parking passes, Sue and I were given reserved seats that put us in the SECOND ROW FROM THE STAGE. Then we were able to enjoy about an hour and a half speech by David that had the whole place roaring with laughter. He basically gave a quick run down of his beginning writing career (found this enthralling), a bit of his life as a lawyer and some of his adventures in travel.

When he was finished with his speech, he also took questions from the audience. Wish You Well is the book dearest his heart and the Camel Series was his favorite series he has written thus far. Shaw and Michelle are coming back.

I have no idea what any of that means that I just wrote, but fans will.

And I have a feeling that I am going to be digging into True Blue here shortly and then becoming one of David’s biggest fans.

In hindsight, I wish I had grabbed the library books I had checked out. How cool would it be to have signed David Baldacci books in our little library?

All in all, the night was a dream. It was funny. It was inspiring. It was great to meet some new people (hello Mary and Kimberly!), and it was truly enjoyable to meet someone who has written 19 best sellers, writes full novels in 6 to 8 months and still – from where I was sitting – appear to be totally humble and down to earth.

Then next morning, my good friends over at Fox 17 interviewed David. Here is that interview

Thank you ever so much to Grand Rapids Magazine for the tickets and the great conversationalist at the table.

To Kent District Library, thank you for this wonderful night out. For years you have sent books and movies and Cd's to me via the inner library loan. You have been in our home and enriched our lives and we have never met. I know how hard all the cuts have been on the library, and how drastically the inner library has been cut back, but you still have had an impact on our lives and I thank you for that. Thank you for doing the best you can, you do a wonderful job!

Thanks to you both, Sue and I had a night we will not ever forget. Thank you.

And to David Baldacci, I am sorry I have apparently lived under a rock and never read any of your books. Thanks for being so gracious to Sue and I. I look forward to reading every one of your books. Thank you for giving up your night and time from your family to talk and meet us West Michiganders.

The night had great impact on me, and it was a delightful time. Thank you for all the stories and laughs.

Oh, and Twitter totally rocks. Sign up and get connected with our local businesses if you aren't already! It is definitely worth it!


Praise and Coffee said...

You're a machine!

Awesome post, and great play by play of the evening. I should have sent you the picture of our table after I spilled all our beverages. Spilled is too kind a word for the mess I made.

But it was a fabulous evening!!!

Anonymous said...

What an opportunity! I'm really glad that you shared that with all of us. And I really do love your boys! I know how hard it is with only two boys, I can't even imagine four. You do a wonderful job with them and should be very proud of them.

Becca @ My Crazy Good Life said...


Sounds SO fun, and isn't it wonderful that you learned about an author in the process??