Monday, October 19, 2009

David Wroblewski's Double Talk--Plus a Winner in our Dan Brown Giveaway

What a treat it was to have David Wroblewski visit us for the paperback of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. We had something like quadruple the people as we did at Schwartz for the hardcover (about 85) and that's with him doing three events in the metro area. (Of course, that's when the book was just beginning to find it's audience, but I'll take good news where I can find it.)

My first question? "Can I make sure I have your pronunciation correct? I was just told it might be "ro-blue-ski." But no. Both w's are silent and the rest is phonetic.

He charmed the crowd (of course), but what was most interesting to me was the organization of the event. First your general talk/read/questions, but with a caveat that nobody is to talk about the ending. Then the signing, and then a separate discussion with about 15 folks about the ending.

And it's true, folks do get obsessed with it. "Well, it is structured on Hamlet," I try to reply.

One of the problems when I see an author more than once is that I want them to tell the audience all the good stuff I heard last time. Did you mention where your family's kennel was? Tell them the original name of the book and why it was changed. And how you stopped writing the book and picked it up again when you got a dog. But there was lots of new things to discuss, and in addition to our Sawtelle excerpt, Wroblewski read a new essay for us. There was no time for old news.

Now one last note about The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. We were so excited that the Oprah stickers on the book look removeable. That was so successful on Cormac McCarthy's Oprah selection. However, it turns out on Sawtelle they rip the jacket on just about every other peeling. So don't bother--you're pretty much stuck with it. This jacket is pretty delicate, as is the similar styled new Lorrie Moore. We've had an unusual amount of received-damaged copies.


Before the event we had a customer pick the winning name in our signed Dan Brown The Lost Symbol giveaway. Our lucky entrant? Congratulations Alex Pollock.

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