I was a bit worried about the Michael Connelly event scheduled for last night. Sounds silly, but the one thing that really stood out for me from seeing Michael at Harrogate in 2005 was how shy he is. He wasn’t one to relax in front of the crowd while being interviewed. Instead, he seemed nervous.
Not that he wasn’t interesting and enjoyable as one of the special guests. It was just the impression I was left with, which had me wondering how he’d handle an event on his own where he wasn’t being interviewed.
And he was, quite simply, perfect. Michael started off telling everyone a bit about writing the books, why he takes a break from Bosch every now and again (“to keep him alive”) and he also commented that it was his first time coming to Calgary. I hadn’t realized that.
He did read a brief excerpt from the book. I was smiling as he explained he doesn’t like reading much and that he thought it would be better to answer questions. Yes. The man is a pro. And he fielded questions from the crowd right to the point where he was given the one question warning, and then signed books graciously.
Some of the general remarks Michael made that struck me:
- Harry must evolve every book. Everything else is window dressing – the character is most important.
- True and believable are two different things. (Well said!)
- Never miss a chance to say something about character (referencing a quote about ‘make sure that on every page someone wants something, even if it’s just a glass of water).
- The best crime novels are not about how cops work on cases but how cases work on cops.
And Michael will not use the word 'serendipity' for probably a month now until he gets it out of his system.
I waited in line to get my hardcover of Echo Park signed and had a pleasant chat with Michael… about Harrogate, Bouchercon Alaska, Killer Year, etc. And what he wrote in the front of my copy is something that’s always going to date the book for me and make it significant.
I haven’t read Echo Park yet, but I am looking forward to it. Based on the premise, it sounds intriguing.
Now, in light of my original post yesterday, I was directed to this post, which puts some of that article I was referencing in perspective.
Thanks Stephen. It did make me feel better. It’s still an uphill battle when you’re starting out in this business, and I don’t think it’s wise to indulge delusions of monstrous sales. But this does show how some of the numbers were skewed to make it seem more hopeless than it is.
Just insert IRS for Revenue Canada if you want to make this joke American
In a long line of people waiting for a bank teller one guy suddenly started massaging the back of the person in front of him.
Surprised, the man in front turned and snarled, "Just what the hell are you doing?"
“Well," said the guy, "you see, I'm a chiropractor and I could see that you were tense, so I had to massage your back. Sometimes I just can't help practicing my art!"
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" the guy replied. "I work for Revenue Canada. Do you see me fucking the guy in front of me?