In the ancient Celtic calendar, so it is said, All Hallows Eve (which begins at sunset on October 31) marks the end of the old year, and the new year doesn’t begin until dawn on November 3. The intervening days (All Souls and All Saints days in the Christian calendar) are days outside of Time, days when we can celebrate what happened in the past and discover what is about to happen in the future.
This note is to let you all know that THE FIRE — the sequel to The Eight — has had a great time in 2009. (And so did its author!) See a few highlights below:
THE FIRE: The Contest
The Dear Reader contest that ran this September and October is now completed, and ten winners have been randomly selected from all those (not just those who entered the contest) who have signed up during that period to receive my newsletter. Winners receive a box with a small chess set and a copy of The Eight and The Fire. The contest was so much fun that we plan to have a few more in the coming year.
THE FIRE: The National Book Festival
I confess that no matter how many books I may write myself, I’ll always consider myself an authors’ groupie! I’m forever impressed by those who do what I do every day of my life — and it’s a real inspiration to be around my fellow writers.
Therefore, it was a major highlight of this year, for me to be one of the select group of 78 authors who were honored by being chosen to appear, this September, at this year’s National Book Festival. Our honorary co-chairs were Michelle and Barack Obama. And despite stormy weather, more than 130,000 people — young and old, from all over the world — turned out for this great festival on the National Mall, at the heart of Washington DC.
At the pre-festival dinner, held the night before at the Library of Congress, among my friends and fellow Mystery-Thriller writers I got to chat with were Jodi Picoult, Lee Child, Lisa Scottoline, David Baldacci, S.J. Rozan, Michael Connelly — along with the very special John Cole, director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, whose genius sparks the fire of the Book Festival.
Here is the group photo of all of us at the breakfast the next morning, just before the festival, that was hosted by The Washington Post. You’ll find me standing on the upper left-hand balcony beside Nicholas Sparks, Michael Connelly and Lisa Scottoline, and
you can also pick out Lee Child and John Grisham in the background. Kneeling at the left foreground is S.J. Rozan, and at center you will see the “young adult” (YA) writer Judy Blume and the ever-wonderful, multiple-award-winning historian, Annette Gordon-Reed. Among the many other writers
I got to meet that day included John Irving, Julia Alvarez, and Basque historian Mark Kurlansky.
(If you click on the photo for an enlargement, try to see how many other authors you can identify!)
THE FIRE: The Quest Continues…
The continuing success of THE FIRE provides an ongoing wealth of opportunities for my books to support wonderful missions, of which I include just a few here, over the past few months:
-National Public Radio: Weekend Edition, Hot Jazz Saturday Night, Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air, Book Talk, Hearts of Space;
-The History Channel: Ancient Mysteries, Biography;
-PEN/Faulkner Foundation: Celebrating authors Chimamanda Ngozi and Fae Myenne Ng;
-The Washington Literacy Council: Supporting training adults within Washington DC to read.
For upcoming details and future events, please visit my website.