One of the perks of being a writer is …
… meeting other authors. Today was a perfect example. I was one of three authors at a book and author brunch at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. Perkins is world-renowned, and the event itself was amazing. The men and women who attended (many with guide dogs) were fascinating to me; I could have talked with them the whole time.
But then came the authors. One was Dennis Lehane. I mean, who hasn’t heard of Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, etc.) Part of the pleasure of meeting him was knowing that he worked with Clint Eastwood, whom I’ve always loved (except in The Bridges of Madison County, for which I felt he was miscast, though he directed it, so clearly thought the casting was right)! The other author at the brunch was a woman named Hank Phillipi Ryan, an investigative reporter for the NBC news affiliate here in Boston. She has written a series of mystery novels and is now on her fifth, I think. Since I watch her reports all the time, I was eager to meet her.
We each had 20 minutes to speak, then answered questions, and what came out of it was how different we are. Dennis, who is Boston Irish and celebrates that in his work, is typical of many male writers for whom the book is a prelude to bigger things, namely Hollywood. Hank, who still works full time on investigative pieces for TV, writes to blend that work with her delight in the written word. And me? As the only full-time writer in the group, I probably live more of the overall publishing experience than they do.
Three authors, three approaches to writing. That was pretty neat.
The best thing, though, was Hank. Have you ever clicked with someone the instant you meet? We kept saying to each other, “How could our paths not have crossed before?” We didn’t stop talking before and after the event. So I got a new friend out of the deal. How special is that?