Saturday, June 4, 2016

Got to See John Hart - LIVE!

You all know what a big fan of John Hart I am.  I won't bore you with a bunch of repetition. But you know how much I like his stuff.  Well, as I've mentioned on this blog before, John was scheduled to come to The Book Passage in Corte Madera at 1:00PM on June 4.  It's now 9:54PM on June 4.  So he has come and gone.  And it was great to see him.  Besides being such an outstanding author, he is a very interesting guy.  Here are a whole bunch of things I learned today.

1.  John is at the tail end of a 6-week, 35-city tour.  He won't see his family for the whole 6 weeks.
2.  He is the only mystery author in the 72-year history of the Edgar awards to win for 2 straight books.
3.  His latest book, Redemption Road, is his 5th straight success story.  He also wrote 2 books prior to those that did not get published.
4.  His 1st 4 books ranked, in order, 23, 18, 10, and 9.  He's obviously getting more popular with each book.
5.  John is a lawyer.  His 1st book, King of Lies, is about a lawyer (and maybe just a bit autobiographical).  His publisher wanted his 2nd book to also be about a lawyer.  John took a stand and refused to do that.  He wasn't feeling it.  Ultimately, the publisher backed off.
6.  He doesn't outline and writes as he goes.  And, most importantly, his books are character-driven, not story-driven.  John says that he employs the Grope and Hope method of writing.
7.  He's killed off 2 brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law in his books.  He also held a naming-rights contest with the winner getting his/her name in one of his books.  The money was given to charity.
8.  The main character in The Last Child, book #3 (37 years on the NYT bestseller list), had a minor role in book #2, Down River.  John liked Johnny Merrimon so much that he made him the star of #3.
9.  Between book #4, Iron House, and book #5, Redemption Road, was a 5-year period. John spent a  whole year, and 300 pages, on a book that he sacked.  He just didn't like it. He said that he started with a story, not a character.  That obviously went counter to his preferred method (see #6 above).
10. Book #6, which MIGHT be published next July, will be a sequel to The Last Child, taking place ten years later.  He has to finish it by the end of December, and he's already written 150 pages.  He's hoping to do it.
11. Both The Last Child and Down River have been picked up as possible movies.  It looks like TLC is closer than DR.
12. John only got a $7500 advance for his 1st book.  That was the same Patricia Cornwall got and MORE THAN John Grisham and Tom Clancy!
13. John said that what he is most proud of is that he has always made the difficult choice. He gave up both lawyering and a job with Merrill Lynch in order to focus on writing.  It's was obviously a good choice, in retrospect.  But, at the time, John was taking big risks. Good for him.

Did I not tell you how interesting John Hart was?  Would I lie to you?  Maybe...but not this time!

BIG COBEN NEWS:  Harlan Coben announced this week that his next book is coming out in September.  And it's another Myron Bolitor.  How great is that news?

1 comment:

  1. John Hart quickly became a favorite author and I would love to meet him. Redemption Road will be on my favorite reads of 2016 list.