I’ve been catching up on stuff here and there and since I’m going to be seeing Isabel Allende today, I thought I’d talk about my first author event I went to at the end of last year.
This all started with a book request. William Morrow sends me emails about books they’re offering for review about once or twice a month. John’s publicist sent me an email about his book and once I read the synopsis, I told my friend on Skype that I HAD to read this book. He was curious so I read the synopsis to him and he thought it sounded like a pretty cool read too. So a bit passes, enough for me to worry about not getting the book and I email the publicist. She got back to me and said she sent out TWO copies and neither got to me. I chalk it up to book gremlins and seriously hope that someone out there enjoyed their two advance review copies of this book. I always like to think that lost books are getting read somewhere. She sent me a final galley and I tore into that book. I think you’ll even see a few tweets between me and John where I’m up at like 5 am with my book lamp reading!
I was about 100 pages from the end of the book when we got to the museum where the event was taking place. Thurber House had a table set up where you could purchase books for him to sign and a giveaway. It was very well done and they were so nice. That was great for me because I’m a bit nervous around large crowds of people. My back injury that led me down the path to being a book blogger also kept me in the house a lot for the last few years except for doctors appointments. I had no idea if I was overdressed or underdressed yadda yadda. We got there early so I was reading in the West Garden near the entrance.
The event itself was great. I was a little worried about spoilers considering I was about 50 pages away from the end. There were none! Just great stories. John told us about how he had been writing since he was a kid, made funny jokes, told us about his own struggles as a writer and how the idea for Help For the Haunted came about. The New York Times had John do an article about his stay at the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum which you can read here. The video is pretty awesome too so be sure to check it out. If you get a chance to catch John at an event, be sure to say hi and ask any questions you might have about any of his books! He’s a very approachable person and he’ll make you laugh a lot. I can’t wait for him to come back and visit again. If you haven’t read Help For the Haunted then go do so! It’s a great book. Most of my photos turned out blurry so I’ll only post a few after this. I’ll write my official review for Help For the Haunted later on this week. It recently won the Alex Award presented by the YALSA!
Synopsis: John Searles’s Help for the Haunted is an unforgettable story of a most unusual family, their deep secrets, their harrowing tragedy, and ultimately, a daughter’s discovery of a dark and unexpected mystery.
Sylvie Mason’s parents have an unusual occupation—helping “haunted souls” find peace. After receiving a strange phone call one winter’s night, they leave the house and are later murdered in an old church in a horrifying act of violence.
A year later, Sylvie is living in the care of her older sister, who may be to blame for what happened to their parents. Now, the inquisitive teenager pursues the mystery, moving closer to the knowledge of what occurred that night—and to the truth about her family’s past and the secrets that have haunted them for years.
Capturing the vivid eeriness of Stephen King’s works with the compelling quirkiness of John Irving’s beloved novels, Help for the Haunted is that rare story that brings to life a richly imagined and wholly original world.