My husband and I were invited to the Cobb Library Foundation‘s “Booked for the Evening” fundraiser last night at the Marietta Country Club. The keynote speaker was Stuart Woods, author of 53 thriller novels, including his latest, Doing Hard Time. The foundation presented Woods with the Carol and Jim Ney Literary Award, and then the author spoke for about ten minutes before opening the floor to questions. Did I mention that the venue was a packed dining room of people eating and mingling at the various guest tables? I worried that the Q&A format would backfire, but Woods refused to let anyone else command the room.
Woods fielded questions about his hobbies of flying and boating; he is a licensed pilot and yachtsman. A Georgia native and graduate of the University of Georgia, Woods now splits his time between homes in Key West, Florida, Mount Desert Island, Maine and New York City.
While some guests asked specific questions about people and places in Woods’s books, many asked general questions about his take on the craft of writing. Woods shared that he’s now contractually obligated to submit four books a year for Putnam, which means that he writes seven days a week. Although Woods went on to suggest that he only writes one hour a day now that he’s written most of his life and has developed a rhythm. I say “suggest” because….really?! Four books a year is hard to believe, but one hour a day to produce said four books is unfathomable.
When one woman asked the speaker for his advice to those interested in working in the “book industry,” Woods simply stated, “Write something.” He went on to say that many people who claim to be interested in publishing haven’t actually written anything.
When another guest stood up and asked Woods if he liked green eggs and ham on a bet–she immediately collected $50 from her date upon taking her seat–Woods didn’t miss a beat. He said, “I lost my taste for green eggs and ham with Ted Cruz.” He was referencing the politician’s marathon remarks on the Senate floor which included his reading from Dr. Seuss. The answer elicited mild laughter from the audience, which reminded Woods that he was a self-proclaimed “yellow belly Democrat” speaking in predominately Republican Cobb County.
Wood’s wry and smart Q&A was great entertainment. A special treat on a night celebrating the wonderful contributions that libraries make in their communities. Thanks to the Cobb Library Foundation for hosting such a tremendous event. If you’d like to buy a signed copy of Stuart Woods’s latest novel, Doing Hard Time, visit the Book Exchange in Marietta. Cat and Theresa were selling signed first editions at last night’s event and held a few back for those who weren’t able to be there. They can also ship a copy to you!