Thursday, April 5, 2012

Androids, Elephants, and the Magic of the Alphabet

The Andover Bookstore hosted a wonderful event a few weekends ago. I was lucky enough to join Jennifer Jacobson, author of Small as an Elephant, and Ben Winters of The Mystery of the Missing Everything and the Tolstoy remix Android Karenina. Thankfully Ben also dragged a few of his children in with him; normally I’m the only one trailing kids.

Each of us read from one of our novels, then took questions from the very engaged, interested audience of young readers and parents. The young Tom Brady’s points about my title, Dangerous Waters, were especially astute, and thanks to Serene for the lovely drawing of Emily!

Chris Rose, an elementary school teacher who also runs the children’s section of the store, delivered a wonderful introduction about the magic of writing; the strange power of the 26 letters of our alphabet, and how, in certain combinations, they can generate such vivid characters and scenes, such real emotions in the minds and hearts of readers. After his introduction, I sure was glad that Jennifer Jacobson went first. Talk about pressure!

If you’re ever passing through north of Boston, stop by the Andover Bookstore. It is truly a singular place, a testament to the importance of independents, and I hope to return soon.

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