Last night I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite new authors! John Shors, the author of Beneath a Marble Sky and Beside a Burning Sea, was at one of our local book stores to introduce his newest book, Dragon House.
I went with my friend, Liz, to the Boulder Bookstore where about 20 people were in attendance. The event was fairly informal with lots of time for questions and discussion. Besides hearing about the inspiration for each of his books, it was interesting to learn about the author's writing habits and the process that each book goes through from writing to publishing to even a possible movie deal. Mr. Shors first book, Beneath a Marble Sky, has generated lots of interest from Hollywood and contracts are underway for movie rights.
Interestingly, my favorite of his books is the one that he is least fond of! When Shors wrote Beside a Burning Sea, a novel set in the Pacific during World War II, he was under contract by Penguin Books and had time constraints that weren't in place for his first novel. He had become involved in the business side of writing and publishing, which involves several hours a day of interacting with publishers for book promotions, as well as international publication. Beneath a Marble Sky has been released in over 30 countries.
Being a novelist as a career demands organization and time lines, something that you don't think of when you're reading a great book and imagining a writer having endless days to bask in the creative process. He sets a goal of writing 10 pages a day and editing 50. He'll often take walks around his neighborhood where he lives in Boulder to process a story, or he'll take a legal pad and a pen and find a parking lot somewhere to just sit in his car and write, to avoid the distractions of the computer and the myriad of business tasks that get in the way of the actual writing.
The newest book, Dragon House, is a story close to Mr. Shors' heart and is drawn from his travels in Asia. Unlike the first two novels, it is set in contemporary time and was inspired by the interaction he had with street children in Vietnam and throughout Asia. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to an organization that helps such children.
It was such a treat to meet the person who wrote some of the favorite books that sit upon my book shelves. I found John Shors to be a gentle, down-to-earth, funny and compassionate man. I look forward to reading this newest book and the others that are already in the works!