Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. As I've told you before, sometimes Life insists of intruding into my ventures in bookdom. So it has been. Did I tell you I'm back in school? Online courses are incredibly amazing. I submitted my first book report 10 days ago and have yet to get a grade. With my luck it'll probably be a C-.
*** Stephen Hunter was in at Davis Kidd Books in Memphis on January 5th, supporting his new book, I, Sniper. It's a Bob Lee Swagger book, maybe the best one to date. I have a full review currently up on ILAM. www.iloveamysterynewsletter.com. He answered a lot of questions during a 25 minute chat. I asked whether we could expect a Nick Memphis novel and he said no, that Nick is a great supporting character but he doesn't think he could carry an entire novel. Makes sense. He also said that the next book will feature a new, young sniper, sort of a protege for Bob Lee, who is getting a little long in the tooth. He signed books quickly and with dispatch and, all in all, it was quite the good time. The crowd was much larger than I had expected, maybe 50 people in all.
*** A week later Davis Kidd hosted the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker, Dacre (pronounced Day-ker) Stoker, who along with Ian Holm used outtakes and unused plot bits, as well as the surviving notes from Bram, to produce a sequel to Dracula, namely Dracula-The Undead. I had expected an accent, maybe British, maybe Irish, but the one we heard was South Carolina. Go figure. Anyway, Stoker went into great detail about who Bram Stoker was, what might have influenced him to write Dracula, with Jack the Ripper being a surprise I had never considered, and where he and Holm found their research materials. He also laid out the family tree. The book has sold extremely well world-wide, yet Stoker remained approachable and quite humble. Nice guy. I wanted a photo with him but Davis Kidd doesn't have people to help with that sort of thing anymore, I guess, because nobody is ever around when I want one. So here's one I took after he signed my book and he was doing others.