Ray Atkins book talk and signing

Posted on August 14, 2009 (Subscribe to Blog)

I had the pleasure of meeting Ray Atkins when I did my TV spot on Wednesday this week. Well, last night Ray did a book talk at the LaFayette Library, so I went along.

He did a great job. It's my turn to sit in that same chair next Thursday, 6.30-8.30 PM, and I hope I'm half as interesting. (What I mean is, I hope I'm at least half as interesting.) Ray, who won the "2009 Georgia Author of the Year for First Novel" award, read excerpts from his two current books, The Front Porch Prophet and Sorrow Wood, and very entertaining he was too. I particularly liked the bit where a house was being transported by a groaning helicopter to a new location, and the porch fell off and squashed a dog.

Surprisingly, the title of the book, The Front Porch Prophet, did not originate from this scene, but from a love poem he wrote to his wife many years ago – he'd sat all day on the porch writing it. Ray remembered that it was an awful poem, and his wife had urged him to throw it away but keep the title for future use. How fitting that the title now works so perfectly for his debut novel.

Another scene that Ray read, from Sorrow Wood, was about digging for a well. A useful tip in life: if you're tired of digging, just secretly pee on your boots and claim you've struck water – and let all the others jump in and dig like mad.

I never personally liked reading aloud from a book, but I can see how it's helpful in getting the flavor of the book across. Before Ray read aloud, all I had to go on was the jacket blurb, and while interesting, I wasn't sure if it was my cup of tea. No monsters or anything. But afterward I was pretty sure I'd like it, so I bought a (signed) copy of Prophet. Now I'm going to have to think carefully about which bits to read from my own book when I do my book talk next week!

Oh, and I have to mention the snacks, which were finger-licking good. The hot apple dumplings and pumpkin cake were drool-worthy. Thanks, Wendy's mom!

Reminder: I'm at Rossville Library on Tuesday 18th August from 4-6 PM.

Comment by JULIE@OWLSDENE on Friday, August 14, 2009...

This all sounds very exciting, Keith. You are now walking amongst the people of the literary field. You must be feeling very proud.
Best wishes Julie

Comment by WENDY on Sunday, August 16, 2009...

You are doing a great job Keith and I always enjoy reading your blog! My mom (Dianne) says she's glad you liked the apple dumplings and there will be more goodies on Thursday. See you then.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Sunday, August 16, 2009...

Thanks, Julie and Wendy! And I look forward to more scrummy snacks, though I'm not sure how I'm going to talk when my mouth is full. You might have to hide the food from me. :-)

Comment by NIGEL ROWE on Tuesday, August 18, 2009...

Just don't forget the folk of Blytonland when you'r rich(er) and (more) famous! ;-) Good luck with everything.

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