BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Group Interview with Author David Baldacci

Recently, I had the good fortune to be part of a group phone conference interview with author David Baldacci. A number of bloggers were invited to participate and we each had a turn to ask a question. The call lasted about 30 minutes. I was delighted and flattered to be asked to be one of the bloggers in this interview. I've enjoyed David's books and enjoyed listening to him talk; he was funny and eloquent. I've tweaked the interview a bit but it's basically intact. It's a long one! So make yourself comfy and enjoy! 

 Brittany, Big Honcho Media:  All right.  So, just to let everyone know, we're going to kick off the call as a conversation between David Baldacci and his awesome Scholastic editor, Rachel Griffiths. 
While they're talking, I'm going to have you all on mute just so that we can make sure that they are heard nice and clearly.  And once they go through a quick Q&A, then I'm going to open it up.  I'll call on each of you one at a time by your name and outlet and make sure that everybody has an opportunity to talk to David. 
So, without further delay, I will let David and Rachel take it away.  Thanks for being with us.
 Rachel Griffiths:  Hi, everybody. Welcome to the call tonight, David. 
 David Baldacci:  Thank you very much. 
 Rachel:  I have the great pleasure, with the lovely bloggers assembled tonight, to put you on the hot seat and ask you a few questions.  Thank you for taking the time to do this and for talking to us about your fantastic books. 
The newest one out, of course, is The Escape, which just came out this month from Grand Central, and then you had your first ever YA novel, The Finisher, which came out in March.  So, we're going to ask you a little bit about both of them, because it's a whole new David Baldacci with The Finisher.  And then, with The Escape, it's what actually the AP is calling your best one yet.  So, we have a lot to talk about. 
 David:  Okay. 
 Rachel:  I guess my very first question is one of the things that I love about your books--
Well, one of the things that I love about your books is that you always give such an adrenaline filled read.  And it's always action and explosion and fighting. 
There's always something going on, but sometimes in some books that can be the purview only of men.  And in your books, the female characters are as tough as the men and then some.  I'm thinking of Michelle Maxwell.  I'm thinking of course of Vega Jane in your young adult novel.  Why so many strong women in your pages?  Why is this something that interests you? 
 David:  I guess I didn't--I don't write about damsels in distress because I don't happen to know any.  I have a lot of guy friends that need a lot of help and not so much the women. 
I grew up with a force of nature in my mother.  And I'm married to a force of nature with my wife, whose name is Michelle.  So, if you're wondering who the role model for Michelle Maxwell was, you have the answer.  So, that's why. 
 Rachel:  That makes a lot of sense.  That's really nice to hear. 
Another theme that you play around with a lot--and based on your previous answer in naming one of your characters after your wife, maybe that's part of the answer to this next question, but one of the themes you play around with a lot is family. 
And in The Escape, your most recent book, John Puller is investigating his own brother's escape from a federal prison.  And this theme of family and loyalty is one you keep coming back to, and I'm wondering what about that theme interests you.              
 David:  Well, I think family dynamics are universal, and they always interest me.  All readers can relate to that.  We all have families. 
It's not like you can pick your family.  Your family is who they are.  There are lots of challenges.  They're endlessly fascinating because of that.  And the characters, particularly a family dynamic like in The Escape with the Puller brothers and their father, it allows me to connect on a human level with the readers.
And really, it's the only way I can do that.  I can't really do that through plot, but I can do it through the family dynamics. 
 Rachel:  Well, it certainly makes for fun reading. 
So, another thing that is particularly interesting to me, David, is that you chose to write a fantasy novel.  I mean, it--I have to tell you it really blew me away when the submission came in, and of course it came in anonymously, because I had no idea. 
I knew that a big author had written a book, but I didn't know who it was.  And I never would have guessed it was you.  You're so beloved for your thrillers and known for kind of owning this one genre, and then you wrote something completely different, a young adult fantasy novel.  And I just--I've always been curious as to why you did that. 
 David:  Well, as a kid growing up, I read a lot of fantasy and I'd always loved that. 
And I've always felt that a writer, if you don't stretch, you sort of wither on the vine.  So, for me, it was a challenge to get out of my comfort zone and write in a genre and in a way that I'd never written about before. 
It took me five years to do this book, and four and a half years was sort of banging my head against the wall and trying to get the story and the characters and everything right so I could really sit down and write this book the way I wanted to write it.
So, it was just a new direction for me.  But, unlike most other occupations where you get really good at something because you do it over and over again and work all the errors out of it, as a writer, you get better when you do something different.  I get to use my imagination. 
You know, I--really, I'm prolific because I'm just a kid.  I'm a seven-year-old boy looking at a blank piece of paper, exercising my imagination.  And that's really what I do.  And I call it a job, but it's really not.      
 Rachel:  Well, just a quick follow up.  So, if it took you four years to write The Finisher, how long does it usually take you to write an adult novel?
 David:  A lot shorter. 
 Rachel:  Sorry, David! So, you've talked about your family a lot.  And I know that books are really important to you and your family.  And I think that's one of the things that I also love about the fact that you're now writing for young adults and for--you know, honestly for people of all ages.  And I would love to know what the books that got you into reading were.  And as your children were growing up, what were the books that made them love reading?
 David:  Well, I really enjoyed fantasy.  I mean, I was into particularly characters that had--stories that had animals.  You know, Charlotte's Web was a favorite of mine.
I was also kind of the kid that watched everybody else growing up, so I loved the Harriet the Spy series.  I read Tolkien.  I read the Narnia series. 
And for my kids, I think really the first big series we did together as a family was Harry Potter.  We listened to all the audio books.  Jim Dale is just brilliant.  And that was a way for us to really enjoy that adventure together as a family.
And as you can imagine, our house is filled with books.  Our kids grew up reading.  I remember the first book I ever read when I was six years old.  It was called A Magic Squirrel. 
And it had such a profound impact on me that three years ago I went out and bought a first edition online somewhere and have it at my house now.  And I go back and look at it from time to time, because I remember that book so vividly as being the one that had, you know, the impact on me that said maybe one day you can be a writer like that too, which is very cool. 
 Rachel:  It's amazing, I mean, how much--if you're a real reader, how much a book can mean to you and how much it can change things for you.  It's one of the things that keeps me excited about books all the time. 
 David:  I'm a writer today because I was a reader as a kid.  And I know that for a fact, and that's why I stress the importance of reading so often. 
 Rachel:  Well, that is--that's actually something that I'm--I've also been very interested about, is that you do a lot of work for libraries and literacy.  You have a family literacy foundation, and this is a cause that you've been very passionate about. 
And, you know, the world gets more and more digital and sometimes people say, "Why are books still important?  Why are people reading stories?"  Why do you do this work that you do?
 David:  Well, I think I was a library rat as a kid (I was too! ~ Bea).  And we've always had stories. 
You know, humankind evolved around stories, whether it was hieroglyphics or drawings on the wall, tales that were told down, oral histories provided.  So, we are a race and a civilization that grew up with stories and we love stories, because it communicates a lot of things from one generation to the next. 
And libraries, for me, I've always considered them the foundation of the democracy.  You walk into a building and it's filled full with books.  But, it's really filled with ideas and diversity of opinion, and the things that are very important to people in a free and open society.
So, it really doesn't matter how people read.  I don't care if you read on an e-book or you listened on an audio book or you read a paperback or a hardcover.  What matters is that you read.  You read the story.
And I've always thought that readers are far more interesting than people who don't read, because you just are exposed to so much more.  Your level of tolerance is far higher.  You're open-minded and you're open to new ideas and opinions. 
And it just makes you a much better, well-rounded person, plus the fact that, you know, reading is the most fundamental skill you'll ever have.  And without it, you can never achieve your potential.  And so, people should just dive into as many books as they possible can. 
 Rachel:  Well, I think we have time for one more question.  And for that, I think we'll go from your current career to your previous career, because they're very, very different.  Before you wrote 30 novels, you were a lawyer.  And how much influence did that career have on your current one?
 David:  Yeah.  You know, some of the best fiction I ever wrote was when I was a lawyer, by the way.  The more I made stuff up, the more cases I won.  It's kind of funny that way. (LOL ~ Bea)
 Rachel:  Hmm, I don't know what that says about the criminal justice department or your talent as a writer.  It's got to be a comment on one of them. 
 David:  Well, I tend to think that writers and lawyers have a lot of the same attributes, and I have worked on cases [inaudible]. 
And I did a little thesis today, and went back home and thought about it and went back and hit it again.  And it teaches you discipline in working on big projects for long periods of time.  And all my tools were my brain and the words that I could come up with and put down on a piece of paper or speak before a court. 
And I have to tell you that it really made me a lot better as a published writer, because a lot of other writers have benefitted from my work on this because I have rewritten a lot of publishing contractors over the years and made it a lot better for writers. 
 Rachel:  Listen, I'm glad I'm your editor and not across the contract table from you, that's for sure.
But, I think Brittany, was going to take it over now, because I know the bloggers have a lot of questions and I want to make sure that they all have time to talk to you. 
 David:  Sounds great.
Gwenfrom Fresh Fiction. 
 David:  Hi, Gwen. 
 Gwen:  Hi,  Mr. Baldacci.  How are you?
 David:  I'm fine, thank you. 
 Gwen: Good.  Well, thank you so much for chatting with us.  It was really interesting listening to you talk briefly about your career and everything. 
But, I--it was funny, because I came in with a whole bunch of questions that I wanted to ask about family.  But, what I was actually really fascinated by was that one of the first books that you read with your kids was Harry Potter, and I find that The Escape has kind of like a Prisoner of Azkaban kind of vibe to it.  And I don't know if you were aware of that while you were putting it together. 
 David:  You know, I'm glad you pointed it out.  I've been to a number of prisons in my life as a lawyer.  I've never been sentenced to prison, just let me put that out there, and I was able to walk out at the end of the day. 
But, it's one of those few places in the world where you--your total freedom is taken away, and it's a very important thing.  And I have had clients who've been in positions like that.
So, I can't say that I was thinking about the Prisoner of Azkaban, but it certainly is a great analogy because it's not a good place.  You're not free.  You're being controlled completely by someone else.  And I've been fascinated by prisons for a long time, and I've written about them before in other books. 
But, with The Escape, really I think that probably the worst feeling you could possibly have is if your liberty's been taken away but you know that you're actually innocent.  There's no way, no voice, no advocate for you anymore.  You're just behind bars serving out a sentence you didn't deserve.
So, for me, that really just heightens the stakes.  And I also love to write about justice and injustice and people having a second chance and redemption.  And The Escape is really full of all of those themes. 
 Gwen: Yeah.  Well, and especially since you just said the fact that in The Escape you have--or with prison you have this issue of your freedoms are taken away, but then you also kind of have this juxtaposition with the Puller brothers' father having Alzheimer's, which is another thing where your personal liberties are taken away because they're being taken away by nature. 
Did you find any sort of challenges of adding that element into the book and throwing so much family drama and family turmoil into the story? 
 David:  Oh, absolutely.  I mean, I have siblings as well.  I think many families have been touched by people who are suffering from dementia or other type of illness, Alzheimer's. 
Puller Senior is living in a prison as well.  It doesn't have bars.
It just happens to be in his mind.  So, that's something, one, that is affecting him, obviously.  But, at some point he will be in a state where he won't even know it's really happening anymore. 
So, really then the pain of what he's going through falls to the two sons, who know very vividly and markedly what he's going through.  And they see a father who led men into combat, who was as strong as they come, who was decisive. 
May not have been the greatest father in the world because of the career path that he chose and how much time he had to devote to that, but at the same time it's a man they love and respect and probably have never been able to live up to the expectations, one, that he had for them and, two, the sort of achievements he made in life as well. 
It's really hard to grow up with a father who had done as much as John Puller Senior had done.  So, for me, having a father relationship like that with two brothers, both very different in many ways but also similar in some ways, I just loved how all those dynamics worked out on the page.
 Gwen:  Yeah, it was--I mean, it's such a compelling read. 
 David:  Thank you. 
 David:  Hello.  
 Barb:  I just wanted to let you know I'm really honored to be here and be able to talk to you. 
 David:  Well, thank you very much.  That's very kind.
 Barb:  And I also want to mention that you hit really close to home with dementia.  So, I've seen it myself, so, I mean, I really appreciated how you handled that. 
All right.  My question is--what I found amazing in your stories is the detail that flows seamlessly.  My question is not the research part, but how you set your story.  Are you a plotter with some sort of outline, or a pantser writing with the flow?
 David:  Yeah, I don't do really major outlines for my novels.  I've always thought, rightly or wrongly, that if I wrote from an outline it would really read to everyone like I wrote from an outline where everything's sort of neatly tied together and just flows in just the right way.  And life is not really like that.
So, a lot of what I do is sort of the seat of my pants.  I do get into the story, and I have the character flow in my head and I have plot ideas in my head.  But, I just sit down in front of my computer or sometimes in front of a legal pad and just let it fly and see what works.
And some days I think I'm going to go in one direction but I happen to go in another because it just feels right.  I think my instincts over the years have served me well.  So, I really just like to innovate and be creative right there while I'm sitting down in front of the screen and just let the words pop out of me.
I know it feels like it's almost happening spontaneously, but I've always thought the subconscious is just another way of saying things you've been thinking about a long time at a certain level, and they bubble to the surface.  And we think we just thought of them, but actually we've been ruminating on them for a long time.
And that's the way I like to write.  I'll do little mini outlines here and there for a particular chapter to make sure that I get all the points in there that I want to have.  But, for the broader strokes, you know, all of it's in my head and I just like to sit down and play around with it and see where it takes me.
 Barb:  Thank you.  You really do it so well, so flawlessly.  Thank you.
Bea from Bea's Book Nook (moi!)
 David:  Hello. 
 Bea:  Hi. This question comes from my brother-in-law.  He was wondering what was your inspiration for The Camel Club?  I think that's one of his favorites. 
 David Baldacci:  Yeah, I know.  I get that from a lot of people.  People love The Camel Club. 
I just wanted to do something really different where I had an ensemble cast of some guys who had had some mileage on them.  They weren't particularly young or fit anymore.  And in many ways, people looked at them as being past their prime. 
But, I thought that they had a lot of fuel left in the tank and that, together as a group, they were greater than they were apart.  And again, it was just another sort of matter of me stretching my creative wings and going in a different direction and trying to build something I'd never built before. 
And a lot of the characteristics they've had, people over the years--you know, I've observed some of these idiosyncrasies and physical mannerisms and things in people and grafted them onto some of the characters in The Camel Club.  I've never taken anybody from real life and plopped them whole cloth into a book, but certainly bits and pieces of observations I've made over the years.
And I just wanted to build this really quirky kind of group that were sort of conspiracy theorists but had some specialized background and knowledge that actually made them effective doing what they did.  And I didn't want them to be, you know, in official power and I didn't want them to be associated with any organization.  I just wanted them to be people out there who had some unique skills and had some mileage on them, and put them into adventures and situations where they could show they still had a lot of worth and value left.
And it turned out to be really fun.  When I wrote the first one, The Camel Club, I wasn't thinking they were going to be a series.  I tell you, when I wrote the last book I was thinking these guys are going to come back.  
 Bea: Do you think you'll go back to that series?
 David:  Oh, absolutely.  The Camel Club will ride again.  You can tell him that they'll be back. 
 Bea:  Excellent.  Thank you. 
 Candace:  My question actually has less to do with you as an author.  I'm more--I'm interested in the literacy foundation that you and your wife started called Wish You Well.  And I wondered if you can tell us something about that and how we can help or contribute or get involved. 
 David:  We have--well, first of all, we have a website, it's, that has a lot of information about that.  And we have a full-time director who runs that philanthropic arm for us.
The foundation's been in existence for about 15 years.  My wife and I founded it, and really based on our immersion in the issues of illiteracy in the United States.  We have a huge illiteracy problem here. 
We turn out a million high school dropouts a year.  Socioeconomically, they are not going to be in good shape.  We have 100 million adults, about half the adult population, who read at below acceptable literacy levels.  And really their potential is going to be curtailed because of that.
So, what we do is we fund literacy organization programs across the United States.  And we have funded programs in virtually all 50 states and counting, and will continue to do so.  We have a Board of Directors.  We meet six times a year.  We receive about 5,000 applications for funding from across the country, which is quite a few applications to go through, but we look through every single one of them. 
We also have a book collection drive as well.  It's called Feeding Body and Mind.  We are partnered with Feeding America, which runs all the nation's food banks.  And we collect books during my tours, and then we ship them to food banks across the country.  People going in to seek food assistance tend to have low literacy skills.  And sending them home with books is always a good thing, and we've shipped out over a million books in the last four years. 
 Candace:  Wow, that's amazing.  Well, many of us have books that often need to find homes, so it's good to know that.  Does the website have a place where we could send our books--? 
 David:  The information is on there, and there's also another site we have called that deals with the book collection effort. 
 Candace:  Excellent.  Thank you very much. 
 Jennifer:  Great.  Hello.  I wanted to talk about your choice to write fantasy and The Finisher, because it's not just sort of a realistic story in a fantasy setting, you know, like a bunch of wizards at Hogwarts who are really just like regular kids.  I mean, it has the full fantasy world, the history, the vocabulary.  
So, I just wondered if you had the idea to write fantasy first and kind of built the world around it, or did you have this idea of the fantasy world that drove the plot and the genre that you decided to tackle? 
 David:  Well, you know, The Finisher was really a passion project for me.  My wife gave me a blank page book on Christmas day in 2008.  And I would warn anybody who has a writer in their family, never give them blank pieces of paper on a major holiday because you will never see them for the rest of the day. 
I just scooted off to my little cubby and started.  I wrote the name down, Vega Jane, and I knew she was going to be the lead character, but I didn't know what she was going to be doing.  And it took me over four years to finally figure out the world that I wanted to place her in, what her role would be in that, and what the total story, plot, and narrative would be and what the other characters around her would be like. 
So, I knew that I wanted to create an entirely new world.  I didn't want to place, you know, just an individual in the world as we know it now.  So, when you build a world like that, it takes a lot of time and effort and thinking.  And I had to put a lot of research into that, because in The Finisher a lot of the terms and references come from mythology, classical works of fantasy, religion. 
I wanted to build this world in a smart way.  I didn't want to start naming stuff for the habit of naming something.  I--you know, for instance, the jabbit, the giant serpent in the story, is actually based on Persian mythology (Oh, how neat. I need to go find some books on Persian mythology ~ Bea).  In their mythology, it's called a dabbet, but I thought a jabbit was a much better term.  And it just seemed like something that actually a snake would do, so I had a lot of fun with those. 
And in putting the whole world together, I tried to do it as meticulously and carefully as I could.  And what I did was, I didn't create a huge world and address is superficially.  I built a very small world, a village and a Quag around it, and that was it with a limited number of characters.  But, I gave great depth to everything that I wrote about.         
Jennifer:  Great, thank you. 
Michelle from That's What She Read.
Michelle:  Hi.  Thank you. 
I am fascinated as a blogger, as a full-time mom, a full-time accountant, I know a lot of us on the phone have--are constantly asked how you fit everything in.  How do you fit in reading?  How do you fit in your regular job?  How do you fit--just find time to do it all? 
And knowing that you practiced law while you were writing your first novel, knowing what time it entails, being a lawyer, I'm curious what advice you would--how you did it, first of all, and what advice you would give people who are just struggling to find time to do what they want to do or to, you know, squeeze in time for something that they--you know, maybe write a novel, find time to read a book, go run that marathon, or something that they want to do but the excuse is always "I don't have time." 
 David:  Yeah, I wrote in the middle of the night when I was practicing law.  And I did that for about 11 years.  But, it wasn't draconian for me because that was the outlet.  That was my time where I could write what I wanted to write, not what a client was paying me to write.
I think, for me, I compartmentalize really well.  This last year I've written two books simultaneously, one the sequel to The Finisher and another was the adult thriller that'll be coming out in April of next year. 
But, I think if you pick a time, whether it be 10 minutes or 30 minutes or 45 minutes during the course of the day and actually make a date with yourself, it makes it harder to come up with an excuse saying you don't have time to do that.  So, just have a specified period of time set aside. 
And you go down at that time when you do it.  And when the time is up, you get up from your chair and go off and do something else.  It's almost like you're making an appointment with a doctor, but actually it's just an appointment with yourself and giving yourself that time slot. 
And you're much more likely to fulfill it just because people like to meet their obligations they've made.  So, that would be my advice, anyway.
 Michelle:  Great.  Thank you very much.
Merikayfrom Popcorn Reads
 Merikay:  Hi.  Thanks so much for meeting with us by phone.  I really appreciate it. 
My first question is sparked by what you just said, which is that you have been working on the second book for The Finisher.  And I'm wondering if you have a timeline for when you expect that to come out. 
 David:  The sequel to The Finisher will be out in September of 2015. 
And Rachel and I are working on the draft and on some of the edits and things like that, so that's when it'll be out in this country.  It may be out at a different time overseas, but certainly in the United States right now it's scheduled for September of 2015.
 Merikay:  So, I have to tell you I stayed up 'til 2:30 last night reading The Finisher to finish it. 
David:  I love to hear those things.  I love to cause people to lose sleep. 
 Merikay:  So, I'm operating on four hours of sleep  and lots of chocolate right now, but I just couldn't put it down.  I fell in love with this book.
I was fascinated by it.  And I'm not surprised it took you that long to write, I'll just tell you that much, because it was so complex.  And I just love this little world.  Do you see it being a series, a trilogy, or--I know you don't plot things out, so you may not know that.  But, I can hardly wait. 
 David:  Yeah.  No, I definitely see this book being at least four books, because in my--sort of my grand plan in my head, I know the sort of things that Vega Jane will have to do.  And what I expect her to do in the series will take at least four books, and these major movements that I have planned for her.    
So, I'm looking forward to--you know, now that the second one is done, I'm really looking forward to jumping into the future ones. 
 Merikay:  Oh, cool. 
So, I actually, in addition to the fantasy part of this, got sort of a dystopian vibe with it.  And I wondered if that was intentional or just something I read into it.
 David:  No, I think there--in many ways it was dystopian.  You know, it was sort of a fine line, because it wasn't like they were being oppressed by anyone.  They had freedom.  As I like to say, they lived in peace and freedom, if not much luxury. 
But, I think what was even worse for them was that--you know, the worst form of oppression is when you don't even know you're being oppressed.  And that was--.
 Merikay:  --Exactly--.
 David:  --And that's really what was taking place.  So, it was sort of a hybrid dystopia, but even sort of more of a sinister one.
 Merikay:  I'm only 70 pages into The Escape, so I really can't ask any questions about it yet, although I'm having a great time. 
 David:  That's great.  Yeah, the Pullers are a cool group, and, you know, I enjoy writing about them.
And, you know, Sony Columbia bought the film rights for The Finisher.  And I met with the screenwriter in New York a few weeks ago.  And she's got a really good vision for the script, and Sony is very high on it.  So, it's kind of interesting, working with that process to see it translated to the big screen. 
 Merikay :  Well, it's a very visual book.  And my thought was if a film company doesn't jump on this, they're crazy.  So, I'm really glad to hear it. 
 David:  Great.  Thank you.
 Merikay :  Thank you.
Sheila from Book Journey.
 David:  Hello. 
 Sheila :  Hey, David. 
Sheila: I'm going to talk about libraries, because I am a huge advocate for Minnesota libraries, and I've read that you are really involved in libraries as well.  Could you share a little bit about that?
 David:  Yes.  I mean, libraries were a huge part of my development.  As a kid I went to the school library every day.  I went to the public library every weekend.  I had favorite librarians.  They'd let me check out more books than you're supposed to because they knew I would read them all and come back next week for more. 
And even though I never left the little town where I grew up, I saw the world through books.  And I know it had a huge impact on me and who I am today, so I take support of libraries very seriously. 
You know, I tell people to, you know, support them, cherish them, fund them because, once you don't, they could very well one day go away.  And they're too important to what we are as a country and who we are as a people. 
Even in our little town where we live in Virginia, we didn't have a local library.  So, my wife and I got behind a movement and helped build a public library here in our own community.  So, I know how much it adds to a community, the value that it has, that it gets people just, you know, better than they are. 
And filling a place with books and walking in and seeing these ideas on a shelf is just the coolest thing in the world.  And we're a nation that's built on that type of concept, and we're a nation of libraries.  And that's something we have to keep and hold dear. 
 Sheila:  Wonderful.  Thank you. 
 David:  And, you know, I'm also really proud to be--I'm actually the Chair for National Library Week in 2015. 
And I also sit on the National Book Festival Board for the Library of Congress, and I sat on the State Board in Virginia of the library.  So, I intimately am connected to libraries at many, many different levels and will continue to be so.  
 Sheila:  Wonderful.  Appreciate it.  Thank you so much. 
 David Baldacci:  Well, I just wanted to say I know this is December and everybody is incredibly busy.  And I know you probably have a million and one things to do. 
And I'm just--I'm honored that you took the time to do this conference call with me.  And when I heard it was going to happen and you were going to be able to ask questions and all that, I was thrilled because I love to talk about these issues. 
And books and reading and library and literacy, they're really important to me and I love to spread the word wherever I go.  I tell a lot of funny stories and make people laugh, but I try to attach some serious points to them.  And literacy, libraries, and the importance of reading are always at the top of that list. 
And I appreciate you getting the word out.  And I wish everybody have a great, happy holiday and a safe holiday.  But, I appreciate you taking the time.  I really do.  


Okay, take a break, grab a drink, stretch your legs.
Ready? Good, here's some info on David and his books. I've read both books and eventually I'll get reviews up but I enjoyed them and I'm ready for the next ones.

A prison unlike any other. Military discipline rules. Its security systems are unmatched. None of its prisoners dream of escaping. They know it’s impossible . . . until now.
John Puller’s older brother, Robert, was convicted of treason. His inexplicable escape from the country’s most-secure prison makes him the most wanted criminal in the country. Some in the government believe that John Puller represents their best chance of capturing Robert alive, and so Puller is ordered to bring in his brother to face justice.
But Puller quickly discovers that his brother is pursued by others who don’t want him to survive. At the same time, Puller is pushed into an uneasy, fraught partnership with Veronica Knox, an agent who may have an agenda of her own.
They dig more deeply into the case together, and Puller finds that not only are Knox’s allegiances unclear, but there are troubling details about his brother’s conviction. It becomes clear that someone out there doesn’t want the truth to ever come to light. As the nationwide manhunt for Robert grows more urgent, Puller’s masterful skills as an investigator and strengths as a fighter may not be enough to save his brother—or himself.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Vega Jane was always told no one could leave the town of Wormwood. She was told there was nothing outside but a forest filled with danger and death. And she always believed it – until the night she saw Quentin Herms run away.
Vega knows Quentin didn’t just leave, he was chased. And he left behind a trail of clues that point to a dark conspiracy at the heart of Wormwood. To follow the clues will attract the attention of influential people willing to kill to keep their secrets. To stay safe, Vega just needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut. There’s only one problem – Vega Jane is not the kind of girl who walks away from a fight.Master storyteller David Baldacci introduces an unforgettable heroine who must think fast, hit hard, and defy all odds to uncover the truth.

Release Date:
Buying Links:  Amazon* | Book Depository* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

About David ~
David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 110 million copies in print; several have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at and his foundation at

Find David Online:
David’s website
David on Facebook

1 comment:

  1. How very neat Bea!! That's so awesome. I'd not seen a blog interview that was set up like that. What a great experience :D


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