Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Jeff Shaara Book Signing in Nashville

So I'm scrolling through my to do list this morning, and for some reason I decide to take a look at Jeff Shaara's web site again. I was thinking about Keith Raffel having just completed his book tour, and, on a lark, thought I would see what kind of book tour Jeff had planned to support his new book Rising Tide.

So I click over to events and I find, hey guess what ? Jeff Shaara is coming to Davis-Kidd bookstore in Nashville sometime soon. When, I wonder.

November 21. Hey, that's tonight !

So I scramble to rearrange the Leahy family kids pickup schedule and voila, I'm at Davis-Kidd for Jeff's 6 pm appearance. Well not exactly there on time. A little matter of the brake job getting done in Franklin at 5:30 instead of the 4:00 pm I was promised, but who's quibbling over minor details like that ?

In any event, Jeff Shaara was terrific.

Much more animated than I had pictured, and a really very nice fellow.

There were about 50 people there, including a Lieutenant Colonel from Fort Campbell who drove all the way down from Clarksville to meet Jeff and have him sign her book. Turns out that the Shaara Civil War trilogy was required reading in her ROTC class almost two decades ago.

A finely attired gentleman from the Publisher, Ballantine Books, was there to keep the event flowing well. By 7:45 the last of the books had been signed, and Mr. Shaara was off to the next city on his tour, and I headed back to hearth and home.

My key takeaway ?

"My job is to get inside the heads of these characters, and tell their story to you."

That's how Jeff describes his writing task, and I think it's a worthy goal, something worth striving for.

On a side note, Davis-Kidd in the mall is not nearly as good as Davis-Kidd when it was a standalone bookstore. It's a big Waldens Books now and it has none of the feel of leisurely enjoyment it used to.

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