Her thriller has spent more than 30 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. More than two million copies - in print and digital formats – have been sold, and a film adaptation is in the works. And now? She’s on her way to Traverse City. (Hint: Her last name rhymes with gin, not games.)
Author of the enormously popular “Gone Girl “ Gillian Flynn will sit down with National Writers Series (NWS) co-founder and fellow bestselling author Doug Stanton on the City Opera House stage April 25.
Joining Flynn during the NWS’ upcoming season – announced last night during its kick-off event with Chip Johannessen of Showtime’s TV series Homeland – is Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea), Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin), Buzz Bissinger (Friday Night Lights) and autism advocate Temple Grandin, among others.
Season after season, NWS organizers are landing top authors in publishing and bringing them to our small community on the bay. Ever wondered how? The Ticker caught up with Stanton – on his way out to snow blow his driveway as a break from his own looming writing deadline – to find out.
He describes it this way: the right mix of knowing what it feels like to be out on the road on a book tour, finding out what the authors need to make it a successful event for them, and a sweet dose of Traverse City’s hospitality and vibe.
The event’s ultimate purpose, Stanton says, is to support authors so they can support their families and keep writing – something Stanton is also trying to do. “That’s something I share with them,” he says.
So that’s why it’s usually him picking up the phone and calling authors and agents to try to set-up a TC stop on their book tours. Stanton remembers the moment last summer when he was reading yet another article about Flynn. He contacted her to see if she was interested in visiting the NWS stage. Her short and sweet answer: “Sounds wonderful.”
The NWS is no secret in the publishing world. “The word has gotten around in New York, ” Stanton says. “Half of our new season came from fielding calls from publicists. The reason we’re successful is we are answering these two questions: How do you meet readers and how do you sell books?”
NWS Executive Director Jill Tewsley says what the NWS has created here in its four short years – from intimate author conversations with hosts (including folks from O magazine, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Bibliostar.tv this season) and audience members to writers visiting high schools and conducting student workshops at the Front Street Writers Studio – is a unique experience for both the writers and the community that has put the event on the map.
“As an audience member, you are hearing things from these authors that you’re not hearing anywhere else,” Tewsley says. “Author Lee Child was sitting in this room [the Front Street Writers Studio] with the students two days after being on the Today Show. That’s not happening elsewhere.”
To see the full line-up of NWS’ Winter/Spring 2013 season and purchase tickets, click here.