About a week ago a post popped up on my Facebook feed, it was from HarperCollins Canada and it was an invite (not just to me…..obviously) to their offices for a meet-and-greet with A.J. Finn, author of the book ‘The Woman in the Window’. I sent an email, and I got on the list. <insert happy dance>
First things first, no I haven’t read the book yet. And yes, there was a goody bag that included a free book and a coffee mug!
I will say this, I was super geeked out to get to go to this as well as to the HarperCollins offices. For me, it was kinda exciting. As I was leaving, there was no one in the reception area. There were a bunch of books on display (yes, I was tempted to just take one! and no, I didn’t). And I had a fangirl moment. BOOKS!
The event was really cool. We gathered in a board room and A.J. Finn came out and was interviewed by one of the marketing staff at the publisher.
I have been to many author readings and interviews and they are hit and miss. Just because someone is a good writer, doesn’t mean they are a good speaker and are actually interesting. In the case of A.J. Finn, he was a delight. He was funny and intelligent. I want to hi-light two things.
First, he was very forthcoming about his struggle with depression and mental illness. I think it’s really brave and inspiring when people are upfront about that. It was even ore relevant since it was Bell Let’s Talk Day on the previous day. (For those unfamiliar, the day is about hi-lighting mental health and bringing it to the forefront of conversations, especially in social media.) I appreciate the fact that he was honest and forthcoming about that.
Second, it is apparent (at least to me) that he is a fan of books and reading. He has a background in publishing, and did his thesis and post graduate (I think) study on Patricia Highsmith (of The Talented Mr. Ripley fame). So he has a pedigree in the crime and intrigue book genre. He spoke about his favourite authors: Evelyn Waugh, Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith, Henry James, Kate Atkinson, Gillian Flynn (that’s the short list). I get excited when authors talk about reading and their love of books. And some of his favourites are mine too!
He told some funny and engaging stories. When a member of the audience asked who his favourite authors were, he answered then asked the question back to her. I thought that was nice. I just found him to be a cool dude.
About the book…I am actually very excited to read it. I am pondering pausing my current read to sneak it in. It seems in the genre of Gone Girl (which I loved). As of when we had the meet and greet, it was #1 on the NYT Bestseller List, not saying that makes it good, but it doesn’t hurt.
Overall, it was a delightful evening and HaperCollins Canada were gracious hosts. Thank you!