One of my favorite things to do is to go to author events and hear talented writers talk about their work. Usually it’s an event for a book that is very popular, or a writer I’ve heard something about but I haven’t necessarily read the book or any of their work. There’s just something about hearing an author gush about their book and talk about the process of bringing it to life. It’s so interesting learning about the differences in their writing process and the logistics and behind the scenes work of writing a book- from editing to selecting a cover to life on tour.
However, not since I went to see Gail Carson Levine last year (author of one of my childhood favorites- Ella Enchanted) have I been able to see an author whose work I already love and adore. But last night was able to see Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale.
The Nightingale was my favorite book I read in all of 2016. It’s a tale of two sisters who live in WWII era France. One sister is strong willed and an obvious kind of brave. The older sister is more conservative in her actions, but her subtle bravery in the interest of her children, especially when set against the foil of her brazen sister, showed that there are many different ways women can be strong. I don’t want to give away much more of the plot, but I can’t say enough how much I loved this book!
Ms. Hannah opened the talk by sharing her “how I became a writer story” detailing her original career as a lawyer and ultimate switch after encouragement from her mother. She has written over twenty books, but feels like with The Nightingale she has finally found her calling- to tell tales of women throughout history and their contributions that are often lost or overlooked. Many of the questions and comments after her talk expressed appreciation for her unique spin on the popular sub-genre of WWII historical fiction and her nuanced female characters. There was even one brave soul who asked if she had any tips for aspiring writers (okay… that may have been me…). And possibly most exciting of all- The Nightingale is going to be made into a movie! And the executive, producer, writer and director are all women! AMAZING!!!
After the talk we were able get our books signed and briefly chat with Ms. Hannah. Boswell Books is such a pro at organizing this portion of their events- I was so impressed! Boswell has been knocking it out of the park lately with their events, and I highly suggest you check out their calendar! I am very excited to hopefully attend their upcoming event featuring Sheryl Sandberg of Lean In & TED Talk fame, as well as their National Independent Book Store Day celebrations this weekend. I will obviously check back in after both of those, but until then…
“Off to the cupboard with you now, Chip. It’s past your bedtime. Goodnight, love…”