I saw John Sandford on the event schedule for Vroman’s one day while I was there for another event. I’ve been reading his books for years, I’ve read all of the Prey novels, so I knew that I’d be attending somehow.
We got there way too early [surprise, surprise]. I was only the second person there, so I settled into “my bench” and started to wait.
As usual, the crazy people found me right away. There was a woman who sat behind me who was laughing nonstop. She didn’t have a book, she wasn’t on a phone or any electronic device. For 10-15 minutes, she didn’t stop giggling. Once the giggling stopped, she started walking around the area, randomly sitting in every seat. She would sit down for a minute, look around and then pick another seat. Only to go back to where she started at. O_o
Around 6pm, some guy came up to the event area and started fixing up the cart of paperbacks. Turns out the guy is John’s son, Roswell. He runs John’s website and tends to show up early to “give a pregame”. He answers all of the fun questions, or as he puts it “the questions you’re afraid to ask the author yourself”.
Roswell told us that John had called, confirmed that he had landed at LAX and that Stolen Prey was going to debut at #1 on the NY Times bestsellers list.
Roswell kept us entertained while we waited. He knows nearly everything about the Prey series. I mean, everything. John uses Roswell as a database for the books and calls him when needing a reference from a past novel. He’s quite hilarious and he loves my Doctor Who phone case [“Nice TARDIS”], so he gets extra points for that.
John got to the bookstore early. He came up to the signing area for a brief moment before going back downstairs. He did announce to the crowd that we shouldn’t believe anything that Roswell said about him.
After an introduction, John started telling us about his horrible month of deadlines and house selling. The best part of the recap was John saying that he got a cut one night while packing. Not thinking anything about it, he put a band aid on it, checked into a hotel and went to bed. The next day, John woke up, found out that the cut had opened in the night and he had bled all over the sheets, coverlet and walls, making it look like someone had been stabbed 50 times. He did what anyone else would do “cover it up the best way possible and slink out of town”.
When the Q&A started, I asked the question “When the first Lucas book was written, was it planned to have a reoccurring character?”.
John said no, that he always saw the first book as a stand alone. And then he had the economics of publishing explained to him… He was told that a reoccurring character or series of any kind always sells better as the reader gets to know the characters and get invested. Even with that, John only figured there would be 5-6 books tops.
Stolen Prey is the 22nd Lucas Davenport book.
After about an hour had passed, John decided it was time to start signing. I had two books to get signed for myself, plus one for a family member. We asked for a crazy inscription in the family member’s book and John had no problem with it!
When it was was my turn, I thanked John for his time and then asked for a picture. I figured he would just lean over the table, but he stood up, sat on the edge of the table and held his book upside down while grinning.
Going to a signing for an “adult” author is usually a lot different than a YA author. This one was full of laughs and silly stories and just as fun and enjoyable.