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First stop on the March 2015 Friends Tour: Book Reading - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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First stop on the March 2015 Friends Tour: Book Reading
After a longer-than expected work morning, I hit the road from Rochester a little before noon, made it to and from my sister's by 3, and hit the Queens side of the Triboro just past 6. The final 20 miles took almost 90 minutes, but I made it to my hometown library 20 minutes late for the advertised 7:00 book reading/signing by my fellow HS alum Tim O'Mara.

Except Newsday said it was 7:30, so that's when it started. I got to talk with the author and his brother (who made some technical and plot contributions to the latest book) before he took the podium:

TimO

(There was a decent crowd; it mostly sat on the right, though;)

Besides revealing his brother's part-time job as muse, Tim told several other good stories about how the series came about; some inside-joke things placed within several of the tales; the difficulties of dealing with a publisher when your editor leaves for another job; and, most touching, the connection between his (now) three-published-book writing avocation and his 28-year teaching career.

One of his students, in a  pretty ordinary New York City secondary school with the pretty ordinary problems facing such kids, didn't have much of a reputation as a brilliant scholar.  Yet he read all three of his teacher's novels- multiple times. Enough to remember little details that I'd have trouble remembering from having now read all of them.  To provide such inspiration to a student, outside the walls of the classroom and even outside the primary subject matter, is something that I think is even more important for him than the royalty checks or the starred reviews or even the prospects of his characters getting developed for other media.  Also, the student contributed a small but salient detail that wound up in the final edition of the third book, and Tim credited him for it in the acknowledgements; I've gotten a handful of those myself in recent years and get a major charge out of them, so I can only imagine how good it made the kid feel:)

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Among other revelations:

- There will be a fourth book in the series. I don't know if I can mention the title, so I won't until I eventually do.

- Tim mentioned that he didn't know the Whodunit until he was 80 percent done with the writing. That's consistent with my own two NaNo efforts, where I knew the What, and a little of the How and Why, from the beginning but didn't figure out the final outcomes of either until I was well past the halfway point of each.

- Don't be impressed by some Hollywood mogul "optioning" a book. They typically do it for a buck to give them a six-month window to consider the project, and their only other obligation is to give you another buck six months later if they're still interested.

- Also, don't be impressed by lawyers, and how long they take to do things. (On this point, as with many, I agree with him entirely;)

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I'm now in Merrick, at a little hotel I discovered on the sad occasion of my friend Janice's funeral a few winters ago. Nice people, non-chain uniqueness, decent pricing.  On the way, I drove past my original church, home of 17 years, and wound up having late-dinner diner food before checking in here. Tomorrow brings court research, more friendship, and eventually hockey.  Until then, I'm signing oot:)
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