Pan Macmillan’s Big North Book Run – David Baldacci’s visit to Newcastle

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I was really excited to hear that David Baldacci was visiting Newcastle on a book tour to promote his latest Amos Decker thriller, “The Fix”, number three in the series. As I’ve never read one of his novels, I was even more excited that the library gave away the first Amos Decker, “Memory Man”. I still, as yet, haven’t had a chance to read it!

I was expecting him to be in conversation with someone, and mostly discussing and reading from “The Fix”. However, he decided to stand and mostly talk about his experiences rather than the new novel.

What I can say about the new novel is that Amos witnesses a murder/suicide at the very beginning of the story. As he has perfect recall due to an earlier brain injury, he can play the event over and over in his head. David would say no more – except to encourage us to read the book!

This is David’s third book tour this year, and he said how much he was enjoying the chance to be able to say things he couldn’t in America. Whilst he has met several Presidents, he has not yet met Trump, and joked that Trump is not much of a reader!

David has written 40 books in 20 years and has taken his research very seriously. He has done real training with the Army, the Paratroopers and taken part in shooting in sniper ranges and fitness training. This gets him up close and personal with real life heroes, and he joked that his books were more accurate than a White House briefing!

He did say that being a famous author never gets to his head – his family make sure of that! He can be telling his wife about a tour and she will order him to take out the rubbish and he told stories of when his kids were young and trying to get them to understand his job.

When questions were invited from the floor, he was asked why his characters were mostly referred to by their surname. He explained that he will use Christian names when they are off duty but he prefers to use surnames as that is more official and it is what the Military do.

He was asked about upcoming films and said there are TV films coming up. He was also asked about if anything is lost in book translations into other languages. He has to trust his publishers and translators as he does not speak other languages, but he does occasionally get feedback from people who read the novel both in their native language and in English.

I did manage to get “Memory Man” signed, and I hope to read it soon. All in all, it was a fascinating look into the life of a top thriller writer!

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