How Was Your Week? Here’s Mine

July 2nd, 2011

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Up until a few years ago I did virtually all my author interviews in a nice air conditioned, soundproof studio. Whipped ‘em in and out, one author after another, all afternoon, sometimes four or five a day.

Bill interviews Brad Meltzer Then, a few summers ago, my personal circumstances changed (long story, some other time), and the studio was no longer an option. That’s when I took my act on the road.

I now schlep around to the authors, as they visit the nation’s capital and surrounding area. It’s not as easy or efficient as the doctor’s-office-like studio setup, but it’s a daily adventure I have grown to love. So I figured that from time to time, I would blog about where-I’ve-been-this-week.

This week started with a visit to a Starbucks in Alexandria, Virginia, to meet debut novelist Eleanor Henderson. Ironic, that the woman whose book Ten Thousand Saints has been shortlisted by all kinds of news outlets this summer as a “must-read” sits in virtual anonymity to talk with me about it. Olympus DS-2She worries about the noise, but it’s not a problem for my trusty Olympus DS-2 (best money I’ve ever spent on a recorder).

On Tuesday I visited the Washington Hilton – known to locals as the “Hinckley Hilton” for the infamous deed done there in 1981 – to meet Joseph Finder. I’ve been interviewing Joe since his very first novel, The Moscow Club (the day I interviewed him for that I also had Caroline Kennedy, T.R. Pearson, and David Halberstam – it wsa one of those whip-‘em-in-whip-‘em-out days) – and we had a terrific chat, not only about his new thriller Buried Secrets, but about everything from our personal phobias, to the writing life, to a new website I’ll be launching soon to feature indie authors. (More on that to come.)

Also on Tuesday I had a rare in-studio interview with the Washington-based novelist Keith Donohue, who was kind enough to stop by on his way to work at a federal agency downtown to talk about Centuries of June.

Chocolate ChocolateThursday a quick Metro ride downtown took me to Chocolate Chocolate, a Washington institution. Seriously, visitors, make sure you set aside time after you’ve been to the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, and the Spy Museum to stop in at the shop run for over 27 years by the Park sisters, Francie and Ginger.

Their memoir Chocolate Chocolate is a great story about family, love, business success and – of course – chocolate. Full disclosure, FTC: Ginger sent me home with a generous sample of the store’s wares, the store’s distinctive small dark bag clearly making me the envy of everyone else on Metro.

Sure is better than the whip-‘em-in-whip-‘em-out days.

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On the web:
Eleanor Henderson – www.eleanorhenderson.net
Joseph Finder – www.josephfinder.com
Keith Donohue – www.keithdonohue.com
Frances & Ginger Park – www.parksisters.com
Chocolate Chocolate – www.chocolatechocolatedc.com

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