Me & David Baldacci

Last night my mom and I went to see David Baldacci, the #1 New York Times Bestselling thriller author. I’ve read a handful of his books and while I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was excited to listen to a successful author tell his story in person.

And tell it he did. He’s funny, charming, and I totally want to be him when I grow up. I didn’t buy a book before entering the auditorium but about the time he said rejection is a badge of courage for writers I started plotting how I could beat the crowd, buy a book, and get in line.

He told a funny story about an Amazon reviewer who only gave him one star because she figured out the book in the last three pages. His solution? He now includes an 800 number on the back of the book that you can call for the end of the story. No more revealing the ending within the actual book!

He also shared several stories of people asking for specific inscriptions when he signed their books, and this — of course — got my mind churning. The moment they opened the floor for questions I hopped a railing, rushed outside to by a book and was first in line before anyone else came out.

This is what I bought:

As I stood in line I tried to think of something interesting to ask him to sign. I am a writer after all. The moment came and he cautiously approached, probably wondering why the woman at the front of the line was bouncing around and clutching his book to her chest. I introduced myself and told him I’m also a writer, at which point he said “Oh!” and shook my hand.

Then I told him I had his first scandelous request for the evening. (You’re surprised, no?) I said I plan to send out my query in the next few weeks and would love if he could write something about rubbing my book (well, his book) for luck. And that he could elaborate however he saw fit.

This is what I got:

This is me being a total groupie:

Aren’t we cute together?

This is perfect timing because I finally wrote my synopsis. Time to read!


37 Responses

  1. Melanie was so excited to go buy a book and get in line that she missed a good Q&A session. David spoke about how he got his first agent and his first query letter (which consisted of one sentence — something like “”If you read the first page, you will not be able to put the book down until you finish it.”) He got positive responses from 6 agents, went to New York to meet them all, and picked the one he’s still with. When I got out of the auditorium, there was Melanie standing first in line, talking to David, with a LONG line behind her. It was a fun evening!

    • *bounces about*

      I have a hard time believing that pitch would work these days. :)

      • I guess it worked because he backed it up with a book the agents couldn’t put down. That’s the hard bit. ;-)

        Glad you had fun. :-)


      • Adam, I said something similar — that he REALLY would have to back up a statement like that.

  2. Fantastic, Mel. Great story. Great photos. My blog should be up at 3 p.m. EDT and includes mentions of youhoo. ;)

    • Thanks Jason. It really gave me a much-needed boost.

      I love your post!

  3. Ooh, I can’t wait!

    Well, I’ll have to wait because I can’t check it during the day, but I’ll be on pins and needles all day.

  4. I love it when authors prove to be decent personalities as well as talented individuals. I enjoyed his novel about the Christmas Train.

    • Travis, I was pleasantly surprised. He received a nice write-up in the paper today.

  5. Love this! How exciting.

    You’re never going to ask me to help again. I think it’s a recurring problem that I take too long, no? But I promise I will finish this week!

  6. How can you go wrong after a Baldacci rubbing? I would definitely mention that in the query. ;)

    • Stacey, I’m thinking I might have to!

      “While finalizing my synopsis, David Baldacci rubbed me with pixie dust for good luck. I think you know what that means. *wink wink, nudge nudge*”

  7. That’s so awesome and I love when writers (or anyone famous for that matter) has a great personality. That inscription is fantastic and your picture is too funny! Awesome stuff Mel!! :-D

    • Thanks Aaron! I was so excited to meet him and I felt like SUCH a groupie afterwards. Did you know you can bounce off the walls while driving a car?!

  8. Love it! I have been trying to get to something of John Sandford’s for a while. I imagine you were the behaved version of what I’ll be like!

    • I think you may be correct. You have a little more… um… enthusiam than me when excited. :P

  9. Ack! Now I know I am destined to be a writer… or doctor. My writing is just as bad as his. I can’t read the last couple of words he wrote..’Rubbed with… ?’ He seems like a great celeb! Its great to meet one who is friendly and has a sense of humor about critics. Last three pages… indeed! Pfft!

    • I had to stare for a minute, too. I think it says, “Pixie dust.”

      (I worked for doctors for several years, so I’m fairly confident that I’m right). ; )

      • Avery, given your expertise I have decided that you are correct.

    • Jen, it was really a funny story. It was refreshing to hear someone who’s been in the business for so long have the same issues as the rest of us. Well, not that I have Amazon reviews, but you know what I mean…

      You ARE destined to be a writer!

  10. I’m glad your author encounter went better than my first one. He seems like a mensch.

    • I’m sorry you had a bad first author encounter. This WAS great!

  11. Adorable story! He sounds like a great guy! I’m really proud of your bouncy cleverness.

    • Robin I was so excited I thought of something amusing. He genuinely laughed, which makes me wonder how boring most people must be.

  12. That’s totally awesome! Lots of pixie dust to you! *hugs*

  13. That is totally awesome Hoo. I’m glad you had good time. Good luck with your novel.

    The pic of you looking at Baldacci picture reminds of the YouTube video about Ray Bradbury.

    • I haven’t seen that video. Now I’m worried… :P

  14. Very cool!! Love the pics ;o) Sounds like a cool guy, may have to pick up his books!!

    Congrats on writing your synopsis ;o)

    • Thanks Erica. I was definitely impressed. Did I say that already? Probably.

  15. SO cool!!! And I love his inscription!!

    When your books sells (when, not if) you’ll have to send him an ARC and remind him of the book rubbing and pixie dust!

  16. okay you can totally delete that if you want. I did not realize that it would post the screen of video. I thought it would just remain the blue link.

    • I’m glad you said something. I get emails with comments and so saw the link that way and didn’t notice the actual comment. Gah! :P

  17. Too funny. I have a great image of you waiting for him, hardly able to stand still. And you make me want to read one of his books, too. I wish I’d been there.

    Good luck on your queries!

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