Saturday, April 05, 2008

Jodi Picoult: Two Hundred Fans in Vermont

More than 200 people turned out to hear and meet best-selling novelist Jodi Picoult in Norwich, Vermont, this morning. Dave felt a bit out of place -- he counted three other men in the audience. Women drove from New York City, Buffalo, even Montreal. And this well-prepared and likeable author had the whole group waiting for each new anecdote she'd offer. Best of all was her relaxed presence, as she was truly in her own backyard, completing the last scheduled stop of her US tour for CHANGE OF HEART.

After a reading from the chapter in CHANGE OF HEART where Lucius discovers a fellow prison inmate who'll change everything for him, Picoult answered questions that ranged from her process of creating a book -- "What I usually want to write about are what I'm worried about the most, as a mom, as a wife, as a woman, as an American" -- to the research behind this latest novel. She summarized her concern after the research as, "We all know it's wrong to execute an innocent man. But is it wrong to execute somebody guilty?" After explaining that she listens as much to parents of murdered children as to prisoners on death row, she offered the book as a summary of what she concluded.

Interested in seeing Picoult's work on screen? Watch the TV schedule for June 28 for the LifeTime presentation of THE TENTH CIRCLE. And Nick Cassavetes is directing the Hollywood film for MY SISTER'S KEEPER, which has a great line-up of actors; the author shocked the audience in to groaning in unison over the possibility that the director may change the ending, though!

Picoult has already completed her 2009 novel and is well into the one for 2010; for details, check her web site, -- and yes, we'll list some signed books of hers. Check our listings Sunday evening.

We'd surely drive as far as the Montreal ladies did, to meet this dynamic author in action again.

PS: Dave asked Jodi Picoult whether he'd earned a prize for being one of the few men on hand today. Smiling, she shook her head and explained that women are simply more likely than men to want to come out to one of her readings -- but that 46 percent of her fan mail is from men. So ... don't call her book women's literature!! Call it good reading, or, like one fan on her web site, call it the kind of book you want to finish in 24 hours, because you can't put it down.

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