Meeting Nicholas Evans
I am a dedicated fan of author Nicholas Evans – an avid collector are reader of his great books.
In 1998, I attended the Brisbane book launch of The Smoke Jumper. It was a nice event at the then Village Twin Cinemas (now renovated and re-named) in New Farm, an inner city suburb. Pre-event drinks and snacks were provided, after which the assembled crowd entered one of the theatres to enjoy a talk by British author Nicholas Evans.
I have met a lot of authors, some more famous than others, but Nicholas Evans was the most humble person despite his mega-success with his first novel The Horse Whisperer. He recounted how the book and movie rights were sold based on the first three chapters. After that he had to finish writing the book. He also confided to the audience that The Horse Whisperer would be the first and last book he would offer up for movie rights. Obviously Nicholas would have a good reason for this despite the movie’s runaway success. He didn’t elaborate.
During “question time”, there were a lot of queries about the movie, “What was Robert Redford like” and so on. When I was selected to ask a question, being a writer, mine was about how Nicholas managed his writing routine. That seemed to please him because he spoke about this for a few minutes.
I joined the queue to have my copy of his book autographed. When it was my turn, Nicholas asked me to wait until he had finished so we could have a chat. He spent about ten minutes with me having a discussion about writing methods, putting romance into stories etc. I came away from our talk with the feeling that I had just met one of the nicest people I would probably ever meet.
To top off the night, there was a screening of The Horse Whisperer. Nicholas didn’t stay for that. He probably had a dinner engagement with his publisher.
The effort some authors make via their websites to stay in touch with their fans
It is obvious that some famous authors go to a lot of trouble to interact with their fans. Nicholas Evans is no exception. I joined his mailing list and every time I have sent an e-mail, it has been answered personally by the author. When I enquired why he hadn’t published a book for such a long time, Nicholas confided in me that he has been extremely ill due to a terrible mistake with some wild mushrooms he cooked while visiting his wife’s brother and family. Nicholas, his wife Charlotte, Charlotte’s brother Sir Alastair Gordon-Cumming and his wife Lady Louisa, were all rushed to hospital after eating poisonous mushrooms. All except Lady Louisa have been on dialysis ever since and are awaiting kidney transplants.
A must-read article about mushroom poisoning
The story of how the mushroom poisoning occurred is both terrifying and fascinating and I urge readers to take some time to peruse the article by Angela Levin published in the British newspaper The Daily Mail. It is a long article, but I consider it a must-read, especially by anyone who goes mushroom gathering.
The Brave – a new book by Nicholas Evans – in bookstores now
This long awaited book should be available in bookstores now. If you want it and can’t find it, Nicholas Evans’s website has a “Buy Now” button for mail orders.
Personal experience – meeting with Nicholas Evans at a book launch in Brisbane, Australia
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