Stephen King, Pat Conroy Inspire at Savannah Festival

This post is a tad off the adoption search topic. However, as  I  continue to edit ‘Waving Backwards’, the inspiration of other authors is  important to me.  I hope that the insights shared will be of some interest to other writer’s (and fans) who stumble upon AdoptionFind.

This weekend, I attended the Savannah Book Festival and was privy to the expressive hilarity, and brilliance of four authors:

  • Pat Conroy– ‘Beach Music’, ‘The Great Santini’, ‘Prince of Tides’, and so many more.
  • Melissa Fay Greene– ‘Praying for Sheetrock’, ‘The Temple Bombing’, ‘No Biking in the House without a Helmet’
  • John Warley- ‘The Moralist’, ‘Bethesda’s Child’
  • Stephen King– ‘Carrie’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Pet Sematary’, ‘Shawshank Redemption’, ‘The Green Mile’, ‘Misery’, ’11/22/63′ and many more.

The session featuring Pat Conroy, and his longtime friend  John Warley was a comic (think Martin & Lewis) presentation of Conroy’s writing life. One of the south’s most beloved writers, Conroy talked about the time he shared with Warley at The Citadel, among the “meanest people I ever met.” Warley gifted Conroy with most of the allotted presentation time. However,  Warley’s tale of moving to Mexico for a year to write, left me writhing in jealousy!

Pat Conroy spoke of his father ‘The Great Santini’ and when Warley suggested that Pat’s Dad was “not that bad”, Conroy went into detail about the abusive Marine who raised him. As a writer, and the adopted daughter of an abusive man, I was interested in the way Warley viewed the abuser, without an inkling of the evil wrought in private quarters.

Conroy also explained how the publisher of  ‘The Great Santini’ said of his main character that, “No one is that evil” and that Pat should, “Make him human.”  Pat did so, adding kindnesses to the character that were foreign to the real man.  As a result of that comment, I spent hours yesterday adding humanity to my meanest characters.

Melissa Fay Greene‘s session was a laugh a minute! Greene, who is best know for her successful and serious non-fiction works, has penned the book ‘No Biking in the House without a Helmet’.  ‘No Biking’ chronicles the adventures of parenting 9 children, 4 biological and 5 adopted from far away lands. Greene shared with the audience a handful of the funniest, most poignant parenting moments, and did so with a genuineness and animation that was heart-warming.

Stephen King’s presentation to a sold out theater of 1300, was a literary trip through the horror master’s past works, and plans for the future. We learned that a sequel to ‘The Shining’ titled ‘Dr. Sleep’ is forthcoming. We also learned that King has another of the ‘Dark Tower’ series in the works.

King talked about the movie version of ‘The Shining’, polling the audience to see who had read the book, as opposed to seeing the movie, and praising the ‘bookies’. He discussed Jack Nicholson’s performance in the movie, saying, “He seemed nuts from scene one.”

King also shared the moment when Stanley Kubrick first called to discuss the making of ‘The Shining’ movie. King painted a scene as vivid as a novel excerpt saying, “There I stood in my skivvies, shaving cream and blood dripping down my face.” Kubrick’s first words to King went  something like (not a direct quote), “So Steve, all ghost stories are essentially optimistic, don’t you agree.”  King wondered, “what will we discuss next, the existence of God?”

King’s also revealed that, “Of all monsters, werewolves are my least favorite.” The reason, werewolf stories are laden with too much detective work.  King earned a collective chuckle when he brought up the latest iteration of werewolves by Stephenie Meyer, author of the ‘Twilight; series, saying “now they’re all sparkly. and romantic.”

When King suggested that he is an “everyday Joe” and that anyone can do what he does, I thought,  maybe not everyone, but at least I’m giving it a whirl.

There were MANY more sessions at the Savannah Book Festival, and I extend my sincere thanks to those who worked so hard to pull off the amazing festival!  Who knows? Maybe someday it will be my turn to inspire.


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