So, as I wrote earlier today, I spent three glorious days at the Sundance Resort in Utah this past weekend to talk about my book The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight. Most folks think only of Sundance in regard to film, and for good reason. But for the past four years, local bookstore owner Karen Dallett has organized a series of author forums grouped around specific themes. My talk was part of a six-author package on the media. (it was the penultimate talk in the series, which concludes on September 30th with 'American Theocracy' author Kevin Phillips)
It worked like this: Patrons, most of whom are loyal to the Sundance author events and have purchased the entire six-author enchilada, showed up at around 12 to have lunch in The Tree Room, a beautiful dining space at the resort, with huge windows that reveal tangles of pine trees and the towering peaks beyond - which, incidentally, are starting to sprout patches of auburn (the leaves turn fairly early here) Then at 1, I was on, bloviating in my usual way about New Journalism. There was a spirited discussion afterwards, with a lot of interesting questions and insights - one woman told us that her engineer husband had been called to testify during the Watergate hearings about Rose Marie Woods' 18 and a half minute gap on that infamous Nixon tape. I signed a bunch of books in the library, and for that lunch hour, all was right with the world.
Events like these are a boost to the fragile author's ego; In Utah, I was pumped full of self-importance and love for mankind. It's illusory and all too transient, of course - your plane touches down on Burbank tarmac, and it starts to feel like a hazy dream. The trip had a salutary effect, though - all writers should be made to feel that their work isn't in vain every once in a while, and you can do worse than Sundance.