Planning the AViD Author Series is a lot like putting together a jig saw puzzle. Every year, we start out with a blank slate and then we quickly fill a variety of slots with fascinating, nationally recognized authors. This year will be no exception.
We always begin by looking at the authors that our current audiences have suggested. There are always the predictable suggestions for authors--like John Grisham and Jodi Picoult--but our AViD budget is not large and their honorariums are.
So first we review a list of authors submitted by people that attended our series this past year. Then we look through various publications and catalogs to see which authors will be headed out on book tours. Then we talk to our various publishing contacts to see who they might recommend. We also talk to authors--who recommend their own favorites. Finally, our Selection Committee meets to go over a short "wish list." Then we begin booking the authors!
Ten years ago, when we first started the AViD Author Series, I would call the publishers and they would say, Des Moines where? Now, we sometimes get calls from publishers asking US to include their authors in our series--and that's fun!
This year, we had such a call from Peter's publicist. Of course, Peter is from Des Moines originally, so he asked his publicist to include us in his upcoming book tour. In addition to doing a program for us on April 13, Peter has also agreed to do one in Ames and he will be speaking at a Rotary event on Thursday, April 15.
He will be discussing his new book, The Heights. Here's a short blurb from the back jacket cover: Peter is the critically acclaimed author of What's Eating Gilbert Grape, the Oscar(TM)-nominated screenplay About a Boy, and the writer-director of Dan in Real Life. Now he turns his keen eye for the surprising truths of daily life to a story of middle-class parents, rich parents, private school, real esteate, and a good marriage turned upside-down when a new neighbor moves into town.
Watch here for more information about additional AViD writers once we have them confirmed.