Also speaking on Book TV has been Nick Hornby, Simon Winchester, Umberto Eco, Barbara Ehrenreich and John Irving. I found Nick Hornby to be very funny. He was relating how he would get these ideas and realize they'd already been done before, "I thought wouldn't it be wonderful to tell a tale about two people floating down the Thames River?" and he quickly learned during writing High Fidelity that he shouldn't tell people the plots of his books. They seem really ordinary when he tells people about them and they keep waiting to hear more of what happens. The Professor and the Madman has been on my book shelf for years, but I'd never heard of Simon Winchester. His talk was about the discussion he and his publisher had about what made The Professor and the Madman a success and who could he write about that would fit that same formula. The list of four things included self mutilation and they did come up with a name... only to find out someone else had been working on a biography of the person for the last five years... and had to come up with another possibility! Umberto Eco relayed how he wanted to write a biographical novel about his childhood but a friend of his already did it. So later he ended up writing a novel that was similar to books he read growing up, complete with illustrations. He was having martinis with a friend when his friend said a word that triggered something. Umberto drifted off in the conversation and when asked where he was he stated that he was writing a book in his head. He bought his friend an extra martini for triggering it. Barbara Ehrenreich relayed how the white collar world uses this strange psychological way of demeaning people and breaking them down. John Irving could write an entire book on all of the research he did for his newest novel. Hearing him talk about it, I wouldn't mind reading a book about the history of tattoos. He had a good point; tattoos started off as declarations of love when sailors were getting ready to leave home, then became more exotic as the sailors travelled to document places they had seen or women they had been with. Now tattoos are more about violence and hatred.
Today I started reading The Ghost Writer by John Harwood. I like it, but I can put it down to do other things unlike Strange But True.
I've typed up all of my thank you notes for the interviews on Thursday. I have one more to hand write. I find I make less errors when I type them out first.
My husband called about 45 minutes ago to check in. I was hoping he'd call today. I screen calls so never pick up right away. That's why it's annoying when his brother calls and hangs up without attempting to leave a phone message. He had been to an internet cafe and had a chance to checkup on my LJ (this was in the morning) and was worried when he read I wasn't feeling well but didn't have any change to call me from the pay phones at the movie theater. I have no idea how much a phone call from Canada to the US on a payphone would be.