FROM NOW ON 11 - safari

by Susan Weber

Don Winslow rested the slim seat of his khaki pants against the long edge of a folding table which contained one copy of The Force, his latest bestseller. He was fielding questions from his loyal following — young men, older men, and a few dames. We’d gathered at the library with plenty to ask. Would he ever consider revisiting his Boone Daniels, private eye surfer series. Did he hold out hope for the opioid crisis. Does he believe in evil. How does one go from leading tours in Africa to writing for a living. "Write ten pages a day no matter what," he said to that one.

I’m a new fan of Winslow's novels. I recommend The Force if you like crime fiction told well, or want to experience the NYPD from a veteran detective’s point of view. It gave me a tough respect for the hazards of the job, psychological and physical, not to mention moral. But if you expect Don Winslow to reflect the persona of hero cop Denny Malone — muscled giant parading the streets, lord of expediency, holstered guns and knives at the ready — you’ll be disappointed. The writer has slender hands, a compact build, and jet black eyebrows that swerve and sway with each articulated thought.

What I love best about these author talks is riding the wave between writers and readers. Fandom goes both ways, as does acceptance of the fact that writers have to stand up there and sell product. It’s the price we all pay for nourishment from words. During the Q & A, my portly white-haired neighbor leaned in with a book he’d taken from the large stack at his feet. He pointed at the blurb on the inside flap. “Boone ends with an E,” he whispered. Not that he’d been spying on my scribbled notes. Not that he really wanted me to get a hold of the surfer series. Not that fans feel compelled to spread the word about their favorite authors and thereby save the world, one true book at a time. Not to mention, they are very good at it.

Photo by Charlesjsharp CC BY-SA 4.0