Tonight I trekked out to my husband Tom’s old stomping grounds to see New York Times best-selling author Jamie Ford. I’ve read both of his novels–Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Ballantine, 2009) and Songs of Willow Frost (Ballantine, 2013), so thought it would be fun to hear him speak in person and sign my books.
The Evergreen Park Library is in a suburb south of Chicago. My husband Tom used to study there in high school. It’s a gorgeous library and one that often holds author readings. Check out this cool banner in the special events room.
Jamie Ford started out by taking a photo of the audience so he could post it to Facebook. I loved that! And it didn’t make me feel like a doofus for taking photos during his reading.
He’s a funny and engaging speaker and was just as comfortable speaking to retirees as he was to the pre-teens in the audience. He told us about his early inspiration for writing fiction and took us through his road to publication for both books.
And of course he read a short excerpt from Songs of Willow Frost, a story about a young Chinese orphan who searches for his mother and in the process learns about his family’s tragic past.
I met some kind people in the signing line after the reading, including Jamie’s lovely wife, Leesha. She even volunteered to take this photo.
If you haven’t read Jamie Ford’s books, I highly recommend them. His main characters in both books are Asian pre-teens in 1940s and 1930s Seattle. He does a marvelous job of transporting the reader back to these bygone eras.