David Baldacci Reminder

My Interview with David Baldacci! 
The Fincastle Herald/Destiny Booze/February 2009
 

Famous and humble, rich and philanthropic, opinionated and non-judgmental, family-oriented and hardworking are opposing characteristics found in one very complex and talented man – Bestselling Author David Baldacci.

 

Clear your calendars and join me in welcoming Baldacci as he skirts around Botetourt County for two speaking engagements and book signings on Saturday, April 4. He will be at Friends of the Moneta and Franklin Co. Public Libraries at 11 a.m. for a free event open to the public; then he will be at Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center at 7 p.m. (tickets required).

 

As a current Virginia resident, engagements close to his hometown of Richmond are a particular joy for Baldacci. “I’ll personalize anything,” he said. “I’ll sign any book.” Meeting and talking with fans, posing for pictures and personalizing books is a real treat to him.

 

As a child, Baldacci described himself as very argumentative. His friends and family were not shocked in the least when he chose to obtain a law degree and established a career as a trial and corporate attorney in Washington D.C.

 

His writing career began more slowly and privately. He confessed lying to his mom and giving her a fit during his childhood. “I told whoppers when I was a kid to get out of trouble,” he said with a laugh. To fix this fibbing problem, his mom bought a blank book and told him to vent all that creative energy in a more positive manner.

 

He loved to read, so he took to the writing with equal enthusiasm. “Harry the Spy stuff,” was the phrase he used to describe his first stories. A new and secret passion began. Teachers throughout Baldacci’s schooling encouraged him in his writing.

 

The love of writing stemmed from a love of entertainment for Baldacci. He told a story about performing a play in school that became an important memory for him because one special person was in the audience. “Dad came and watched,” he said, his voice reflecting the excitement he remembered. He explained that his dad didn’t get any paid time off from work back then and it was such a sacrifice that he came.

 

Baldacci learned to equate entertainment with “magic,” though it was the written variety he stuck with. He loved to see his words, his story transcend from the page and come alive for him, but also to experience the rush of having that same story come alive by the reader. The magic is the transference of the story.

 

His first novel, Absolute Power turned into a bestseller and a movie starring Clint Eastwood. It wasn’t quite the overnight success that the publishing industry praised it to be, Baldacci explained. In reality, his success took about fifteen years of consistent hard work and an unbelievably understanding wife.

 

The secret to success according to Baldacci is a matter of discipline and dedication to the work. Writing is also a matter of communication, that magic and ability to transfer the story to the reader. He also fights against complacency. There should always be new goals, new ambitions, never a formula to success. There is no such formula, Baldacci explained.

 

Michelle Baldacci is David’s other half and partner, and as evident by his description of her, his true love. She reads all of her husband’s material first, and offers the first review. “I listen to her,” David said.

 

Despite the fact that over 60 million copies of David’s books are in print worldwide and all of his books have been national and international bestsellers, Baldacci admits that he still has doubts. “I’m afraid with every work that I won’t be able to bring the magic again,” he said. Then, Michelle becomes his biggest support as well. “She’s very protective of me. I wouldn’t be here without her.”

 

As partners, David and Michelle have established a charity called Wish You Well Foundation that supports family literacy in the country through supporting existing literacy programs. It is a subject that the Baldacci family truly believes in. Baldacci is firm in his belief that freedom and democracy are contingent on the ability to read. Those feelings only grew more empowered when David and Michelle had kids, Baldacci said.

 

Of course, he obviously fights illiteracy by writing such amazing stories for readers to enjoy. Come and meet the man with all of the above opposing qualities on Saturday, April 4. According to him, he owes those characteristics to three important teachings from his parents – “Hard work is never a bad thing; Humility is a wonderful thing; and Don’t judge others if you have never walked in their shoes.”

 

One experience in humility came during an outing for lunch. Baldacci was eating with his wife when a lady from across the restaurant began to stare at him. Eventually, the lady made her way over to his table and asked him if he was who she thought he was. His response was that if she read fiction, then yes. The lady turned and yelled back to her husband, “I was right. It is John Grisham.”

 

To learn more about David Baldacci, his books, his foundation or his upcoming events, visit http://www.davidbaldacci.com.

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Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 11:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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