By Mike MacLean
Promoting his newest novel Requiem for an Assassin, Eisler spoke to a pretty good-sized crowd, all of us John Rain fans. I’ve been to two appearances by Mr. E, and neither time did he disappoint. Eisler speaks with wit and enthusiasm, and as much as any author I’ve met, he seems truly happy to meet and greet his fans.
According to Eisler…
His next novel will be a stand-alone thriller.
He might someday write a Rain prequel, where the origin of Rain’s code of conduct is revealed.
He has considered writing novels centering on other characters from the John Rain world… Dox the former Marine sniper and Delilah the sexy Mossad operative.
Everyone from Ken Watanabe to Keanu Reeves has been mentioned to play the role of Rain on the big screen. Eisler kind of warmed to the idea of John Cusack.
Along with hearing a tallented writer speak, I got a first-hand lesson in missed opportunaties.
While waiting in line to get Requiem signed, a buddy of mine ambled over with a copy of The Deadly Bride in one hand and a pen in the other. He wanted me to sign my story. I, of course, replied, “Oh man, don’t do this to me.”
Now, I could lie. I could say I didn’t want to John Hancock the book because it would appear hackish, like I was gloming off a best seller’s signing to promote my own work. But the truth is, a few people in line were watching us, and I felt embarresed.
I never liked being the center of attention. Among friends, drinking a few beers, I can tell stories with the best of them. But those are friends. The people watching us at the Poisoned Pen were strangers.
On the drive home, I realized I’d missed an opportunity. If I had signed my friend’s copy of The Deadly Bride maybe one of the people in line would’ve been curious enough to ask about it. Maybe they would’ve bought a copy. Maybe they would’ve told their friends about it. And their friends would check out my website, then check out Murderati. Then they’d buy Pari’s book, or Alex’s or…
It could happen.
I’m a good writer; I don’t feel arogant saying that. But there are tons of good writers out there. If I’m at a convention cocktail party, how’s my writing going to grab the attention of the agent, the editor, the movie producer?
I’m lightyears away from worying about public appearances. But if I really want to cut out a space for myself in this industy, I know I’ve got to start embracing my inner extrovert. The question is, how?
Thanks again to Barry Eisler for a nice afternoon at the bookshop, and a great read to take home.