By Timothy P. Flynn
Last Saturday, on May 25, my daughter and I made the trip up to the Barnes and Noble in Nashua, New Hampshire for the special event where horror/speculative fiction writer Joe Hill was appearing. He is presently doing appearances in various areas to promote his newest novel, NOS4A2. He was to do a brief reading from his new book, a Q and A session with the audience, and then start the signing of his books.
My nickname should really start to become “Tardy Tim” because I am late for everything recently. We got to the event around 2:30 (half an hour late) and missed the reading part of the event. There was a huge crowd all encompassing the magazine section of the store. My daughter and I snuck in the back, right beside fellow Necon camper Gardner Goldsmith (SHOUTOUT).
Joe has a terrific personality answering the questions before him making the audience cackle with laughs at all the right moments. When the subject of his famous father came up, Joe retorted with the statement, “You all may have heard my Dad writes here and there. He may have a future in this business, but who knows.” Joe made a point to refresh the audience that ALL of his family members are fantastic writers. This included his mom, Tabitha, his brother, Owen with a new novel out at present, and Owen’s wife is also a novelist. The King household at get-togethers and around the dinner table has always been the place for literary conversation.
Gardner’s question was a very good one. He asked Mr. Hill about his productive output, as in a daily word count and also any certain moments in his career that were pivotal in his direction. Joe answered with a daily 1200 words before anything: emails, phone calls, etc. The pivotal moment was his choice to pursue the horror/speculative fiction genre after some literary attempts – simply because he loved the genre was the answer, and the choice of the pseudonym, which was to not rely on name alone for his writing merits. Joe Hill made it as a successful writer on his own terms before it leaked who his identity was. The speed round Q and A was hilarious with short “yes” or “no” answers to multiple questions.
The signing line was quite long, but well worth the wait. Joe was great by answering questions, signing multiple books, and even posing for a few pictures. One could easily say it was a successful event and a great time was had by everyone who attended. This was the second time I met Joe Hill, but it was my 10-year-old daughter’s first time. She braved through some of the boring parts for a child with her dad trying to best to keep a smile on her face. Her name is now even personalized in two of Mr. Hill’s books and resides now in our home on my bookcase.