The Friends of The Brainerd Public Library sponsor each June and July our Brown Bag Author Series. This is a series of Minnesota authors who come and speak each Monday from noon to one at our library. This event is open to the public, and the authors are able to sell their books at the end of the hour.
Our first author for the 2014 line up was Nathan Jorngenson. Nathan is the author of three books, Waiting For White Horses, The Mulligan, and A Crooked Number. For Waiting For White Horses, Nathan was the winner of the 2004 Benjamin Franklin Award, Best New Voice 2005 Foreward Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist 2005 Independent Publishers Book Award Finalist. The Mulligan was 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist and 2007 Independent Publisher Book Award Finalist for Book of the Year.
Nathan is a delightful speaker. He was able to capture the attention of the 70 people who showed up to listen to him talk about his books. (An excellent count and kick off to this years events!) Each cover, has a story, and I was thrilled to find out that the cover of Waiting For White Horses is actually a picture of Nathan and his dog. The Mulligan, Nathan said was said to be “too dark a cover”. “Too brown” he was told, yet, “The cover won an award.” A Crooked Number, also has a story and the pictures on the back are actually some of Nathan’s own pictures. I LOVE the personal touch he has put in his covers!
Nathan read a little out of both Waiting For White Horses and A Crooked Number. He shared a funny story about book signings. He was encouraged once to take his dog with him to a signing. “Everyone loves dogs” he was told. Nathan said that every time someone came up to sign a book, they just reeked of a foul odor. He had no idea what was going on, finally his wife said, “You have to get the dog out of here, he is farting every time someone approaches”. Nathan said it was a sad day that he had to fire his dog from future signings. 😀
Writing, is like getting naked in public.
Nathan spoke on writing. You expose yourself to the world, for better of for worse. “You must write from the heart, that is all you can do.” He shared another funny instance where at a signing an elderly woman came up to him and said, “Why are your books so pornographic?” (For the record here – they are not… not even close!) A man standing behind the woman chimed in and said, “We love your books. In fact our Pastor has recommended two of them from the Pulpit.” It is all a matter of opinion.
Nathan enjoys reading Harlan Coben and Scott Turrow. He admits to writing his first two books with a #2 pencil. “I am pretty old school,” he chuckles.
I purchased copies of Waiting For White Horses and A Crooked Number. The first being a book I have been told time and again that I must read, and the second a book I have wanted to read for a while now. Nathan generously donated copies of all three of his books to our library, and another set to be auctioned off at our Fall event, Wine and Words.