Thursday, November 06, 2014

Blood and Sand and Frank Gardner and me

Seven years ago, when we were living in Amman, Jordan, I read Frank Gardner's memoir, Blood and Sand. The book deals with his journalism career in general, but centers on a 2004 incident in which he was shot six times by terrorists in Saudi Arabia while reporting there. His cameraman was killed; Gardner survived with major injuries.

When I finished the book, I did something I have done several times since, but never before then: I wrote an email to the author telling him how much I appreciated his book. This was in the old days when authors weren't as accessible as they are now with blogs, fb, and Twitter. In fact, as I recall, I couldn't even find a direct contact address for him, so I wrote the email to his publisher or agent. In any case, I never heard back from him, but I didn't expect to - I mostly hoped he had received and read a note of thanks from a reader.

Guess who I met today?

He's in town for the Sharjah International Book Festival, and he stopped by AUS to give an hour-long talk/interview/Q&A. Jeremy and I both wanted to go, but he graciously (SO GRACIOUSLY, love you, sweetie!) deferred to me. So while Jeremy was doing the school run and managing the kids, I got to sit and listen to Frank Gardner talk about his career.

Afterward, as you can see, I totally fangirled and got a photo with him after telling him how much my husband and I loved his book. In other words, I got to tell him in person what I wrote in that email seven years ago. It was awesome. Today was a good day!


Suzanne Bubnash said...

How cool! I read Blood & Sand that really hot summer in Amman (what summer isn't really hot in Amman?), and was riveted.

Is this only the 2d time you've met an author, or are there others I don't know about?

Liz Johnson said...

That is amazing!!!!

Jen said...

Wow! This made my day.

Bridget said...

Yes, there was that 100-degree week we had in 2007. Good times.

He and Tom Zoellner are the only authors I've had meaningful in-person encounters with, though I've had emails from a few others, including Mark Bowden. :)

Jeremy Palmer said...

I now wish I had gone!

Susanne said...

Neat! I remember reading that book after you recommended it. Glad you were able to meet him!

Aimee said...

Sounds like a lovely experience!


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