Listening to Bird Box with blindfolds on

Bird Box

Went to Pages Bookshop recently in Detroit to check out a local author, Josh Malerman, who has a new book out, a horror novel, called “Bird Box”. I haven’t read the book yet, but after tonight I definitely plan on picking it up. First of all, I’m a huge fan of horror. Second, my wife and I had a blast at his presentation.

It was about 5 degrees outside, which probably explained the somewhat smaller crowd, but those of us who ventured out had a good time. Josh is a funny guy with a quick, offbeat sense of humor that likes to launch sneak attacks. His wit always seems to catch you off guard, and he always comes at you from wherever you weren’t looking for him. He’s also  a natural storyteller and creative, which explained the rather unusual idea to have everyone in the audience wear blindfolds while he read a rather lengthy passage from his book, complete with live sound effects and scattered dissonant chords provided by his wife. At least I think it was his wife making those sounds. I had a blindfold on so how should I know?

But after the reading was done and the blindfolds came off, it looked for a minute like that might be the end of the evening, which left me kind of disappointed. But then the evening’s host, and owner of Pages Bookshop Susan Connelly asked Josh a question about how things were going with his book being turned into a movie, and from that point on we got to know the author a lot better. His descriptions of his writing process (blazes through from beginning to end, then worries about edits later), as well as his eye-opening experiences with the film industry as he watches how the sausage gets made were hilarious in a lot of ways, but also informative to see how that whole process works. At least through the eyes of one writer.

But most of all this was inspirational for me, because here was a guy who had written, I think he said 19 books over the course of a decade, all of them now boxed up somewhere nowhere near a bookstore and never published. Josh had been writing these books while on and off the road with his band. Oh yeah, like me he’s also a musician. Then one day, after a decade of writing and never even considering  hanging it up even though he’s got 19 unpublished books lying around, the Big Deal happens, the dominoes fall,  and now this man’s book looks to be on its way to the Big Screen

It can happen, man. It really can happen.

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Writer and musician.

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