Last year, bestselling author Sherman Alexie issued a call to arms to authors nationwide: show your support of your local independent bookstore by volunteering to work! And thus was born Indies First, happening for the second consecutive year on Small Business Saturday, November 29.
This Saturday, Austin authors Edward Carey, Mark Pryor & Meg Gardiner are putting on a BookPeople lanyard and testing their bookselling savvy right here on our sales floor. Come by and find out which books our author friends recommend!
We tossed a few quick questions at our authors to get us started. Here are answers from Mark Pryor, author of the Hugo Marston novels, The Bookseller, Crypt Thief, Button Man and Blood Promise. Catch him recommending books in our MysteryPeople section at 1pm!
What’s the first book you remember reading?
Harold and the Purple Crayon. Does that count?! The first mystery books I read, though, were the Hardy Boys and Three Investigator series. Couldn’t stop once I’d started, and I’m sure those are the books that hooked me into being a mystery reader, and then writer.
What are you currently reading?
The ARC of a debut crime writer, which isn’t out yet, so that’s not very helpful. I just finished William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace, which I read because I was on a panel with him, but I now recommend because it’s brilliant. And because it turns out he’s an incredibly nice, and funny, man.
What book do you love and wish more people would pick up?
I usually point to Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason as a quirky and wonderfully written crime novel that not everyone has heard of yet.
Where is your favorite place to read?
On the couch in front of the fire. We’ve just implemented a new regime at home with the kids where we sit and read for about 45 minutes before their bedtime, it makes for a blissful family time.
Top five favorite authors. Go.
Alan Furst, Fred Vargas, Philip Kerr, Tana French, and Eric Ambler.
When you walk into a bookstore, which section do you head to first?
Trick question, eh? Mystery section, always.
As an author, why do you support independent bookstores?
Because they support writers, because the people who work there love books and authors, and because I want there to always be places like BookPeople, places where the staff really know about books and can make recommendations or suggestions. To me, independent bookstores are oases of calm and decency in a world where retail has come to mean maximizing profit, not satisfying customers.
Mark Pryor is the author of the Hugo Marston novels, The Bookseller, The Crypt Thief, and The Blood Promise, and the true-crime book As She Lay Sleeping. His latest Marston novel, The Button Man, was released this year. A native of Hertfordshire, England, he is an assistant district attorney in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children.