tv 2018 Miami Book Festival Saturday CSPAN November 17, 2018 2:45pm-3:50pm EST
>> good afternoon. good afternoon and welcome. my name is -- harrison and it's a pleasure to welcome each and every one of you here to her our 35th edition miami book fair. just looking out into the audience i see so many similar faces and it's wonderful to see all of you here this year again supporting this outstanding event. i'd like to thank, as always, and continually thank the sponsors of miami book fair. this year royal caribbean, knight foundation, the bachelor foundation, oh l and so many other individuals, young and more seasoned, but throughout our community from right here at miami-dade college along with a
student, faculty and staff all coming together for the cause of literacy and the love of reading in miami book fair. thank you to all of the volunteers about whom this book fair this week and year-round certainly would not be a special candidate. i also want to recognize the friends of miami book fair and will ask you to waive and accept our gratitude for the many years of support and collaboration with us. i look out and see every time i look out and see someone else i know so thank you again for your collaboration. without further ado i'd like to welcome jack kelly, director of operations for soft water and he will do formal introduction. thank you.
[applause] >> good afternoon and welcome. it's an honor to be here supporting this in the six-year and we cannot be happier to do it. it's a long established local brand and a family on brand and i've enjoyed the privilege of watching escrow from us today street fair in 1984 to the international literary event, multi- day it is today. mac you know, there are over 500 authors with hundreds of thousands of booklovers celebrating all things written here and it has no equivalent. it's unique in miami. ralph waldo emerson said if we encounter a man of intellect we
should ask him what books he reads and it's in these words they recognize the true promoting and nurturing a letter reading and helping others discover and expand the opportunity to provide. it is in these words that self mutters his sponsor for the read to learn for book free program. it provided over 3500 books a weekly to children to read and to have and to own so they can read over and over again. locations are currently accepting donations for books so if you have some gently used books with like you to stop by and one of our dealerships and drop them off. [laughter] [inaudible] woodrow wilson said i would never read a book if it were possible for me to talk with the man who wrote it. today we have the privilege to
spend time with three others. david is a staff writer for the new yorker and bustling other, deidra is a journalist and a novelist. [inaudible] they're both chosen books of the year by "the new york times" and washington post and several others. among other awards it won the edgar allen poe award. in the latest book is a self finding true story of courage, love, strength will and it's a solo attempt to a craft cross antarctica on foot. considered a master of legal fiction, john grisham, former
criminal defense and personal injury attorney is the author of 32 novels, one work of nonfiction, election stories and six novels for young readers. the sellers include a time to kill, the firm, pelican brief and the list goes on. for more than a million christian books in print worldwide translated into at least 29 languages and his latest novel is the reckoning and he returns to the south in a courtroom of a decorated war hero charged with murder in his defense attorney. [inaudible] [inaudible] he teaches narrative nonfiction at colorado college but his lace book underground covers the
heroic of their [inaudible] it is my honor to introduce mr. david graham, mr. john grisham and mr. -- back. [applause] >> we just were informed backstage that we have no moderator. which is fine because we have no plans of what to discuss. as writers we think we can write anything but speeches so we tend to go off the cuff when were asked to speak so sometime the
senior guy here -- barely -- it's a close race we agreed i would start the moderating and do it for a few minutes and you guys will take over will talk about whatever we decide to talk about. books, writing, reading, the process, maybe movies. how we do what we do and how w we -- what is always fun for us as writers because we are too lazy to prepare remarks is to take questions from the floor and it takes the burden off of us and also allows us to know what you want to talk about. at some point pretty soon with a mic in the middle and he gets bored we may take questions from the floor so if you thank you may have a question just hang onto it and will get to it in a
minute. all three of us published books in october of want and something i do every year. these guys are a bit slower. [laughter] so you go first and talk about your book. >> we are a little slower because we have to backtrack -- [laughter] i have never been concerned about accuracy. [laughter] >> well, yeah, my new book is about a single battle in the korean war which i think is the most intense and dramatic battle in that war and i would have chosen was a part of a battle fought in 35 below zero weather conditions in the mountain wilderness of north korea on the shores of this frozen like and the first marine division put in a truly impossible position because of some bad intelligence
coming from their superiors in tokyo come a specifically douglas macarthur, who is the antihero of the book, i'm afraid. he did not want to believe the chinese would intervene in the war and they did in huge numbers. they completely surrounded the first marine division in an army unit that was also there and nearly annihilated or would have annihilated them and they not come up with a brilliant plan to bash their way out of this trap on the shores of this lake. that's what the book is about the marines hate to use the word retreat but this is a story of a noble retreat or a fighting withdrawal as they make their way to the seat, 70 miles away down at the coast. that is basically in a nutshell with the book is about. >> the first book that i read was ghost soldiers which came out almost 20 years ago.
>> eighteen, yet. >> what is it about war that fascinates you? >> most of my books are not necessarily about war but these two are. i think there's something about military stories that in the extreme situations these folks find themselves that strip things down and make things elemental. you see character writ large in the way these guys some in various qualities whether encourage or sometimes it's a sense of humor but something to get out of these ordeals and it's always interesting and always magnified certain qualities that i think are innate in all humans i'm a non- military writer who writes about military situation sometimes. this is certainly one the most intense battles i've ever encountered in literature.
>> you make it very readable and accessible. at times it can read like a thriller which i kind of like. >> well, thank you. >> david, back in february david writes for the new yorker and back up every you published two pieces back to back and how many total words? >> 24000, 25000. >> not the guy who was walking across an article and it's a fascinating story. you took those two articles and turn them into a book so tell us about it. >> yeah, i'm someone who hates the cold let's get that other way but have always been interested in explorers likes through the story preferably by a nice warm fire and when i came across a reference in 2015 that a man named -- planned to do what his hero had failed to do a century earlier which was to walk from one side of antarctica to the other i was immediately drawn to the story.
shackleton had tried to make this expedition as part of a group -- but -- was 55 and plan to do it alone and unsupported and unaided which means he had no food cafés, planted along his roots to forestall salvation and had all of the provisions on a sled without the aid of dogs o or -- no one had dared to do this before. one of the things that motivated the sky was his reverence for the early 20th century polar polish explorer, shackleton. shackleton was the one who failed in his expeditions to reach supple and to track across an article but each time he always managed to remarkable powers of endurance and uncanny leadership to rescue his party and to get them all back alive.
whenever worsley was in danger he would ask himself what would shackleton do. on that last expedition, the solar expedition which were deleted he was called, his fingers were beginning to be frostbitten and lost more than 40 pounds and his body was on the verge of collapse and yet he never given up before and was so close to completing his track to what he called the rendezvous with history and he asked himself in that moment what would shackleton do. the book explores that question of what is the meaning of true leadership. is it to never give up? or is it to reckon with your limitations and that's one of the major themes of the book deals with. ...
>> i felt like it was a documentation to document missing history and it is integral in the book with the photographs but the professional photographer was with him some of you have seen those of the endurance ship frozen in ice and meticulously documented his expedition you get the diary and also the audio dispatch so the book includes those photographs.
>> what type of communication at the time? . >> the biggest difference was his satellite phone and use solar patter one --dash solar batteries he could use it to call a rescue plane the most expensive taxi ride in the world. . >> the big news it's likely to be filmed? . >> yes. for those of you are not familiar the members of the osage nation in oklahoma in the early 20th century were the wealthiest people per capita in the world and then they were serially murdered in the one of the worst racial injustices and criminal conspiracies in history and
one of the first major homicide cases. so the project right now i was joking the only thing more murky than a criminal conspiracy is a project in hollywood but they do seem to be moving ahead and scorsese is supposed to direct one of the agents. [applause] . >> we have a lot of similar content and what it does to the psyche. and what it did to the men. and with those chosen few and
they are spread out all over the country it was the great joy of doing this book getting to know the veterans. most of them have moved from places like florida and southern california and arizona because 85 percent suffered from frostbite. they lost fingers, toes and sometime parts of their face in the battle some of them froze to the death or came very close. the weapons would not fire. to put the morphine in their mouth to keep them from freezing. so i was curious with your book as this is the all pervading source it was time
the training he did three expedition the first and then was taught if you get wet then you die. and it's true. in one expedition he had a companion who went to get a drink of water minus 70 degrees fahrenheit wins at 100 miles per hour and one misstep you plunge into a crevice and this was the first expedition and he started to pour the water and it blew and in an instant his hands froze he had a glove on but that's how cold it was they had to get to the tent and warm up his hand and he instructed his
companion again if you get wet and you die. but one of the overlapping things but for me that is the perfect laboratory for human dynamics because of duress and claustrophobia and the freezing and history a study with a count of expedition like the lord of the flies cases of beauty and murder. so one of the things was to test his own character and leadership ability with the certain environments that's
called the courtrooms. [laughter] and i still love courtrooms because people talk about things in open court they would never discuss privately because they have to under oath. and with details they don't want to give because witnesses are called often against their will but they are supposed to tell the truth. you see all sorts of incredible dramas playing out in courtrooms. and if i had not been in the courtroom not as a lawyer but just as a spectator, then i would not have the inspiration to write my first book. but there is something about the story that is compelling
and i like the settings and the character of the young lawyer. this would be a compelling drama for somebody else to write. so you didn't go to antarctica. north korea? . >> i did not go to north korea. [laughter] . >> smashing rocks into smaller rock somebody has to do that. so i went to south korea of course, . >>. >> in google earth where the nuclear testing has been done
but a lot of photographs and you piece it together the best you can. but my last book was set in the arctic 35 below zero i am in my coal phase right now about the united states navy attempt on the north pole. talk about the arctic or antarctic and almost invariably is mutiny and cannibalism. but if the leadership is good.
. >> i have no idea i don't write this kind of stuff. [laughter] . >> as a writer i would say tolstoy but i don't know if that really counts but that's a really good question but in earlier stages explorers had outward goals because they were exploring regions never left not surly to outsiders so there was that element of discovery if they were searching for all lost city like in my book or trying to find the source of a river but what's interesting of the later expeditions is people are grasping onto external objects because we have google
maps in the world is discovered so they have the external object as the first to do something but it is really an inward quest and i suspect the great earlier feats but i would certainly rank the expedition is one of the greatest feats but that endurance ship was frozen in the ice before they reached their base on antarctica and the boat that sank and they were trapped on the floating ice flow more than 1000 miles from the nearest island with any habitation in this was in an age before radio so no way to signal for help and he had to try to figure out a way to get them all back alive. >> two years ago i started flying airplanes and became infatuated with flying and then i quit for a bunch of good reasons. but i love the story of
lindbergh and that flight after 33 consecutive hours it was just a dark pit he could not see where he was going with very basic instruments he was asked really - - actually awake 60 hours because he was awake the night before but just incredible human endurance how he managed to fly and that is remarkable. >> i would question that you both i consider masters of suspense and very difficult to - - different ways the way you layout history and in your novels john, i am curious is that instinctive with that creation of suspense? do you have things that guide you to take "the reader" along on the journey?
. >> i think there are two kinds of suspense. though what like what happened? and the why. why did it happen? i think sometimes the most interesting books if you tell what happened right off the bat than the rest of the book is about why. and that is the structure of your new book i think i have heard it described as though why done it. to create those layers of psychology you peel back those layers until you finally get to the true origins or the motivation of the killer in this case. >> every suspenseful novel every mystery is all different. you know, who killed who in the first chapter and as a writer i was determined to
string you, "the reader" along to the very last page before you knew why. it's almost kind of cruel that i really enjoyed it. [laughter] because i pulled it off. i did it you have to go to the last page don't do that. it is cheating but creating suspense is not something i mastered. i read a lot of books how you do it. i have read good suspense written by good writers to learn how they do it i still read those books they are my favorites. but a lot of it is careful planning ahead of time. when you write suspense or thrillers or a mystery you need to know where you're going when you start to because it's easy to get sidetracked if you don't know the answer when you start you'll probably get messed up
also drop off clues along the way which takes planning so one of the rules i have is do not write to the first scene until you write the last scene. or you know, it. that is very hard to do you have to think about the whole story to plot the whole story then when you do that you realize some subplots will be not necessary or some characters you have to expand their role and it's a process there are a few tricks that you learn along the way. >> my goal is to hook you on the first page going to an ending that you may not see coming that is my goal every time that's what i like to read. >> this lady is waiting on us patiently.
>> when you talked about corporations supporting judges and once they are in they wait for the case to go in front of them was that the appellate? . >> so how do you see that today? is it better or worse? . >> all judicial elections immediately. it is ridiculous the amount of money that goes into judicial elections for judges campaigning often times they may refuse to recuse themselves when people come before them to give them money it is a rotten system that's why i wrote the book to try to expose and 35 states have elected judges it's a terrible
system there is a better way to pick judges and prosecutors we would save a lot of money and bad law and wrongful convictions and problems we have with the system like mass incarceration still that's my bread and butter and what i like to write about and a lot of books i need to write. [applause] thank you. >> on korea you mentioned examples can you tell stories? . >> the current book? yes. the book is really structured around pieces of different individual stories of survival
and resilience and one of the most decorated battles of american history. one of the guys with a guy named hector who i had the privilege of interviewing a year before he died here in florida. at the time he was a 20 -year-old kid from new jersey the italian-american who never spent a day in combat. barely trained really, on the night of november 27th, the chinese came in waves about midnight they always fly at night and in this cacophony of symbols and horns hear they came with the light of the flares and the rifle started firing and he fought with the entrenching tool with hand to
hand combat and fought through the entire night and at dawn they counted in a single night he killed over 100 chinese. he was grievously wounded and evacuated eventually and then spent the rest of his life trying to figure out what happened how did he survive? how did he do that? what kinds of forces did he summoned to accomplish that? with his platoon but he didn't feel like he deserved it. so that is the real reward and
trying to figure out its meaning so the korean war that is the forgotten more. we just have not dealt with that except for endless reruns of mash i don't think we have dealt with it in the public consciousness or movies or novels the way we did with vietnam or world war ii. certainly that was one of the motivations i had for writing the book now this is the generation we are saying goodbye to unfortunately making their exit my stepfather died this summer my parents generation as a veteran so it was the urgency to tell the story from the korean war and it was clear that this battle was the most intense and dramatic and
pivotal battle in the korean war so that's why i did it. things for your question. >> you're always writing something because that your job. what are you doing now? what's your next book? . >> the next book there's always a superstition about talking about it but eventually it will deal with the opposite of the expedition that involves people on a naval ship that they get shipwrecked and find themselves cut off from society and rather than work together it's like lord of the flies and they turn on each other with mutiny and murder and treachery so that's what that one is about. [laughter] . >> same old stuff. >> it's all human nature.
>> it is a true story. >> when did it take place? . >> the 18th century. >> i'll try to be vague and cryptic they were trying to get around cape horn. >> are you going to go there or just mail that in. [laughter] a warm island but i am spending my days enjoying being a writer but what's incredible a reporter who are interviewing people who were alive into more historical work so looking at these logbooks where the people went through hurricanes to get the journals and they only come up on a digital scanner.
but tommy departed this world. . >> see you were always writing something for "the new yorker". >> yes. but i am very slow. you may have noticed that. >> what is your priority then? . >> you are really tough i thought this would be easy moderation. [laughter] . >> so for many years i wrote primarily for the magazine and later years more to the books mostly because they take so lon long. >> what are you working on crack. >> i said earlier i was in the cold phase now i'm moving to a warmer phase i'm writing a book that involves cryptically
involves places like tahiti hawaii, . >> you should collaborate. >> it is a ship story as well the third and final voyage of captain cook the british navigator who rediscovered hawaii used to say he discovered it but of course, the polynesians discovered a first he discovered it in 1727 and did some exploring so i do have some cold weather but then he came back that's an interesting island i will come back to check it out that things did not go so well for him there and he was killed he was baked and possibly eaten
so there will be a recipe in the back. [laughter] . >> eat as cannibals. >> my question is for all of you i have been a big fan. i don't know if you've always been asked the question but what book that you have wrote is your favorite and what book that you did not write is your favorite? my favorite is the reckoning because it just came out. [laughter] it's now available in book stores everywhere just in time for the christmas rush the
last one is always the best by far. it's hard for me to look back with any sense of fairness a lot of books over a lot of years the first one is always a favorite i would put the reckoning in the top three. i think it's a special book when the story finally came to gather about one year ago it's based on the story a real story that i heard was something true that happened in a small town mississippi years ago when i had in my mind a long time the whole story finally came together and i was staring at it and it's time to write it. for the first time a little bit intimidated because the story is that good. i didn't know if i could write it but the story was exceptiona exceptional.
it is one of my favorites. >> not of mine, yours. >> the clay she won - - cliché is asking which is your favorite kid every book comes from a different part if you are a different phase of your life and the challenges are different the hurdles are different so that's a really hard question to answer. i do have a collection, the anthology of early journalism were called americana and i guess that's my favorite because i look back and it makes me smile with my education as a young writer and i see this odd journey i went on as a 20 and 30 -year-old young journalist and
how that influenced my later career. so i look back with some fondness. i don't know if you can feel that sometimes but i feel like that's my favorite book. >> i just have to comment your book soldiers while reading it was very emotional that was a heartfelt book. >> that's interesting that you mention that because from world war ii and a rescue that took place but this is a segue.
>> the first time i had been exposed after 20 years now is the same part of world war ii and i've always been fascinated by the death march and so i started to research the more i read with probably a dozen survivor accounts i don't know how they got through it this is such a fascinating piece of world war
ii i was fairly captivated. also to throw a curveball at "the reader" we start off with the murder in a small town mississippi with the trial and execution that's my bread and butter. also the book takes a hard left turn and goes off to war 150 pages nobody saw that coming am not sure that i saw that coming that i had to do it that way but it was fascinated - - fascinating and it is important at some level because these guys are dying off every day. these veterans so it's important for me to take a story that involves so many american prisoners the way they were treated as a way to say we do remember and it was fascinating but in the end i'm
an author selling books. [laughter] . >> you do it well. >> i have asked you this before but how many trees you have killed? [laughter] . >> that is difficult. >> if you want to get personal but in my contract with my pert publisher they have to use paper that has been recycled. [applause] and nowadays with e-books i don't worry about that there are no trees involved. . >> your favorite book? . >> i look at writing as a self-confidence con game you have to convince yourself what you are doing matters and convince yourself it's the best thing you have ever done otherwise you will not get through it. so each project you are
working on you are working on your psychology to keep going and then three years into the project you have to convince yourself to keep going and then when i finish the project i look at every writing venture as a failure in other words, i never succeed in writing the perfect book you have an idea that you are trying to get to but you try and convince yourself to kept trying but then it's a failure and you convince yourself that will be great and then that's a failure. >> so how do you come up with
the idea what you talk about generally? and with that plot that you have? . >> i am always looking for a story. writers are thieves because they write nonfiction i'm always looking for a story that i could take with the legal setting to provide a book or a mystery i'm always looking for the issue like capital punishment or wrongful convictions like right now today it is the opioid crisis. there is a big fat novel in there somewhere.
i have not found it yet there is too many issues with big pharma and medicine and victims and families i try to get my head around it and i haven't been able to do that yet. i hope i do and i can work out that story. that's the way i'm always thinking about the headlines of the magazine articles once i get an idea it will rattle around and then the good one stick i am always collecting research newspaper articles and stuff online and the files are thick. once i have a really good idea then how would you tell the story? and then that's a process i
will say chapter one what happens? i ride a paragraph when i get to chapter 40 i better we finished or i'm in trouble. that is the organization what you don't want to do is what you need to do number one is outline number two is revise never to do in the first or second draft. >> that weeds out a lot of things that our unnecessary i can stand it when my wife says this is really dragging right here. this is too slow. that's an insult. ifixit. . >> i am still moderating by the way many books turned into
movies once you find out one has been selected would you wait to watch the movie once it is completed? . >> all of the above. first of all, i had a wave of movies 20 years ago back in the day but now one has a been made in 15 years. hollywood doesn't make smart adult dramas anymore. you don't see very good dramas being made. they have no interest to make films out of my novels anymore there is interested we have three or four deals going but
i want to stay away from it back in the old days i have never written a screenplay that was used that was a different set of muscles that the best approach that stephen king told me when it comes to hollywood there are two groups of writers. the first are those who do not sell their stuff to hollywood for any reason. the second consists of us that do and if you do so there is a couple of rules. all the money up front. kiss it goodbye and expect it to be something different. if you don't like that then go jump one - - join the first group. [laughter] that is good advice. >> i feel like what you're really supposed to do is drive that nevada california border
in the middle of the night your manuscript over the border than hollywood meets you they reach into their trunk and reach throw the money over the border then you turn around and never see each other again. [laughter] one of my books was turned into a movie filmed by a very nice guy named harvey weinstein. [laughter] it was ghost soldiers that we are talking about earlier i call it the perfectly good raid that usually successful critically with that interesting attempt it is an interesting process to go to the set and i could meet james franco who was a young actor
then but it is surreal. you are right it comes out different and you have to surrender that to b-letter what it is. >> and those that have been optioned but right now they are not actively scrutinized by people like martin scorsese that book came out in 2009 and from the production company to develop that into a movie and me being very naïve at this point i said guess what they will make a movie it will come out next year. [laughter] then 2010, 2011, 2012, finally came out 2017 it's like finding the lost city in the middle of the jungle.
i don't get involved. i help answer historical questions or send materials. but i try to focus on my work. i wanted to get into the hands of those who are serious and my first new yorker story with robert redford and sissy spacek the one moment that comes at the premiere i bring my kids for dad who is a dork who writes in his office in 24 years - - 20 hours i'm cool then it goes away. [laughter] . >> what inspired you to become an author?
. >> my hometown south david mississippi her mother and i were buddies growing up i use decide books in bookstores in oxford she would always come to my book signings a number of years ago there are photographs of you holding her as a baby each year she grew up so we have a succession of photographs. do you live in florida now? what was the question? [laughter] . >> what inspired you to become an author what advice to give to young authors? . >> i try to stay away from advice it's easy to do and even easier to ignore. if you are serious about writing you have to have a career first weather lawyer or
teaching school and to treated as a very serious hobby something you do every day so the best piece of advice i give to people that until you are writing one page a day every day nothing will happen because think about your story or talk about your story or dream about it but until you sit down every day at the same time, same place, and have structure with at least one page per day, it will not happen if you do it every day that in two years you write a book then you could ship it off and then they ship it right back. [laughter] . >> i always say that one of the most important things is
to read everything. read the writers that you lov love, those that our different from you but that is so essential i'm always reading and studying and hampton and all these people to get a better sense of how to do the craft and then the most fundamental is if you really want to be a writer then write and you have to sit there and write one is not going well and when it is there is no simple way to cheat it. for me it is very hard and very slow but you keep doing it. >> i live in memphis that is very close to you that is part of my upbringing and i met the first writer i ever met shelby foote the great civil war historian and he gave me some advice he had the beard and
the pipe he said don't talk about your work. great writing is done under enormous pressure cocktail party here and a dinner party and you talk out the story like cooking beans in a pressure cooker if you let off the pressure all the time it will never get cooked or it will not be cooked well. just don't talk about it. obviously if you have a big problem talk to your editor or your wife but don't fritter it away with small talk. >> did you ever see his manuscripts? to make es. longhand in strange looking script he said he always wrote
500 words a day. . >> slacker. >> 20 years later he had a trilogy of the civil war. >> he finished one great big leather bound book. >> i was in a rock band in high school with his side we did everything we could to prevent shelby from writing that trilogy. cranking up the hendrix. [laughter] . >> one more question. >> i am wondering what is the work of nonfiction? as using photographs so what
is that role for you? . >> it is a new development for me i don't know if i would use that for every work with those images but it could be photographed maybe they don't exist. the photographs should echo the text that add to it that those photographs help to capture it. when you see this solid figure walking across the landscape to bring something into your mind. but you don't want them to be redundant so for killers of the flower moon those crimes were so hard to believe have
them marrying into families to kill their spouses and get the oil money but to see the photographs of these were real people with such a weep important reminder elise began to collect photographs of the victims i put them on my bookshelf i had one or two but that over the years the numbers grew into the dozens that is a constant reminder what the book is about. so putting them in the book i thought was important. >> how many total victims were there? . >> the official death toll for those that were killed for the oil money the official was 27
but i tried to document in the book it was in the scores if not hundreds. >> do you have a question? . >> i'm with the book fair. >> you are telling me it is over? [laughter] [applause] . >> one announcement you can pick up signed copies outside and they will be signing their books across the hall. [inaudible conversations]
. >> this is book tv's coverage of the annual miami book fair you are listening to john grisham and david graham and this week michelle obama autobiography is called becoming number one in all best seller list in speaking to sold-out arenas across the country on her book tour. she kicked off tuesday at united center in chicago and here is a portion of the program. . >> always feel that the white house was our house and the pe's