I had the priviledge of meeting Carl Hiassen on his recent visit to Decatur to promote his new book The Downhill Lie. Having read many of his fiction books, this was a great evening for me. Such titles as Stormy Weather, The Lottery Winner and Nature Girl have given me many hours of entertainment.
When I first heard he was coming to town, courtesy of the Georgia Center for the Book, I immediately contacted my friend Joe and let him know that I was ready and willing to volunteer at the event. Held at the GA Perimeter College Decatur Campus, many fans showed up to hear Carl talk about his new book, as well as answer questions about his writing, his appearance on The Colbert Report, and of course, his new book on golf. I was thrilled to be the "bodyguard"; standing at the signing table holding the fans back while they waited for him to sign their books. In true Chillette style, I wore a lovely pink apron that coincidentally matched the book!
The Downhill Lie is actually a journal of his return to golf after a twenty five year hiatus. He said that he doesn't know why he took up a sport in middle age that he wasn't any good at as a young man. Like his fiction books, the new book is humorous. If you are not familiar with him, Carl is a columnist for the Miami Herald. His columns are wonderful and can be found in some of his "collections". I highly recommend his books for entertaining as well as enlightening reading.
During his talk, Mr. Hiassen was questioned about his recent appearance on Colbert. He said that while in the green room before his interview, Colbert comes in and says "Remember that I stay in character during your interview, and that character is an idiot. Talk to me like you are talking to a drunk". As a fan of both Carl and Stephen, I enjoyed hearing about him. I always wondered how the people he interviewed on his show felt about his behavior. Now I know that they are educated on what to expect.
Mr. Hiassen is NOT a fan of Disney and lamented that he had not been banned from Disney World after writing unfavorably about "the mouse". He has a friend that has been banned, and he is very envious. I know how he feels. After a few visits with my children, I have absolutely no desire to return.
If you have not yet read Mr. Hiassen, I urge you to rush out and get at least one of his books. Great summer reading.
I came away from the evening with a great Father's Day gift as well as my own copy personalized to "my bodyguard". I now have an even bigger crush on him!
Me and Carl- aren't we cute together? Too bad he is married!