Saturday, November 20, 2010

Best of the West meets Beast of the East

Authors Walter Knight (America's Galactic Foreign Legion) and Jamie Wasserman (Blood and Sunlight) got to meet in person recently. Jamie, from Ellicott City, Maryland, took a business trip to Seattle, Washington. Both authors were happy to give a brief description of the meeting.

Here's Walt's version...

I recently got to meet fellow Penumbra author Jamie Wasserman (Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story), while he was in Washington state on business. Jamie and a business associate flew to Seattle, staying at the downtown Marriott Hotel. Our meeting was billed as "The Best of the West" meets the "Beast of the East."

I found Jamie not to be a blood-sucking beast after all, but rather a very pleasant and personable fellow. We ate an excellent dinner at the Marriott (on the 26th floor), and Jamie even put the tab on his credit card. We discussed our writing plans and sequels, and exchanged our autographed novels. I gave Jamie my "America's Galactic Foreign Legion (Book 1) Feeling Lucky." Then we posed for photos, holding each other's books. I hope to have the photos on my website soon.

Jamie retired early, but not before sneaking me into the guests only pool area. I live in a very remote part of rural Washington state, so hot-tubbing and a swim in a real pool was quite a treat for me. I don't get to the big city all that often. My how Seattle as grown!

Walter Knight
America's Galactic Foreign Legion

And here's Jamie's version...

It was a dark and stormy night. That is to say, it would have been stormy, had it not been for the persistent warmth and clear skies. But it was night. That was evidenced by the presence of both the moon and the amount of drivers on the road who insisted on driving with their brights on.

I was suffering a horrific case of jetlag, daylight savings time-itis, and a strange rash that resembled former heavyweight boxer David Tua. But I was in good spirits, as I was finally getting a chance to meet fellow Penumbra Publishing author Walter Knight.

Walter is a tremendously generous person, and he had been providing me with a steady stream of marketing advice to help get my book out there. His success is a testament to just how good his techniques (and books) are. He was making an 80-mile drive from a small town in Washington, just to meet me in Seattle, so I figured I owed it to him not to scratch myself at the dinner table.

My first impression of Walt was that he was tall (or that I was short). I worried I might be shrinking, but in hindsight, this might have had something to do with the three complimentary Bailey's I had on the plane.

He was soft-spoken but very confident - a man who would probably be equally comfortable rocking his grandson to sleep as he would leading an assault over Pork Chop Hill.

We had a wonderful meal at the restaurant at the Seattle Rennaisance Hotel. (Mention my name and get half off the flan.) I learned that Walter is every bit as interesting as the characters in his books. He's a veteran, father, grandfather, gambler, history buff, and of course a writer. He owns horses and is married to a wonderful woman who works very hard to keep him in line. There's an autobiography begging to be written - and I wonder if he hasn't put some of it in his science-fiction military series!

We talked extensively about his book. I was genuinely impressed with the amount of details Walt pulled into his narrative - from sources as diverse as Woody Allen and war crime trial transcripts. And he makes it work. I still don't understand how the man finds the time to write so much and so well.

After dinner, I dragged my reluctant co-worker to another room in the hotel to take pictures - East meets West, West is moderately irritated with East, but figures he's here and may as well make the best of it, etc. We exchanged books, a firm handshake, a slightly uncomfortable hug, and then I snuck Walt into the hotel pool to get in a few laps. I was most likely asleep before he changed into his bathing suit.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening talking books, the industry, writing, and, oddly enough, architecture. Walt's a great guy, and I came away with a deeper appreciation for his books.

Jamie Wasserman
Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story


  1. Love the two takes on the evening. I'd imagine much witty conversation was had between, Walter and Jamie.

    Would love to have been a fly on the wall :)

    Excellent post.

  2. It was nice to float afterwards in the jet stream hot tub in the guests only pool area. That type of relaxation is what life is all about.

    Jamie was too tired to partake, so I suffered along floating with guests from exotic places like Japan, Germany, and Idaho.

    Speaking of exotic, I see the post before this one is from Wendy AKA Quillfeather, an exotic beautiful babe from New Zealand (that's Down Under and Fff to the Side." She's a blogging buddy and writer and "Lord of the Rings" fan.

    Distractions. I hope to meet more of my fellow writers and imaginary internet friends someday. Fan mail in increasing, but most of it is offers so share lost bank accounts and open computer window attachments.

    It looks like "America's Galactic Foreign Legion (Book 6) Culture War" will be out before Christmas. Progress on the AGFL series is going nicely.

    Wally (Walter Knight)


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