OPINION

Good Morning: Meeting my favorite writer

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley / Herald Democrat

Thursday evening, I got to check something off my bucket list. After a three plus hour drive north, I got to meet to New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand. If her name sounds familiar but you haven't read her books, it might be because I have been recommending them in this paper for more than a decade.

I have not read her latest, "Golden Girl" just yet because I was waiting to buy it when I could get it signed. But given the fact that her last few books have continually raised the bar for her writing, I am sure it is going to be a page turner that I won't be able to put down.

Driving home from the event, I wished that I had thought to buy it on audio so I could have listened to it since reading and driving is a crazy thing one should never do. Even though it is a clearly crazy thing, I used to see people do it daily when I commuted back and forth to Dallas to work. 

But back to Elin. First of all, she was just as sweet and personable as anyone who has read her books would think she might be. She was also very tan and looked like the perfect embodiment of summer in a teal sunset and sandals. Her smile competed with even the brightest Oklahoma sunshine.

While she went out of her way to take photos with everyone who came to the event, COVID restricts meant she didn't spend time talking about the book or her writing process or even Nantucket, where most of her books are set. To tell the truth, I found that a little more disappointing than I thought I might. 

But those are just the breaks with the timing of this whole COVID situation. I was so excited to see that she and other authors are going out on tour this summer that I wanted to do my part to support them. 

And I was so proud of Hilderbrand and others like Jennifer Weirner for supporting independent bookstores like Best of Books in Edmond Oklahoma where I met Hilderbrand. I think newspapers and bookstores have a special responsibility to encourage readers and writers. It was great to meet a staff so intent on doing that. If you are looking for an example of a thriving small independent bookstore, I recommend making the drive up to Edmond. They recently remodeled and had an amazing selection of books for an independent store. But then, I recommend supporting any remaining independent bookstore near you. 

Elin Hilderbrand signs books at Best of Books in Edmond Oklahoma