Yesterday evening, I was fortunate enough to hear David Baldacci, world-renowned, crime fiction writer, speak about his life and his writing.
David was hugely entertaining and appeared to particularly enjoy the setting of the Judges Court, where he spoke from the Judge’s podium and banged his gavel. I don’t want to spoil his stories; perhaps he will want to use them more than once (understandably for someone with so many stops on his tour) but his tales of being both mis-recognised (mistaken for John Grisham) and generally unrecognised, by his fans (one notable gentleman at LAX), were both charming and a tonic to the usual tales of paparazzi-chases and lack of privacy which tend to dog modern celebrities.
David gave away little of the plot of his new novel, The Fix, the latest in the Amos Decker series (although I now have a signed copy to devour, so watch this space!). But it was heartening to hear David talk about the professional football player turned police officer with the super memory, a condition he refers to as hyperthymesia, with such affection. What I didn’t know, however, is that this is a real condition, shared by only a handful of people worldwide, including the US actress Marilu Henner. She claims that her skills are both as a result of nature (the composition of her brain) and nurture (as a result of lots of “practising” over the years.) Of course, this must be a wonderful attribute, and pretty handy for exams as well as crime detection, but it also has its drawbacks; your whole life’s mistakes indelibly imprinted on your mind forever. Perhaps a little forgetfulness is not so bad after all.