Friday, June 1
Doors 5:00 p.m. | Event 6:00 p.m.
USM’s Glickman Library, Portland
Free and open to the public.
Refreshments served, cash bar.
Few can walk in the literary shoes of New York Times #1 best-selling author Douglas Preston. He’s one of the world’s foremost authors of nail-biting thrillers and nonfiction books of history and crime. Among his award-winning novels are Codex and The Kraken Project. He and his writing partner Lincoln Child created the immensely popular Pendergast series, which includes Relic, The Cabinet of Curiosities, and City of Endless Night.
Fellow New York Times-bestselling author Gayle Lynds will introduce Preston at the ceremony Friday, June 1 at 6:00 p.m. at USM’s Glickman Library in Portland. Novelist and Maine Sunday Times reviewer Frank O Smith will interview Preston on stage. The event is part of the kickoff to the 2018 Maine Crime Wave.
In addition to his novels, Preston has written a number of riveting nonfiction books. The Monster of Florence details his investigation into confounding serial murders in Italy. During research, Preston was threatened and thrown into jail by the same district attorney who tried Amanda Knox. In the film version of the book, George Clooney has signed on to play—no surprise—Preston.
The most recent nonfiction book by this real-life Indiana Jones proved to be a dangerous adventure of a different kind: The Lost City of the Monkey God documents the three-year search and discovery of an ancient city in an unexplored mountain valley thick with jungle in Honduras. Although Preston and the crew escaped the venomous snakes, a parasitic disease struck many, with Preston and the others spending weeks in treatment.
“I would never trade that experience for anything,” Preston has said of the journey. “It was so powerful.”
Preston also writes about archaeology and paleontology for The New Yorker, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Harper’s, and The Atlantic. He’s renowned for his many contributions to fellow writers. He’s past co-president of International Thriller Writers and has served for many years on the board of the Authors Guild. He created Authors United to protest successfully Amazon’s heavy-handed negotiating tactics to control eBooks pricing, which had hurt thousands of authors. He’s also the recipient of numerous writing awards in the United States and Europe, including an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Pomona College.
Those of us who love Maine can feel a special kinship with Preston because he’s also a Mainer by family history and choice. In the 1930s, his grandfather bought a farmhouse in Round Pond where his family summered, and he and his wife eventually retired. “We spent a lot of time here as kids,” Preston explains. “And then my parents retired here, too, and my brother lives in Waterville. He’s a doctor. So it seemed like a good place for us to live as well. We built a house in 2000 on family land and moved here in 2004.” Preston’s wife is Christine Preston, a photographer. He has a third sibling, brother Richard Preston, who wrote the classic The Hot Zone and lives in Massachusetts. It’s a remarkably talented family.
“There are so many writers in Maine,” Preston has mused about living here. “It’s a great place to work.”
And a great place to honor this remarkable author and man.
Location USM’s Glickman Library, Portland
Parking Parking is free in USM’s garage. Entrance and Exit gates are open and no tickets are dispensed. Upon entry into the garage, you will be prompted to press a button, which will raise the gate for you to enter the garage. Entrance into the garage is on Surrenden Street. To exit the garage, approach the exit gates slowly. They will automatically open for you. There is no longer a need to take a ticket or have it validated.
Questions Please contact the MWPA at 207-228-8263 or firstname.lastname@example.org