ABC NEWS - LYNN SHERR (ABC/ STEVE FENN)
Aside from being bestselling authors, David Baldacci, Andrea Kane and Dr. Ruth Westheimer all have something else in common. All three will be making their debuts at the annual East Hampton Library’s Authors Night event on Saturday, August 11.
Mr. Baldacci said that he was made aware of the event, which boasts more than 100 authors, by his former editor, Maureen Egan, who is an East Ender.
“She called me up. Really she’s the catalyst for it,” the author said during a telephone conversation from his Virginia lake house, Azalea Point. “I’m up for it!”
Mr. Baldacci—an honorary co-chair, along with Ken Auletta, Robert A. Caro, Dick Cavett, Lynn Sherr and Dava Sobel—will be signing copies of his newest book, “The Innocent.” He will also be participating in one of the private author dinners later that night.
The master storyteller, who has written 24 novels to date, said that he and his wife, Michelle, can’t wait to revisit the Hamptons.
“We’re water guys, we love walking the beach and the coast,” he said. He added that in addition to the atmosphere, there’s something else that he and his wife will be looking forward to: meeting one of the event’s founding co-chairs.
“Alec Baldwin would be great. He’s got a terrific personality,” he said. “I’m sure my wife would like to meet him too,” he laughed.
Mr. Baldacci said that there’s another person that he’s looking forward to seeing—fellow Authors Night participant, Dr. Ruth.
“One of the most interesting plane rides I’ve had involves Dr. Ruth,” he said. When asked to elaborate, he said to ask the pint-sized sex therapist herself.
Dr. Ruth, who was asked to participate in Authors Night by her friend Patti Kenner, said that she couldn’t recall the specific plane ride that Mr. Baldacci referred to. But, she joked that she’s sure her memory will be jogged once she bumps into the man who was named one of the “51 Most Beautiful People in the World” by People magazine in 1997.
“As soon as I will see him, if he’s handsome I will remember,” she laughed.
Though she’s visited the East End a number of times, Ms. Westheimer said she’s never made it to Authors Night.
“I used to always be at that time with my children hiking in the Alps,” she explained. “Or I go every weekend in the summer to my chalet in Putnam County.”
The pop culture phenomenon, media personality and author, who will be signing copies of “Sexually Speaking: What Every Woman Needs To Know About Sexual Health” and a few of her other books, said that she will also be talking up her newest, “Dr. Ruth’s Guide for the Alzheimer’s Caregiver: How to Care for Your Loved One without Getting Overwhelmed ... and Doing It All Yourself,” co-written with Pierre Lehu and set to publish in November. She will also attend one of the private authors dinners on Saturday night.
One topic she said that’s sure to come up is America’s fascination, and her own, with the book “50 Shades of Grey” by British author E.L. James.
“They say that women don’t get aroused by literature and sexually explicit movies,” she said. “That’s just not true. I read all three novels ... Is she going to be there? I want to meet her.”
Speaking of fascinating topics, Ms. Kane—the author of nine psychological thrillers and 14 historical romances to date—said that the mystique and allure of the Hamptons are a big draw for readers.
“Something that’s always struck me, there’s a certain level of wealthy aristocracy,” she said. “It’s the Hollywood of the East Coast.”
Ms. Kane, who lives in New Jersey but has family here on the East End, has set her latest thriller, “The Line Between Here and Gone,” here. But the big difference between her novel and the classic perception of the Hamptons is that her main characters are year-rounders and not socialites, rock stars or other boldface names.
She said that her East Quogue-based sister and brother-in-law, Myrna and Bob, were instrumental during her research, as was a young man named Michael who works at the Beach Bakery Cafe in Westhampton Beach.
Her brother-in-law “would put me in the car and take me to specific places I would ask him about. He exposed me to everything I needed,” the prolific writer explained. She added that Michael, who lives in one of the upper-floor apartments on Main Street in Westhampton Beach, “took me to his apartment and showed me the perfect place for a single mother living in the Hamptons to live.”
The frequent visitor is no stranger to the idiosyncrasies of East End lifestyle. Though she will also give a reading and book signing at the Westhampton Free Library on Sunday, August 12, at 3 p.m., Ms. Kane said that she will start her trip closer to the Authors Night festivities.
“We’ll be staying in East Hampton this time, she said emphatically. “We don’t want to get stuck in traffic.”
The East Hampton Library’s 8th annual Authors Night benefit will be held at the Gardiner Farm on James Lane in East Hampton on Saturday, August 11, starting at 5 p.m. More than a dozen private dinner parties will be held that evening, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets to the reception are $100 and are available online at authorsnight.org. For dinner tickets, call Sheila Rogers at 907-0106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For a full list of participating authors and dinner events, visit authorsnight.org.
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