2021 Savannah Book Festival Goes Virtual


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — When the pandemic forced the Savannah Book Festival to cancel its 2021 event, that wasn’t the end of the discussion. You will still be able to hear world-class authors speak about their books and their craft. And best of all, you don’t have to wait until February!

First up is #1 New York Times bestseller Brad Thor. Thor has written twenty thrillers, including Near Dark, Backlash, Spymaster, The Last Patriot, Blowback and The Lions of Lucerne.

WSAV’s The Bridge talked with him about his writing process and how he’s inspired by some of the great authors of our era:

“Stephen King did a great book about writing called “On Writing.” In it he says if you wanna be a writer, you should write what you love to read. Because that’s where your passion is. And that was definitely my situation. So growing up I read Clancy and Freddie Forsyth and John le Carre’ and Robert Ludlum…all these great, kind of, thriller…espionage spy authors. And what happens if you have a genre you love to read, over the years, you build up a mini PhD. You know why certain books were good, what you liked about them, how books are paced, the kind of stories they deal with…”

Thor has been to Savannah many times. He not only has family that lives here…he’s been to the Savannah Book Festival as a guest author in the past. He has very fond memories of the festival and, while he loves the “in person” events, he definitely sees the benefits of a virtual festival.

“Everybody can attend! You don’t have to leave your house! So what I’m hoping is that we’re able to reach even more people than we ever have before with the festival and that people who may have had to choose, “Well, I can’t go to this event if I go to the Brad Thor event. And I’ve always wanted to meet, you know, whoever it is — Sandra Brown or whatever — and ok, so I’m gonna go there to Sandra’s thing and I’m not gonna hear Brad’s.” Now they don’t have to have that kind of choice — choosing which author do you you wanna see?”

Author Brad Thor’s virtual Savannah Book Festival event is Wednesday, October 14th at 7pm. You can register to see it here.

Thor’s virtual event isn’t the only one this month. #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown appears the following week.

Brown has written more than 70 books and she will discuss her latest Thick As Thieves. She too has fond memories of her past appearances at the Savannah Book Festival:

“One of the occasions that I spoke at the festival, I did a session with my son. His first book had just come out. His name’s Ryan Brown. He had written a book called “Play Dead” which is about a high school football team of zombies! And so we did a…we were invited to speak together and we had an interviewer and so it was like ‘mother/son’ and that was really fun.”

Writing is something Brown does naturally now…but it wasn’t always that way. When The Bridge asked her what her writing process is like, she had some great insight for budding authors:

“I studied plotting and character development, dialog and how to create and how to create suspense — and all of those tools are so valuable — but really you just learn by doing it day after day and over and over and reading a lot! I read almost as much each day as I write!”

Brown’s virtual Savannah Book Festival event is Monday, October 19th at 7pm. You can register to see it here.

If you’d like to purchase the books mentioned in this article, two local booksellers are offering special Savannah Book Festival pricing:

E. Shaver Booksellers – offering free shipping (media mail), or curbside pickup

Ex Libris – offering special SBF pricing

For more information on the virtual Savannah Book Festival, check out their website.

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