Literati.net began as an experiment in 1997 when I had the privilege to serve as an author's media escort in Seattle, for the fantastic Joy Delf Media Services (who's been in the business nearly 30 years). I did this thoroughly enjoyable task for several years while working on my own writing and dreaming up the next "New New Thing" (as author Michael Lewis so aptly named one of his books) that I might tackle in the technology world in which my life seemed to be centered.
During the brisk spring and fall book seasons, there were often weeks when I had a different author in my car 3 or 4 days every week. The routine began at the airport where I'd wait as close to the arrival gate as I could get, waving a copy of the author's book so he or she would recognize me as the person picking them up. (Trust me, book tours and media escorts become a blur after weeks on the road. Bleary-eyed authors often walked right past me even even as I thrust their own book in their face.) Once we were safely buckled into the car, and depending on the often-brutal schedule, I'd take the author to their hotel or directly to a reading and signing at a local bookstore, to a TV/radio interview or, the happiest choice for these road warriors, simply introduce them to the mercy of a decent meal.
Having world-class writers captive in my car for anywhere from 1 to 3 days, you can imagine the abundant opportunities for stimulating conversation. And while these ran the gamut, we rarely spoke about Their Book—anything to play down the necessary part of their working life that most published (and publisher-valued) writers loathe: the book tour.
The Internet was nascent then and given my high-tech background I asked most of my authors whether they'd given any thought to having a website. The majority had little knowledge, or interest for that matter, in anything so strange and disconnected from the process of creative word craft. (Believe it or not, "What's a website?" was a common question in 1997.) But the Internet was taking hold of the public's imagination—remember Bill Gates' "Information at your fingertips" vision?—and soon most authors began to show interest in that Internet thing, a website—as long as someone else did the work of creating and managing it.
One of my first authors—still among my favorites—was the now-formidable Kathy Reichs, out with her first novel Déjà Dead. (The popular TV series Bones is based on her life as a forensic anthropologist.) Some 12 books later, she's a powerhouse and I'm still working on my first novel—yes, the same one I was working on when I met her. ("I've been busy doing other things" is how I explain my desiccated literary output.) When, over martinis at Tom Douglas's Seattle restaurant, Etta's, I asked Kathy if I could add her to a new website I was designing featuring published authors and their work, she graciously said "Sure!"
And that's how it began. From those book tour conversations Literati.net was born. And since those early days Literati has welcomed hundreds of thousands of readers to the site and introduced scores of new authors to new fans. And that continues to be our goal, plain and simple.
So thanks for visiting, do tell your friends about us, and come back often.