It’s no secret here that I’m a big fan of Ben Rehder. His novel The Chicken Hanger is one of my all-time favorites. At my urging, our little book club read it, loved it, and Susan Mayson decided to invite the author to our meeting. He graciously accepted, even flexed when presented with a time change.
He would probably want me to comment on the shirt he’s wearing in the photo. He’s promoting not a book, but Emancipet, a low-cost spay and neuter clinic, and Clear the Shelters day.
Ben is best known for his very funny book series about a Blanco County (TX) game warden, and fans are eagerly awaiting the book he’s currently working on. (I envy Ben for being able to write a book in eight or nine months.) A newer series, the Roy Ballard Mysteries, features a private investigator. The first book in each series is free for Kindle users: Buck Fever and Gone the Next, respectively.
In discussing The Chicken Hanger, a book I recently wrote about on this blog, people were surprised he’d written it in 2007. Ben said in his research for the book, border issues have scarcely changed over the years. “You see headlines of fifty years ago that could have been written today.”
I told him that his books are being recorded by the Texas Talking Book Program, which he seemed glad to hear. In my seven years of volunteering with Talking Book, I’ve noticed there’s almost always a Ben Rehder book in the process of being recorded.
I’d love to have talked to him about self-publishing, which he turned to after having a legacy publisher for his earlier books. But I respected that our group is a book club, not a writing club.
Book club members loved the book, and I asked Ben how we can best promote it. He said, “Tell your friends.”
When I’m writing, I write, and then it’s as if the muse is convinced I’m serious and says, Okay, Okay, I’ll come.