Arts and Entertainment

Heading out to here: Best-selling author visits Bainbridge

Best-selling author Robert Goolrick. - courtesy of Algonquin Books
Best-selling author Robert Goolrick.
— image credit: courtesy of Algonquin Books

Bainbridge Island has a reputation for being home to best-selling authors. Now, it’s importing them, too.

New York Times best-selling author Robert Goolrick will visit Eagle Harbor Book Company in Winslow at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 22.

The author will read from his latest book, “Heading Out to Wonderful.” After only one month on book stores’ shelves, the novel has already been featured on “The Today Show” and in USA Today.

“Heading Out to Wonderful” is Goolrick’s follow-up to his 2010 best-selling novel, “A Reliable Wife.” He also authored a 2008 memoir “The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes From a Life.”

As Goolrick tours the nation’s book stores for his latest work, he still finds passionate readers asking about his previous books.

“A lot of people have already read ‘A Reliable Wife’ so they have questions about that,” Goolrick said. “A lot of questions are usually for my previous two books.”

While he is fond of his preceding efforts, “Heading Out to Wonderful” is a story Goolrick has been waiting years to write.

“People who read ‘A Reliable Wife’ know the way I write and they are, I hope, wanting to hear new story from me,” he said. “And this is a good one, I’m telling ya!”

Set in a small Virginian town in 1948, “Heading Out to Wonderful” tells of an adulterous love affair.

“The affair goes disastrously wrong with everybody,” Goolrick said. “It has a huge effect on the town and a little boy who is used as a cover-up for the affair.”

“He gets in over his head for a young boy,” he added.

While Goolrick set the story in a dated, small town in Virginia, as he commonly does in his work, the story initially came to him from far away.

Goolrick originally heard the story that would become his latest novel from a friend living in Greece.

“It took place in Greece, the real story, and I knew some of the people who had been involved in it,” Goolrick said. “It turned out that a friend of mine who was the local butcher had been the little boy and he told me the story.”

Goolrick was captivated by the tale.

“When he finished telling it to me, I thought ‘This is the best story I’ve ever heard,’” Goolrick said. “I’ve been waiting all these years to write it.”

He tailored the tale into his southern storytelling style, and it is already being well-received.

Goolrick said he is looking forward to the visit to Bainbridge as he is fond of stand-alone book stores.

“I’m crazy about independent book stores,” Goolrick said. “They provide people in towns like Bainbridge Island a community of readers.”

“I love to sit, and talk, and read to actual readers,” He added. “They are so passionate.”

Goolrick hopes to experience the island as much as can during his brief visit.

“I’m really looking forward to coming there,” Goolrick said.

“I hear it is so wonderful.”

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