FAIRFIELD — Catherine Coulter’s newest book, “The Prince of Ravenscar,” hits store shelves Tuesday.
Her 15th book in the FBI suspense series, “Split Second,” was released in July. Her 16th book in the series, “Backfire,” is due out next summer.
- 10:30 a.m. Sunday
- Clubhouse at Rancho Solano, 3250 Rancho Solano Parkway, Fairfield
“This one is going really fast, only four months,” she said of “Backfire.” “Maybe that’ll happen once more before I croak over the keyboard.”
Yet, the author of 68 books (60 of them have been on The New York Times bestseller list) doesn’t consider herself prolific.
While the books represent oodles of words, Coulter only places herself in the upper third of the writing continuum, saying “Nora Roberts is over the moon with more than 300 novels under her belt and someone like Jean Auel writes one book possibly every five years.”
“I used to write two books a year,” she said. “I lengthened the writing time to eight months. Amazingly, those two months have made all the difference.”
Coulter is one of six authors at Sunday’s Author’s Luncheon. The event raises money for Solano County Library literacy programs.
She started writing historical romances. Then she added suspense thrillers.
Though they are very different genres, Coulter said she likes both equally.
“The suspense thrillers are more of a challenge,” she said, adding that it’s important to keep the reader engrossed. “The more convoluted and complex, the better.”
The FBI series is the most work and attention to detail is important in the series, Coulter said.
Two more FBI books are next, rather than a historical book.
While the FBI series has a life of its own, Coulter said it’s still easy to keep the momentum going.
“I hope to know when it’s no longer fresh,” she said. “I hope if I don’t see it, the publisher will see it.”
She said it still feels right for her to continue writing the series.
“We all know enough authors who have gone beyond what they should have,” Coulter said. “Keep your toes crossed I’ll know when.”
Coulter’s first book, “The Autumn Countess,” was published in 1978.
Since then, the way books are read and published have changed. And the Internet has opened a whole new world for research and connecting with fans.
Coulter said she doesn’t research novels since she doesn’t know what they’re about until she writes them.
“I holler to my assistant for the schedule for the San Francisco Symphony for December 2010, for example, or ‘Can you shoot someone standing on a cliff while on a moving boat?’ ” Coulter said.
Old-fashioned ways also work.
In “Backfire,” Coulter is bringing back characters from “Target.”
The San Francisco Federal Building is home to one of the main characters, a United States deputy marshal.
Coulter visited the building and spoke with a deputy marshal and learned that while they have lights and sirens, they often drive on the side of the road, which leads to a lot of flat tires.
“Where are you going to find that except from the horses’ mouth?” Coulter said.
Coulter also employs social media to stay in touch with her fans.
She posts to Twitter. On her Facebook page, she even talks professional football and the weather. She encourages everyone to check out her Facebook page.
“I am news central,” she said. “You get a little tiny dose of me every day, which is enough.”
A fan posted on Coulter’s Facebook page that she would make a 90-minute drive to Fairfield Sunday so she could see the author.
The Bay Area resident usually limits her speaking engagements to three a year. The Author’s Luncheon is an extra one.
It offers Coulter a chance to support libraries, which she feels are necessary to the universe. She admitted that proximity also helped.
“If you happened to be in Idaho, I’d probably tell you nicely to hang it up,” Coulter said, and laughed.
Other authors at the event are Jo-Ann Mapson, Carmen ‘T’ Bernier-Grand, Michael Hager, Paul McHugh and Cheryl Forberg.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org.