My First Book Signing in Ages

My First Book Signing in Ages

On Sunday, I made the long voyage to Indigo/Chapters London North in London, Ontario for a book signing to promote my newest books, Fatal Depth and An Island of Light.  I say this tongue in cheek, because the store is in the same city in which I live:  London, Ontario.  Usually I’m driving hours to a signing … this time, it was only twenty minutes.  It was heaven.

It was wonderful for more reasons than that, obviously.  It’s been months since my last appearance, and weeks since the last lockdown ended in Ontario.  Covid has hurt many businesses — restaurants, theaters, bars, gyms — but the arts have suffered a different kind of hurt.  No live performances,  no live music, no close contacts, little socializing during or after an evening of art or theater.  No movie going.  No popcorn with the kids.

No book signings, meeting readers and chatting thrillers.

It’s been tough … and it’s been tough for everyone and nearly every industry/sector of the economy.

And so, it was great to get out and meet readers.  To chat about the series, sign books, and talk about why I love thrillers.

One of the visitors asked me about my favorite writers.  I love this question, because I can talk about inspirations for hours on end.  And The Big Three, as I call them, perfectly encapsulate the genres I love, the genres I write, and why I love reading.  They are:

  1. Isaac Asimov
  2. Michael Crichton
  3. Agatha Christie

The Big Three: Christie, Crichton, Asimov

These three have been with me for decades.  I often pull out their novels when I need some comfort or escapism.  I’m in the middle of rereading the Robot Novels right now.  Crichton’s Sphere is also a recent read — it is simply mind blowing.  And Christie’s mysteries are always in the back of my mind … bubbling in my thoughts.

Asimov is the King of Science Fiction, the ultimate Grandmaster, the one who started it all for me.  I could read his Foundation Saga again and again and never grow tired of it.  The same goes with his Robot Novels.

Michael Crichton perfected his own formula.  He wrote Science Fiction for the mainstream, which requires a tricky balance.  The concepts can’t be too far out, otherwise you risk losing your audience.  You also have to use science and technology to propel the story forward … but not too much, or you’ll alienate readers.  And you have to keep it moving quickly with snappy dialogue, and not get bogged down in exposition, which is tough when science is an important part of the plot!  The term most reviewers use for his genre, and the one I prefer as well, is TechnoThriller, or Technological Thriller.

And then there was one:  Agatha Christie, the Queen of the Murder Mystery, and the principal inspiration behind my own Tanner Sequence novels.  She was the progenitor of the classic murder mystery:  The isolated setting, the limited number of characters, the investigator, the storm, the claustrophobia, the power outage, the rising body count, the paranoia and increasing fear.  I love it all, and it’s one of the reasons I wrote The Furnace. (Christie, along with The Thing (1982), were the inspirations.)

Thank you to Josh Stern, the Customer Experience Manager at Indigo London North, for inviting me.  Thanks also to the staff members who came over to say Hi.  And a big thanks to the readers/customers who purchased books.

My next signing is in Guelph on April 16.  I hope to see you there!

— Timothy S. Johnston

AN ISLAND OF LIGHT by Timothy S. Johnston is out! Watch the exciting book trailer now!

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THE WAR BENEATH:  FIRST PLACE 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER Action / Adventure Category Winner, 2019 Silver Falchion Award Finalist, 2018 CLUE Award Semi-Finalist, & 2019 CYGNUS Award Shortlister

THE SAVAGE DEEPS:  FIRST PLACE 2020 CYGNUS Award Winner, 2019 GLOBAL THRILLER Awards Finalist, 2019 CLUE Award Shortlister


“If you’re looking for a techno-thriller combining Ian Fleming, Tom Clancy and John Le Carré, The War Beneath will satisfy … a ripping good yarn, a genuine page-turner.” — Amazing Stories
“One very riveting, intelligent read!” — Readers’ Favorite
“If you like novels like The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising,
you will certainly enjoy The War Beneath.” — A Thrill A Week
“If you’re here for thrills, the book will deliver.” — The Cambridge Geek
“… an engaging world that is highly believable …” — The Future Fire
“This is a tense, gripping science fiction/thriller of which Tom Clancy might well be proud . . . When I say it is gripping, that is the simple truth.” — Ardath Mayhar
“… a thrill ride from beginning to end …” — SFcrowsnest
“… if you like Clancy and le Carré with a hint of Forsyth thrown in,
you’ll love The War Beneath.” — Colonel Jonathan P. Brazee (RET),
2017 Nebula Award & 2018 Dragon Award Finalist
“Fast-paced, good old-fashioned Cold War espionage … a great escape!” — The Minerva Reader

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