BEAVER CREEK — Author John Searles, best known for his recent novel “Help for the Haunted,” is a contradiction in terms. While in-person Searles is lighthearted and positive (he is an on-air personality for NBC’s “The Today Show”), his writing is anything but: “I like books that are dark and creepy. I don’t control it — it’s just what I gravitate toward,” Searles said. “People are often surprised that I’m so upbeat. I’m always hearing, ‘You’re so light and funny, and your books are so dark and twisted.’”
Searles also wrote the national bestsellers “Boy Still Missing” and “Strange But True.” In addition to appearing as a book critic on “The Today Show,” he has also appeared on CBS’s “The Early Show,” CNN and NPR’s “Fresh Air.” He is the editor-at-large of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Searles grew up one of four children in Connecticut. He had a truck driver dad and a stay-at-home mom. He accompanied his dad on many road trips and always enjoyed reading. He devoured books available at truck stops — many of the titles by Stephen King and John Irving — both authors have become major influences on his work.
He was the first in his family to attend college and went to NYU to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing. He won numerous writing awards for his stories.
Searles wrote his first book, “Boy Still Missing,” while waiting tables and working as a nanny. He eventually got a part-time job reading fiction submissions at Redbook before moving on to Cosmo. After the publication of his novel, he was named a “Person to Watch” by TIME magazine, and a “New Yorker to Watch” by New York Daily News.
Books in Bloom event on Saturday
John Searles is among three writers scheduled to talk at this year’s author event Books in Bloom author event, hosted by Eagle Valley Library District. Joining him will be Susanna Daniel (“Stiltsville”) and Karen Joy Fowler (“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves”).
Books in Bloom will take place on Saturdayat The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Books in Bloom is a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the writer’s mind, chat with these bestselling authors, and mingle with fellow book lovers in a beautiful mountain setting. Each author will present individually and participate in a Q&A session. There will be hors d’ouevres and refreshments by Grouse Mountain Grill, a cash bar and books available for purchase courtesy of The Bookworm of Edwards.
Tickets are $50 and are on sale now. Buy your ticket online at: www.booksinbloom.cvlsites.org, or in person at The Bookworm of Edwards, the Avon Public Library, or the Eagle Public Library. Call the Avon Public Library for more information at 970-949-6797.