Q: What's the difference between a book signing and a rock concert?

ST: I don't know about Ridley, but in my case there are many more people at the rock concert.

RP: I would ask what are the similarities. For instance, one time we were playing a big gig in Texas and one of the chain bookstores, which shall go unnamed, decided that they would have an author event because they had this amazing opportunity, so they invited Dave Barry, Scott Turow, Greg Iles, me and Amy Tan to a single signing. It was a huge deal and we outnumbered the people who showed for the signing.

ST: The other thing I remember about that trip was that unfortunately for us, The Dallas Morning News reviewed the show. The next day our manager is having breakfast and he looks at me and he says, "You got some ink," and he passes me the paper and the review of the band was somewhat laudatory, but it included the following line, "Scott Turow simply cannot sing." Since truth is an absolute defense to any charges of defamation, I had nothing to do but take my lumps.

Q: How did the e-book come together?

RP: Kathi's passing left a lot of debt, and she was married to Dave's brother, Sam. Dave and I got talking and we debated how we could help Sam pay the medical bills. Ideas circulated around and I suggested that since we wrote a book in our very first year of existence ("Mid-Life Confidential") and because we were coming to the end of our time as a band maybe we should close it with a book. Dave is such a pragmatic guy and he said "Rid, we've already done a book and the thing sold like nine copies" and that was true, but that was before we had 20 years of playing around the country.

ST: The nine copies were bought by our mothers.

RP: The idea of an enhanced e-book really appealed to both Dave and me because you would be able to see the band and hear the band and really get a sense of our 20-year experience together, which a print book, although wonderful, just couldn't deliver

(Laughs) I have always been sort of enamored with the "Harry Potter" newspaper video — you know in the movies when they open up the newspaper and the video is running in it. I just love that in this book when you turn a page, a video can run on your screen. Both Scott and I are huge supporters of the printed word, but every now and then a project actually does better as an e-book because you get all this multimedia that you couldn't get in a printed book, so I think we hit the right book for the right medium.

Q: Were there any songs you didn't play that you wish you would have?

RP: "19th Nervous Breakdown" by The Rolling Stones. It was one of the first songs I learned with my junior high rock band, "The Frisbees"; would have brought me full circle! It also kind of describes my personality. Sadly!

ST: "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys. We would still be rehearsing.

Courtney Crowder covers the Chicago literary scene for Printers Row Journal.

"Hard Listening"

By Stephen King, Dave Barry, Sam Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Matt Groening, Ted Habte-Gabr, Greg Iles, Mitch Albom, James McBride, Roger McGuinn, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan and Scott Turow, Coliloquy, 220 pages, $16.99