Just a day after the release of “Run Away,” bestselling author Harlan Coben visited Westminster for an author talk that spun from his relationship with his characters to the parts of the writing process that disturb his wife and kids the most.
Hint: it’s not the subject matter, though that does veer toward dark themes.
Ted Zaleski, who by day is known as the director of management and budget for Carroll County, put on his reading glasses to lead an interview with Coben on Wednesday night in front of a full house at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster.
Zaleski described the surprising ending of “Run Away” as like hiking up a big hill. Just when you think you’ve gotten to the top, there’s more to discover.
Coben hopes that the ending will not only be shocking, but will make readers think.
Zaleski asked Coben to talk about his relationship with secrets and omissions, which play a large role in the plot of “Run Away.”
“I look at it as a certain human condition that I bet you we all share,” Coben said. “We all think that we are uniquely complex and that no one can read us. And yet we always think we know what other people are feeling or thinking.”
He said he likes to play with that and, at times, take it to the extreme in his writing.
Another theme in the book is parenting as Simon deals with his daughter's addiction and questions whether nature or nurture has led her to make the decisions she does.
“It's heavy on his mind even if he thinks through it logically,” Zaleski summarized.