Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Author Stuart Woods signs a copy of his novel, "Dead in the Water" at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville Tuesday. Woods who is originally from Manchester, Ga., has written over 50 novels.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Stuart Woods enjoys 100 proof bourbon, Mark Twain and, most importantly for his readers, writing novel after novel.
The best-selling fiction author, who was born and raised in Manchester, discussed those topics and several characters in his more than 50 novels he's written. Woods sold 60 copies of his latest book, "Unintended Consequences," at a book signing and question and answer event before about 100 fans hosted by the Gwinnett County Public Library at the Aurora Theatre.
"If I can keep thinking and moving my fingers fast, I may write another 50, who knows," said Woods, who writes three per year for Putnam Publishing.
Woods prefers Knob Creek bourbon because a friend who visited him left a bottle, and Woods eventually tried it after he drank the last of his previous favorite, Wild Turkey.
Several attendees asked about main character Stone Barrington, a former police detective turned lawyer, including who would play Barrington in a possible movie. Although Woods said those in the movie industry don't really care what he thinks about actors and characters, it's been suggested that actor Jon Hamm could play Barrington.
Asked why he killed off a fan's favorite character, Woods said, "Everybody dies, my characters are not immune to that. Sometimes they have to go."
Woods explained how he starts each novel with a sketch, and that his characters live in a sort of parallel universe.
"They are real to me," he said. "The only way you can write well is if your characters are real because they aren't real to anybody else."
Woods introduced his wife of three months, and told his readers that his new sister-in-law introduced them on a blind date.
Gwinnett County Commissioner John Heard introduced Woods to the crowd, and said, "when you have to print your best-sellers on two pages, you must be good."
Jane Cone, along with her husband Herman of Lilburn, said she enjoys Woods' writing because it's easy to read and fast, while Herman enjoys the mystery aspect. Herman said in the last 10 or 15 years he's read all of Woods' books.
The Cones were introduced to Woods' books after they watched one of his early books, "Chiefs," on television as a mini-series.
Herman said he also graduated a year behind Woods from Manchester High School about 58 years ago.
Herman said when he saw Woods' book signing promoted in the newspaper, he was "kind of surprised, I didn't remember him being a writer."
One of Woods' fraternity brothers from his days at the University of Georgia, Wade Lindorme, also attended the signing.
"He's a very interesting character, self-proclaimed individualistic and very creative," said Lindorme, a Gainesville resident. "He sailed the Atlantic (Ocean) alone, and for a little kid from Manchester, Georgia, that's pretty impressive. For a not necessarily well-heeled fellow, he's really come along, and done what he wanted to do in life."
Lindorme said he typically attends Woods' signings in the Atlanta area.
"It's always fun to renew old acquaintances," he said.