Bestselling author Tony Abbott, a native of Trumbull Conn., discussed his new book “The Serpent’s Curse,” the second in “The Copernicus Legacy” series, last Wednesday night at the Fairfield University Downtown Bookstore at 6:30 p.m.
Abbott has been writing professionally for the past 20 years and has written more than 100 books. His most famous series, “The Secrets of Droon,” contains more than 40 books. And are widely popular with kids.
Upon entering the room, the casual observer would notice the well-worn copies of Abbott’s books tucked away proudly under the arms of the children attending the event. As soon as he started talking, the audience listened intently in silent rapture.
“Hi everybody, my name is Tony Abbott, and I write constantly,” opened Abbott, who was greeted with many laughs from the audience.
Abbott went on to discuss his upbringing as a writer. Although his writing career has only spanned the last 20 years, he has been surrounded by books for as long as he can remember.
“My mom was a high school teacher and my dad was a college teacher. My brother was a big reader, so books were always there,” he explained.
Abbott continued, “When my daughters were born, I started reading children’s books to them. I fell in love with the children’s book format.”
One of Abbott’s daughters Lucy, now 24, attended the event in support of her father.
“For me, he’s just my dad.” said Lucy. “I think it’s so cool that he can make writing his life.”
Abbott, who began writing “The Secrets of Droon” in 1999, now finds college freshmen who tell him how much they loved his books when they were younger. He said that this is one of the most rewarding parts of writing; to be able to see the lasting impact that his books have on people.
When asked if he ever expected to be such a well-known writer, Abbott did not hesitate. “No. I think everybody at the beginning of writing has a dream of being a full-time writer, but that’s such a small minority. It seemed unrealistic.”
However, a publishing company liked what it saw when Abbott sent in the manuscript of his first novel “Danger Guys,” which is what spearheaded his professional writing career, making writing a job instead of a hobby.
Afterwards, Abbott read some excerpts from “The Copernicus Legacy” and “The Copernicus Archives” series.
The books are about four normal kids who get swept away in an adventure of a lifetime. It takes them all over the world looking for Copernicus artifacts, which are said to hold great power, in the hopes to find them before the evil Teutonic Order.
The three excerpts presented different experiences: one funny, one suspenseful and one downright scary. By the time he reached the end of the paragraphs, the audience members were practically on the edges of their seats, and groaned when he closed the books, hungry for more.
Freshman Margot Hibbs overall felt positive about the event and when asked if she would attend similar events, she said, “Yeah, I definitely would. I would like to get a group [of other Fairfield students] to come down, too.”
Before Abbott closed for the evening, he was asked for one final comment to which he passed on some helpful advice to aspiring writers: “When I was a creative writing teacher, lots of my students wanted to write YA, and when I was talking to them, I found out that not many of them had read the great American writers. You have to read them, if only to learn how to write. Times are changing, but if you want to be a great writer, you can’t just read YA writers. You have to go back to the great American writers.”