Both authors read from their current books and answered a few questions. Neither author is very prolific, sometimes taking up to a decade in between books. When asked why, they both agreed that their works have greater resonance for taking a longer time to write and that inhabiting characters over a longer period of time helps create richer work. Gurganus compared it to creating sheets with a higher thread count. Tartt said that The Goldfinch took ten years to write and in those ten years, she changed as a person herself and that the authenticity of works that take so long to gestate can't be faked.
As I make advances on my new book, I took this advice to heart. Rich, high-quality works take time to craft. Gurganus said he'd rather leave behind a few endearing works that were written over long period of time than countless "disposable" works that would quickly be forgotten. As Gurganus would say, "Amen, to that, brothers and sisters!"
While Tartt, who is quite media shy, wasn't receptive to photos, Guganus, who's a fellow Sarah Lawrence College grad, was kind enough to pose for a photo with me. Both authors were incredibly gracious and sweet. Thank you both!