Robert McCammon talks Cardinal Black and beyond at The Alabama Booksmith

Robert McCammon returned to his hometown bookstore, The Alabama Booksmith in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 20 to host a launch party for the latest entry in his Matthew Corbett series, Cardinal Black.

Author Robert McCammon speaks at the Cardinal Black book launch.
Robert McCammon at the Cardinal Black book launch at The Alabama Booksmith on April 20, 2019.

McCammon treated the crowd of approximately 100 fans with a nearly hour-long talk/Q&A session that covered a variety of topics. You can see the opening few minutes of the talk below.

Some of the more interesting tidbits from the talk include:

  • There are two more novels and a book of novellas/short stories planned in the Matthew Corbett series.
  • McCammon has two contemporary novels that he plans to write after the Corbett series is wrapped up.
  • The author has been negotiating with….someone, perhaps a streaming service of some kind, although he did not name who or what…for the last six months regarding an adaptation of the Corbett series.
  • When asked about a new entry in the Michael Gallatin series, about a British spy who is also a werewolf, McCammon said he had an idea and a tentative title: Peter is the Wolf.

McCammon asked the crowd, “Would anybody like to hear a reading of some kind?” He then proceeded with an enthusiastic and entertaining reading of the entire first chapter of Cardinal Black.

Once the reading was over, McCammon led the crowd downstairs to sign books. He patiently signed for over an hour, with the majority of the crowd bringing multiple copies of the author’s work to get inscribed alongside their new copies of Cardinal Black.

You may have heard that McCammon is one of the genuinely nicest people in the business, and he reinforced that idea at the end of the day. A young woman, the last in line, approached his table and began unpacking books from a large bag. She repeatedly apologized as she stacked books in front of McCammon, who’d already signed his name a couple of hundred times at that point. She said that if he only wanted to sign a few, she would understand. Battered paperbacks, battered hardcovers and a few newer versions of the Corbett books piled up, and McCammon deflected her apologies by thanking her for building up such a large collection.

Author Robert McCammon signs books
Robert McCammon signs books at the Cardinal Black book launch at The Alabama Booksmith on April 20, 2019.

Earlier in the event, The Alabama Booksmith had given away a signed Subterranean Press edition of Swan Song. As McCammon continued signing the massive collection he whispered something to Booksmith owner Jake Reiss, who left and returned moments later with another copy of the Swan Song limited edition. As the fan packed away the last of her books, each and every one of them signed, McCammon slid the massive edition of Swan Song across the table to her.

“What’s this? What’s happening?” she said.

“That,” McCammon said, “is for you.”

You can see more photos from the event at McCammon’s website. The official publication date of Cardinal Black is April 30, but copies pre-ordered from Cemetery Dance have already begun shipping out, and trade hardcover editions are still available to order.

Blu Gilliand is the managing editor of Cemetery Dance magazine and Cemetery Dance Online. You can find him on Twitter as @BluGilliand.

1 thought on “Robert McCammon talks Cardinal Black and beyond at The Alabama Booksmith”

Leave a Reply