KEMMERER — Kemmerer residents flocked to the public library on Sunday, June 29, to listen to and talk with “Longmire” series author Craig Johnson.
Starting at 3 p.m., the event kicked off the library’s one-book initiative summer reading program. According to librarian Brenda McGinnis, this is the most successful single book initiative to date.
“I ordered 100 copies of the book and they were gone the first day,” she said. “So I reordered some more and, of course, they’re gone, too.”
Johnson gave the crowd an insight into the One Book Wyoming project.
“It’s really about getting books into the hands of those that normally don’t read,” he said.
Johnson gave the synopsis on his new Longmire novella, “Spirit of Steamboat,” and then answered questions from the crowd.
A sort of jack-of-all-trades Johnson spent a lot of his adult life working various jobs, but writing was something he knew he always wanted to do.
“I always wanted to write,” he said. “You can make excuses from here to the grave, but you get to a point where you have to stop doing that.”
Johnson started writing the series in the early 90s and according to the author, he never toyed with giving the Wyoming sheriff any other name.
“He was Walt Longmire from the get-go, right from the very start,” he said.
It wasn’t until later when Johnson was approached by a producer friend of his in Hollywood about the creation of a Warner Brothers-backed Longmire TV series.
“I was able to meet all the producers before signing on the dotted line,” he said. “A&E decided to run it, and it’s the most popular scripted drama on A&E’s network ever.”
Johnson was named as executive creative consultant and he helps by line editing each episode’s script. He also helps the series by giving insights on what a Wyoming sheriff would and would not do.
“The biggest thing I do for them is I read the scripts,” he said. “The way I can assist them is in the writing. “
After answering questions, Johnson spent about an hour signing autographs, taking pictures and meeting with fans.
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