We are grateful for the kind words of fans and their wish for autographs. As we have our own libraries of autographed books, we understand the special meaning it is to have a book signed. And so we are more than happy to accommodate our readers.

Unfortunately, a few folks have abused this—to wit, using Web sites to re-sell signed books, often at high prices made all the more unpleasant because any reader can send in a book or bring it to an appearance for a free personalization—and have necessitated the following restrictions:

The purpose of our book promotion tours is to enjoy meeting our readers, speaking with them, and signing the newest books.

As you can imagine, we sign thousands of books over the course of the tour. Consequently, there is a physical restriction—our signing hands and wrists literally hurt from the repetitious motion. (To get a feel, sit down and sign your name just twenty times in a row.)

Thus,

• We can sign only books.

• At your request, we will personalize the signings of the newest books; however,

• We can sign with just an autograph only the two most recent titles.

• These two most recent books must be purchased from the bookseller hosting the signing.

• Please note that older titles may be signed only after everyone has had their copy of the newest titles autographed. If you have older titles, we ask that you respect others’ time by kindly waiting to present the older titles for autographing. Also, please note that the older titles must be personalized.

Books can also be signed at a later time. (Same guidelines above apply.)

Send a book with a note as to how you wish it to be personalized—and include a self-addressed, postage-affixed return envelope—to:

W.E.B. Griffin
P.O. Drawer 1468
Fairhope, AL 36533-1468

Thank you for your understanding. And thank you very much for your interest.


It’s always a pleasure to visit with readers—some old friends, some new ones—on the book promotion tours. But the book promotion tours are always difficult, if only because we cannot cover all the ground we’d like to in the time that we’re given. And so each year we try to visit different parts of the country to see and speak with as many new readers as possible.

Still, it’s impossible to visit everywhere, and so many people never get the chance to ask whatever may be on their minds or to listen to the questions and comments of others. So, in this space we repeat some of the more often asked questions from the book tours.

 

How many books has Mr. Griffin written?
Have published 150, but written many more. You can find a listing of all W.E.B. Griffin books here. A complete bibliography of all books and pen names has recently been added here.

 

I’ve read that “Griffin” is a penname. True?
It is one of fourteen pennames. My given name is William E. Butterworth III.

Which also explains why the name of my co-author son is William E. Butterworth IV. (And it’s why for clarity, or at least less confusion, we’re often referred to as “Three” and “Four,” and variations thereof.)

The reason for the many pennames is because in the 1960s and ’70s I was writing three, four books a year in order to put shoes on my three children. Libraries were big buyers with limited budgets, and if they saw a second or third new book in a given year with William E. Butterworth as the author, they’d say, “Oh, we already bought one of his.”

 

Then where does “Griffin” come from?
The origin of the Griffin penname goes back to the early 1980s. I’d recently finished writing eleven M*A*S*H books as William E. Butterworth. (See here for the story of how I came to work with the brilliant mind behind M*A*S*H.) The M*A*S*H books sold very well, and I didn’t want anyone to pick up a copy of what came to be The Lieutenants—and the others that would follow it in the Brotherhood of War series—expecting satire, too.

I told my editor at the time—Bill Gross, who was at Jove, which incidentally published the first six titles as original paperbacks; only later were they and subsequent new ones printed as hardbacks—that I really wanted to go with a new name.

Many of my other pennames were made from family names—Edmund O. Scholefield, for example, comes from the middle names of my children—so the “W.E.B.” part came easily.

And then I came up with “Griffin.” A griffin, you’ll recall, is the mythical creature with the wings of an eagle and the loins of a lion … {dramatic pause} … which of course is how most colonels think of themselves.

 

The Saboteurs was the first book co-authored with your son. How did the two of you begin working together?
In the spring of 1998, I was in Washington, D.C., for a Pritzker Military Library event being held at the National Press Club. Bill was then working for other publications, and came to D.C. to research something he was writing and also to attend the event.

During our meals, the topic of the book business invariably came up, and we discussed specifically my part of it. He brought up a number of things that he thought needed attention. Being a longtime writer and an editor, he offered to edit the galleys of my novels—the “galley proofs” being the last chance a writer has to catch any mistakes or typos before the book is printed. And he also offered to work on getting Griffin more attention in Hollywood. And he took over running these book tours and other areas of the business.

And he did well.

There came a lot more interest from Hollywood, though for a number of reasons unique to the motion picture industry—primarily money (not enough) and creative control (too much)—the effort thus far has gone no further than the contract stage.

After Bill’s editing of the galleys, I began having him edit the actual chapters as I wrote them. And that’s where we really began our writing relationship.

Then, a year or so after that, the publisher asked if I’d consider putting out a second Griffin book each year with a co-author. I didn’t have to look far to find one—Bill and I had that very day returned home after a long book tour. He and I tend to think the same, have been known to finish each other’s sentences, even share many friends. So, I said yes, I would do it, and here we are.

 

What kind of cigars do you smoke?
The cheapest I can get. Usually from J&R Tobacco.

 

Is C. G. Castillo out of work as the Presidential Agent?
Never, ever count out Charley. New adventures are in the works.

 

In the Presidential Agent series, where did you get Max? The Bouvier des Flanders is an unusual breed of dog.
Bill had one named Max, who recently passed. He just got another—a pup he named Max II, in the spirit of Billy Kocian’s many Maxes—from Wilbert Reid, an El Paso, Texas, breeder who happens to be a retired Army master sergeant, 82nd Airborne. Bouviers are a wonderful breed, but not for everyone. They’re both very big and very independent.

 

Any more books coming in The Corps series?
We like to keep our options open, and so every series has the possibility of being added to. And everyone loves Killer McCoy, no one more than I do. That said, however, I think The Corps is more or less finished.

Some ask: What about taking it into Vietnam? But I’m just not up to that. Maybe Bill will take the lead on that.

 

How did the Honor Bound series come about?
Argentina has the best bird shooting in the world. So, I went there to hunt ducks. That was almost twenty years ago.

I expected to find Mexico South. My ignorance of the “Southern Cone” (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay) was near total. But I found that we Americans are more like them, and they like us, than any of the South American and Latin American countries in between. Long story short, I married an Argentine, and we live half the year there and half in the States. My wife’s father was a retired Argentine Cavalry Colonel. He spent most of his career fighting Peron and the Communists.

I wanted to tell those stories, and so began the series.



Are there complete sets of the audio versions of the Griffin books available?
None complete as unabridged audiobooks. Not yet.

But the good news is that Brilliance Audio has begun producing new digital versions of W.E.B. Griffin series. These versions are complete stories running nearly 20 hours. They feature a single reader for the entire series and are available for download as a digital audio file and on Compact Discs. The Corps (narrated by Eric G. Dove) and Brotherhood of War (narrated by Dick Hill) began being released in 2012 and are scheduled to be completed by early 2014. Each new audiobook’s release is being announced at http://www.facebook.com/WEBGriffinBooks and on Twitter: @webgriffintales



I’ve heard about a Griffin series called In the Line of Duty but can find nothing on it.
That is the series name given in the United Kingdom to the Men at War series, which of course is about Dick Canidy and his band of spooks in the Office of Strategic Services during World War Two.

The stories are the same; just the series name and each book’s title are different. Don’t ask why, because we don’t know.

 

TO BE CONTINUED . . .



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Clandestine Operations

The Presidential Agent


The Corps

The Brotherhood of War

Badge Of Honor

Honor Bound

Men At War