Skip to main content


December 17, 2010

Raymond Khoury: Thousands of Miles Away, Only a Book Apart

Posted by Anonymous
RaymondKhoury.jpgToday’s guest blogger is Raymond Khoury, the New York Times bestselling author of THE LAST TEMPLAR and its long-awaited sequel, THE TEMPLAR SALVATION. Below, he shares a virtual holiday memory --- and explains how books have helped him play some truly awesome Jedi mind-tricks.
Books have been a feature of my Christmases for as long as I can remember, whether I was receiving them (starting with old, collectible comics when I was a kid) or giving them. (One I particularly enjoyed was a special Christmas, limited edition --- boxed, signed and numbered --- of THE LAST TEMPLAR, which we brought out a few years ago.) But there’s one Christmas book memory that remains very special, and here’s the perfect opportunity to share it with you all.
It happened a few years ago, at a time when I was also working on a television series. We’d made plans to be away for two weeks over the holidays and stay in a skiing chalet I had rented. As luck would have it, I got some annoying news a few days before Christmas. There was a problem with one of the scripts that was about to shoot, and I was needed back here on set to try and fix it…which meant leaving my family for six days or so, on the day after Christmas.
A major, major bummer. Christmas is, in our family, a preciously guarded time to relax, kick back and enjoy hanging out together, without any of the pressures of our hectic, everyday lives. My wife was particularly bummed that I’d be away from her and our kids during that time (it had happened before, during a summer vacation), but stoically understood that I had to look after the show.
I was in a bookstore a week before Christmas, loading up on gifts for friends and family, when I saw a book I’d heard a lot about, but still hadn’t had a chance to read: Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. It happened to be a gorgeous limited edition of the book --- also boxed, signed and numbered. I picked it up, leafed through it. I could tell that it was, as everyone had reported, special.
A little plan popped into my head.
I picked up two copies of it. I also bought three copies of another book: the first of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Peter Pan prequels, PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS.
On Christmas morning, as we raided and pillaged our tree, identical packages --- in identical wrapping --- momentarily confused my wife and kids. Opening them, and seeing multiple copies of each book, confused them further. Then I explained. Since I had to be away, one way of playing a Jedi mind-trick on myself --- and on us all --- so that we’d feel like we were still all together was, maybe, to read the same books at the same time. And send each other text messages about them. And talk about them every night.
Which we did.
It worked like a treat.
Zafón’s book --- lyrical, mysterious, charming, suspenseful, sexy, moving --- kept my wife and me up late at night, reading in parallel and sending each other cryptic little messages about it. It was a great way to feel like we were together, even though we were separated by hundreds of miles; a holographic way of curling into bed together and sharing something special, side by side.
My daughters and I also had a blast with the STARCATCHER book, texting and laughing and wondering about what would happen next, and we have since read its sequels together.
And those six days just blew by, courtesy of some great minds and some beautifully compiled words…

Tomorrow, hear from number-one New York Times bestseller Debbie Macomber, as she recalls the first Christmas she asked Santa for books…and the wonderful (and equally famous) librarian who introduced her to them.