Iles signs new book in Natchez

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 28, 1999

The same people who watched Greg Iles grow up watched him sign book after book Saturday at Cover to Cover Books.

&uot;I think I went to nursery school with this girl,&uot; Iles laughed, signing a copy of &uot;The Quiet Game&uot; for Ann Paradise of Natchez.

Natchez is the setting for Iles’ novel, described by publicity material as a &uot;thriller.&uot;

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Stacks of the book lined a hallway downstairs at the bookstore, and more were stacked on tables upstairs. Despite the abundant supply, bookstore owner Charles Hall said he would run out. &uot;Initially, I ordered 500,&uot; he said. &uot;then we received 350 phone orders and I put in an order for another 100. I imagine I will order another 200 next week.&uot;

Hall just purchased Cover to Cover Books two and a half months ago.

&uot;This is my first big book signing,&uot; Hall said. &uot;Next time I’m going to order double.&uot;

The actual &uot;lay down date&uot; when the publisher begins formal promotion of Iles’ book is on Monday. &uot;Being Greg’s hometown, we were allowed to get an early start,&uot; Hall said.

After this weekend, Iles will begin his promotional tour for the book. But Saturday, he was in his element chatting and laughing with old friends, classmates and fans.

&uot;It’s been pretty brisk,&uot; Iles said just after the signing began. It’s going shockingly well. I’m afraid we’re going to run out of books.&uot;

The book signing was scheduled to run from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, but at 3 p.m., the store was full and 15 copies of the book were left. &uot;We’ll take orders and Greg will sign those when they come in,&uot; Hall said.

Several book buyers, who chose to remain anonymous, said they were buying the books as family birthday presents.

Maureen Irby bought a copy for her husband. &uot;We’re neighbors of Greg’s parents and we watched him grow up,&uot; she said. &uot;We’re just so proud of him that he’s doing so well.&uot;

&uot;I’m buying a copy for my brother’s Christmas present and another copy for my husband’s birthday present,&uot; said Corky Vess, whose husband Charlie stood beside her. &uot;He’s knows he’s getting it. I’m looking forward to reading his copy.&uot;