The critically acclaimed suspense author and television producer will sign copies of his new book “The Boy from the Woods” March 24 at Barnes & Noble.
PALM BEACH GARDENS — Harlan Coben wanted to be a basketball player growing up, but settled for a career as a bestselling author and television producer.
The New Jersey native, who will appear at a book-signing March 24 at the Barnes & Noble in Legacy Place, has published 31 novels during his long career, including numerous New York Times bestsellers like “Tell No One,” “No Second Chance,” and “Run Away.”
His 32nd book, “The Boy from the Woods,” will debut March 17.
A thriller like his other novels — more than 75 million copies are in print worldwide — the book tells the story of a man who was found living in the woods as a child. Years later, he is asked to find a missing teenage girl before her disappearance brings about disastrous consequences.
Coben, 58, often comes up with ideas for his books while participating in routine activities, and his latest book was no different, he told The Palm Beach Post.
“I was hiking in the woods, which is something I hate to do,” he said. “Hiking in the woods, there are no stores. I felt like a little kid wandering around and wondering, ’What if there was a 6-year-old boy found in the woods who remembers nothing of his life that wasn’t in the woods?’”
That experience formed the seed for Coben’s book, and he spent months filling in the details.
That process is typical for Coben, who knows what the beginning and ending to his books are, but not much about the middle.
“I kind of take it as I go,” he said.
Coben has enjoyed a prolific career as an author, but it wasn’t something he had much success with — at least initially.
“I wrote my first book when I was a senior in college,” he said. “It was terrible.”
His later books had little trouble finding an audience.
Published for the first time at age 26, Coben write about one book per year.
He also is the creator and executive producer of a handful of Netflix television shows, including “The Stranger,” an eight-part drama series based on one of his novels that debuted in January; “Safe,” a drama starring Michael C. Hall that aired in 2018; and “The Five,” a crime drama that aired in 2016.
“I think the greatest job in the world is to tell stories,” said Coben, who is working on his 33rd novel. “There’s no better job. It’s really an honor, and one I take very seriously.”
Coben’s Legacy Place appearance at 11380 Legacy Ave will be part of his promotional tour for “The Boy from the Woods.”
Limited tickets are available for the seated event, which begins at 7 p.m. and includes a discussion led by Coben, question-and-answer session and photos. Tickets are $31.03, and include an autographed copy of Coben’s new book.
Signing line-only admission also will be available for those who do not attend the seated event.