Fans of Rita Mae Brown brought books for the author to sign in the Stryker Center on Saturday. She's written more than fifty books and dozens of screenplays.
But as prolific as she's been in her chosen career, Brown did not always envision making her living on the printed page. She once wanted to be a farmer.
"My father told me that by the time I grew up, no one would be making money as a small-time farmer," she said. "He was right. I was a farm kid, but I always loved reading."
Brown said she read Greek philosophy as a young adult, which led to her interest in language later on. Having studied Latin and Greek while in college, Brown still leans on language as the vehicle through which her books make their mark.
"I just thought, if I was a doctor, I would need to know every instrument on that tray," she said. "Well, it's the same with language."
Brown's newest book, Cakewalk, hits stores on Oct. 18. Brown said her mother and sister are inspirations for two of the large roles in the book, which centers around the constrained roles of women.
"I really just had to come home," she said. "Every ten years or so, I write a book like this."
Brown sees no end to her career in sight. She doesn't plan on slowing down, even, and says she has too much fun writing books to do so.
"I'll never retire," she said, laughing. "I have 40 horses and 70 foxhounds on my farm. I have to feed them."
The current state of political affairs is one that Brown sees as a chance for children to delve into the issues that shape this country.
She has touched on many on those social issues in her books, and she particularly appreciates when children read and internalize them.
"Older people are the backbone, really, of publishing," she said. "But I like seeing the young people at these book signings because it means they are reading. In today's political climate, it's imperative that young people read."