The home of Robert Olen Butler
One of the best benefits of being a publisher's representative is that you have the opportunity to meet and sometimes befriend some of our most talented writers. I met Bob Butler 12 years ago while he was touring, and a kinder and more gentlemanly author would be hard to find in this business. Since then I have been honored to continue to sell his wonderful books, arrange large dinners in his honor, and to have been invited to his home near Tallahassee, FL.
The idyllic setting, down a long and empty country highway, is right out of a Southern Gothic novel, complete with live oaks and Spanish moss (if you ever get a chance to chat with him, ask for the ghost dogs story, it'll make the hairs
on the back of your neck stand up).
Over the years, his small but incredibly comfortable guest house, seen here to the left, has played host to many of the great writers of our time.
Below is Bob on his front porch with two of his three beloved Bichons, Susie Q, Sadie and Sophie. Sadly, Bob recently had to put his Sophie to sleep. In his words:
"Today I had to let go of my beloved Sophie, tortured by blindness and dementia. This is her last photo: We slowly drove her favorite back roads to the vet, and for the first time in months she enjoyed every moment of this. In her final hour she and I reconnected to the self she deeply was: my bichon girl, standing on my leg, hanging out the window, smelling the world."
The interior of his home is amazing, his works of art would make any collector extremely jealous. Room after room is filled with beautiful and eclectic paintings, drawings and sculptures from around the world.
This is Sadie, the "blue blood in the family" as Bob puts it. About ten years ago, for the first time ever, a bichon frise won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show. Sadie is that dog’s granddaughter.
Finally, the man in his living room. The plaster cast of Bob's face, seen here on the mantle piece, was done by the beautiful Willa Shalit, for her book Lifecast that I sold many years ago.