Director of communications, Tulsa Public Schools
When it comes to communicating, Chris Payne is a pro. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field and is a past Public Relations Professional of the Year, an honor bestowed by the Tulsa Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
When he’s not working for Tulsa Public Schools, he is a self-described “voracious reader” whose stash of books could be used to build a house. He also enjoys writing, traveling and zip lining.
Fun fact: Payne attended a year of dental school before deciding he would have trouble marketing “Dr. Payne.”
What book are you most looking forward to this year? I am really interested to see what Paula Hawkins (“The Girl on the Train”) comes up with next. I’ve always loved stories involving unreliable narrators and the secrets they choose to withhold.
If you had to pick one genre of books to read for the rest of your life, what would it be? Wow, just one? How about a gothic-horror-mystery? Stephen King meets Daphne du Maurier.
Describe the plot of one of your favorite books without spoiling it for the rest of us.“The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It’s a book for people who love books. It involves Daniel, a teenage boy in Barcelona, who is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel becomes obsessed with Julian Carax, the author of a mysterious book called “Shadow of the Wind,” and the person who is singlehandedly trying to find and burn literally every copy of the author’s work. It is an amazing gothic story. There is beauty in these pages that makes my heart ache.
If you could pick someone to write the story of your life, who would it be? J.K. Rowling. Life should be so magical.
What’s your favorite book of all time? “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Roald Dahl). I’ve been obsessed with it all my life, ever since my mom delivered the book into my hands at the age of 7.
September book events
Sept. 19 — “A Night with Craig Johnson”
An evening of books, music and fun with the New York Times-bestselling author. 7-9 p.m. IDL Ballroom, 230 E. First St. Presented by BookSmart Tulsa and Magic City Books. Free. www.booksmarttulsa.com
Sept. 22 — “Crime Time: A Night With Karin Slaughter”
The international bestselling author will discuss her new novel, “The Kept Woman.” 7-8:30 p.m. Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 E. 93rd St. Presented by BookSmart Tulsa. Free. www.booksmarttulsa.com
Sept. 27 — “Becoming Winston Churchill”
BookSmart Tulsa and Magic City Books welcome Candice Millard, author of “Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill,” to discuss what makes a great leader. 7-8:30 p.m. 36 Degrees North, 36 E. Cameron St. Free. www.36degreesnorth.co