It was the first free Saturday evening we'd had in a long time. We had two choices: (1) Grab take-out pizza, put our feet up and watch Graham Norton on BBC America or (2) Get into the Jeep and spend 3 hours on the freeway in traffic to get in line along a seedy stretch of Sunset Blvd., creep into a dark crowded room, buy $6 beers and stand for 3 hours listening to 12 authors reading excerpts from their books. No contest. We got into the Jeep.
Pressed close to us in the dark, was a great couple. She writes a blog called "Bookstorepeople". It's goal is to promote the few independent bookstores that haven't been stomped into the dirt by the big box bullies. Check it out.
As the poster stated, "It's a F**king Read-Off." In the Ring: Neal Pollack, Allison Burnett, Katie Arnoldi, Dennis Danziger, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Graham Moore, Rachel Resnik, James Greer, Edan Lepucki, Joseph Mattson, and Samantha Dunn.
On the bell, the editors of SLAKE, Joe Donnelly and Laurie Ochoa, and the L.A. Times "lit queen" Carolyn Kellogg.
I'd never read anything the authors had written. That's going to change. They were all so f**king good. Funny, edgy, powerful. It was one of those experiences where you're loving it and you're exhilarated but you're also hating it because they're setting the bar so way beyond your reach. I know I could never write like that.
Once I asked my South African writer-friend, Maureen Martus, "Wouldn't you love to write a bestseller?"
Quick as a wink, she answered, "No, I'd rather read one."
Wise woman. And I'm looking forward to reading a lot of them by the writers who participated in the F**king Read-Off!