Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Books and Beers on a Saturday night....

 Leah Rhyne , local Sci-Fi writer, put together a "book reading"last Saturday evening.

I knew one of the writers so I hopped in my car and joined the crowd.

A "reading" is where several authors come and share aloud a chapter or two of their book.

Leah has written a series called Undead America that includes Zombie Days, Campfire Nights;  No Angels,  and Jenna's War.

Yes, Leah writes about zombies.

And her newest book, Heartless, not surprising, is about a young girl who wakes up one day and discovers she is dead.

The good news...she appears not to smell. So far.

The sampling she read does have her using a needle and thread (a delicate pink color, not harsh white) to sew back a pesky flap of skin that dangles from her right cheek.

We further learn that she feels no pain as she does her deft darning.

Jason Zwiker, Charleston photographer, known for his essays, short stories, fiction and non, was the first reader of the night.

Jason flipped on the microphone around 7:30 to tease us with a chapter of his first - not yet finished - novel entitled "Jimmy the King and the Witch in Green," Part one.

I have sat several times at public readings by David Sedaris at Charleston Music Hall, and have been impressed when an author reads excerpts of his own work.

Listening to Jason is only the second time I have experienced this and I told him later that he writes well and emotes very effectively while reading.

Oh, did I mention the crowded "reading room" was at Holy City Brewing Company?

The brewery is situated behind rows of dark warehouses, and you turn off Dorchester Road, and bump your way over uneven pavement to reach the almost filled dirt parking lot. "Good crowd," I thought, as I left my car and headed toward the bright lights.

 As I said, Leah's "undead heroine"
had a major problem.

Fortunately, the former mortal had a very-much-alive friend and supporter.

A reading gives you only  a sample of what is to come and tonight was no exception.

Just as I was warming to Jason's characters and this young lady with a deadly future, it was over

The third author, Patrick Wensink,  took the microphone, and  picked up his latest book "Fake Fruit Factory."

Patrick explained he was from Louisville and was on a 15-city book-signing tour.

He was in Nashville, then Savannah the night before, Charleston was his 14th stop and he would finish up in Charlotte.

His previous book - featured on the New York Times list - was "Broken Piano For President."

When we chatted later, Patrick ticked of the cities on his tour that included cities in the Northwest, the middle of the country, New York City and this Southeast final leg.

He did add that this was his first reading in a crowded brewery on a Saturday night.

Wish I could say all of the people lining the bar and seated at tables were there to hear snippets from new books.

Listening for a snappy chapter or the opening pages of a brand new novel.

Patrick opened one of the copies displayed on the table and explained that the mayor of a small town in Ohio had to come up with a plan to attract tourists to raise a large sum of money to save his small town.

In fact, it was so small that cartographers didn't even bother to put it on a map.

Many were probably there just for the Holy City Pluff Mud Porter or Gruesome Twosome but the overhead speakers carried the author's voices around the room and probably gave some beer drinkers an added literary boost to a night on the town.

I know that Liz Chartrand and her husband, from West Ashley, queued
at the merchandise table when Patrick finished and bought a copy which he happily signed.

A line had formed as others stepped forward to ask questions of the three authors or to make a purchase.

Leah Rhyne, who had organized the event, also seemed pleased with the results.

I am sure that Jason Zwiker looks forward to two things:
1. Finish his novel and 2. Get it published so he could have a stack of them to take on a book signing to read aloud ....and to sell.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Yes, I had a Holy City Nitro Porter.


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