Think of it as the Lollapalooza of the literary world. Instead of squealing guitars, sweaty singers with weird haircuts and tour busses loaded with illegal drugs, five rising rock stars in the fiction world will descend on Albuquerque for a literary show unlike any our little village has ever seen.
One thing I can tell you for certain: This fivesome does not wear tweed. Or, well, maybe they do wear tweed. What do I know? The important thing to note is that these heretofore unknown writers have talent oozing from every pore, and if you've got a literary bone in your body (everyone does—it's one of the three tiny bones located in the inner ear) you should definitely haul your carcass to the Golden West Saloon on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
The five writers featured at this unique literary concert were chosen in part because they all have a knack for live performance. Marc Acito, author of How I Got Into College, is actually a stand-up comic, and Lorraine Adams (author of Harbor), Joshua Braff (author of The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green), Jason Headley (author of Small Town Odds) and Samantha Hunt (author of The Seas) all have the sorts of personalities that come alive in front of crowds.
Each of the five publishers promoting these authors also believes that they have produced exceptionally fine debut works of fiction. As you might already know, it isn't easy being a first-time author. Even if you've written a stone cold fox of a novel, it's often next to impossible to find an audience. At signings, you typically find yourself sitting awkwardly in front of a tiny crowd made up exclusively of your roommate, your sister and your crazy Aunt Edna, none of whom are actually willing to purchase, let alone read, your book. The First Fiction tour is designed to remedy that.
Cindy Dach from Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz. is the mastermind behind the tour. "Last year, she brought in five first-time authors to a bar in Tempe," says Nancy Rutland, events coordinator at Bookworks. "Everyone loved it."
This year, Dach decided to expand the tour to six western cities. Bookworks is the local independent bookstore sponsoring the Albuquerque event. "It's designed to be a party," says Rutland, "a fun, social evening that just happens to be a literary event as well."
Each of the five authors will deliver a 10-minute reading from their respective books. When the readings are over, they'll mingle with the crowd, which by that point should be jazzed up with a combo of free food, provided by the Flying Star Café, and cheap drink specials, provided by Golden West. All five books, of course, will be sold at the event. If you buy all of them, you'll get a nifty, collectible poster—designed by Los Angeles rock poster designer Mike King—which you can have signed by the authors.
First Fiction provides a prime opportunity to expose yourself, figuratively speaking, to a new generation of talented young writers. Despite vindictive rumors to the contrary, bookish people really do know how to have a good time. This should be a blast.