Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Speed Dating -- Copperfish Books Style

Cathy Graham
I couldn't resist checking out Copperfish Books' most recent event, which was their own take on speed dating.  Ten local authors promoted their books in three minutes or less.  I envisioned mass chaos and a large hook to snag long-winded authors away from the podium.  No such luck.  Everyone was extremely well-behaved, and Cathy only had to give a stage whispered "30 seconds" on one or two occasions to remind authors of their time limit.  Still, it was great fun.

The range of authors was representative of the talent in our community.  There were writers of memoirs and romance novels and thrillers.  There was poetry and historical fiction and a book for kids aged 8 to 108.  I was familiar with many of the authors, and in fact had included several of them in an article I wrote for Florida Weekly last December.  (Click here to read "Local Lit.") 

Williams, Qualls, Smith, Griffith and Cappiello
Still, there were a couple of surprises.  Thomas Noel Smith is a local poet of a certain age.  His Irish accent lent a sense of mischief as he read two of his poems with great enthusiasm.  The first poem was entitled "Somewhere between the Setting and Rising of the Sun" and was quite lovely.  I actually jotted down one line referring to the "ghostly calls of all who've gone before."   When I chatted with Tom after the reading, he told me that he's also doing some acting.  A quick google search came up with three recent shorts -- Silent Thief of Sight, The Novelist, and The Couch -- that are listed in IMDb and the tidbit that he was a professional clown with Circus Bartok for six months! 

Tiseo, Goodwin, Stackpole, Czaja and Taylor
I also appreciated the reading that Tom Cappiello did from his book Living with Lung Cancer:  My Journey.  He analogized the experience to the "Poseidon Adventure."  Cappiello and his wife were cruising towards retirement when he received his diagnosis.  The news was like a giant wave that turned their lives upside down, and they had to make numerous life or death decisions as they explored different treatment options. He has an amazing and inspirational story. 

The area has so many local authors that Copperfish is hosting a second "speed dating" event on April 7th.  A totally different group of authors will share their writing with the always attentive and welcoming audience.  It's a great opportunity to sample the work of our local authors.  And, as was pointed out, all purchases benefited both our own indie bookstore and our local talent.  Now that's a win-win situation.

Participating authors:

Tom Williams - Setting of the Rising Sun trilogy
Josephine Qualls - Black Pearls; Incredible Journey
Thomas Noel Smith -- Dust and Other Poems; Words of the Times
Leah Griffith - Cosette's Tribe
Tom Cappiello - Living with Lung Cancer:  My Journey

Albert Tiseo - Sunset Park
Melissa Goodwin - The Christmas Village; Return to Canterbury
Valerie Stackpole - How Bernie Madoff Saved My Life: Diary of a Ponzi Scheme Survivor
Virginia Czaja (Crane) - Starting Over; The Snow Concerto (and others)
Bob Taylor - Hardship Post


The Art of Performance -- Rochester Style

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