Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Come see me read "Last Baby Boomer" at City Books!

I’m expecting a full house for my “Last Baby Boomer” reading Monday, 7 p.m., at City Books on Pittsburgh’s North Side with 20,000 other fans watching on the Jumbotron outside.

And wouldn’t that be cool?

I’m not exaggerating about the full house bit. City Books at 908 Galveston St. is a perfectly cozy little place.

I took that into consideration when I sent out invitations.

The optics are better if the place looks and feels crowded. It’s why instead of inviting all my best friends I invited all the biggest ones

I have about five or six friends of ample girth who can make the cables of a mill freight elevator groan in distress. Lined up one next to another they can make Iowa look crowded.

Of course, none of them would show up for a night of hearing me read from a book. The very idea is ridiculous.

So I told them it was wing night!

In fact, I’m uncomfortable, too, with the idea of me entertaining an audience merely by reading. Let’s face it, many consumers are impatient with the idea of them reading.

It’s really more of a talking than a reading. And as I know people enjoy tales of vicarious woe, I’ll probably focus on the slapstick failures of the book’s ignominious journey to self-publication.

Really, it’d make a dandy little puppet show and I should consider the production.

I previewed the new talk Tuesday at the Altoona Rotary and it went very well. Very loose and well-received.

I expect the ones at City Books and Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling (Tuesday) go even better. It’ll be more focused and, yes, I will do some selected readings.

People laugh out loud when they tell me their favorite parts so to get the instant gratification from a live audience could really energize my confidence.

See, the “Use All the Crayons!” presentations are practically on auto-pilot. I can deliver that one at a moment’s notice and earn a satisfying reaction. That’s good because by now someone is mostly paying me something to do just that.

It’s different with “Last Baby Boomer” for which the whole goal is to sell lots of books, both for me and for City Books owner Arlan Hess. She’s gracious enough to host me so I am hoping all my Pittsburgh friends will turn out.

I keep trying to think of ways to add value to the evening. Like maybe include dinner and drinks with me. But, given my always precarious finances, it’d have to either be Dutch or you’d have to buy so that’s not much of an incentive.

I’m sure we’ll all toddle into a nearby tavern following the event, but how special is that? Geez, I’ve been hanging out in Pittsburgh-area bars since about the 4th grade so big whup to that, too.

But please do consider showing up. I promise the words I read will be some of the best in the history of literature.

City Books has more than 1,000 great titles and no one said I have to read from my own book.

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