Thursday October 27th, I made a trip to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where I did my Master’s in Creative Writing and wrote a couple chapters from HUSTLE (where David Schloss and the English Department had to petition to let me in, because my undergraduate GPA was so terrible). That day, I had a terrific time seeing my former professors and workshop classmates, meeting current professors, and speaking with students. That night, I ended up reading the chapter from HUSTLE titled “Girlfriend in the Lights,” which I hadn’t read before; this hadn’t been my intention, but as I was sitting in the audience during Eric Goodman’s introduction, I heard Theresa – the babysitter in the chapter who teaches Chris about sex – whisper in my ear: “You owe me one, Bub.” Funny how, once you think they’re gone…
Here are some folks from the reading (Steve Lansky, Me, Eric Goodman, David Schloss):
It was also great to get out to Hueston Woods, one of my favorite places on the planet, with a quarry where I used to go all the time.
The next night, I met with The Red Tent Book Club in Cincinnati, my first experience with a book club. It was truly an astounding and humbling experience. At most of my readings, the majority of people in the audience have not yet read the book. But in this case, I was speaking with people who had finished the novel, and had had some time to really consider it. As a writer, you never know how (or even if) people will connect with a book until you hear a group of people talk about it and actually say how the book spoke to their lives in various ways: parent/child relationships, how people survive difficult experiences while growing up, topics discussed in the novel. Thanks so much to everyone in the club who opened up and talked about the book and their connections with it. The experience was incredible.
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