Thursday, April 14, 2016

N@B-ATL: Unprintable

You been listening to The Crime Scene With Eryk Pruitt podcast? Last week I was on there talking with senor P about N@B (also on the episode Eric Arneson, Ed Brock and James R. Tuck). During the segment Eryk mentioned that N@B-PDX host Johnny Shaw had said something nice about one of my short stories on the Unprintable: LitReactor podcast episode about book tours and live reading events, I didn't believe him, but I tuned in to check it out and on said episode Johnny discusses strategies for authors on live readings with hosts Rob Hart and Brandon Tietz and it's worth a listen in my humblest opinion - just ignore the false if flattering claims made about my story.

And speaking of false claims... limey author Adam Howe is giving me the digital finger over at canuck Benoit Lelievre's site Dead End Follies in a piece meant to shame me (and you) into revising my position on the Steven Seagal flick gamely helmed by John Flynn, Out For Justice. Anybody who's read Adam's fiction or his guest contributions to this site will entertained by the piece, but I doubt persuaded. It's all good, kids. I've been fingered by worse.

St. Louis and Chicago weren't the only cities hosting N@B events last week. Eyrk sent this blow by blow of N@B-ATL's inaugural rumpus. Read it. Weep.

by Eryk Pruitt

You never forget your first.

Hopefully that’s the way Atlanta feels after Sunday, April 3rd, after finally hosting a Noir at the Bar. McCray’s Tavern, located across the street from the Gwinnett County Courthouse in Lawrenceville (famous for the site of the Larry Flynt shooting) put on the affair and did not disappoint. The room was spacious, the sound was perfect, and the service staff was nice and friendly.

You’d think all this would make for a lovely Sunday evening, wouldn’t you?

You’d think wrong.

Things got dirty quick.

Ashley Erwin flew all the way from Los Angeles to stare down a hometown crowd with her hilarious, chicken-fried story Mayhem and Motherfuckery, a piece she’d written specifically for the event. The tale reads like an episode of Mama’s Family, if the show starred Dewey Crowe. Ashley is no stranger to Noir at the Bar and she definitely showed her chops, raising the bar for anyone and everyone unfortunate to read after her.

Speaking of Ed Brock…All this was his big idea. The Pale in Death author had been putting out feelers for an event in the Big Peach for months and when given the opportunity, he didn’t blink. He scouted venues, printed posters, sent press releases. Without him, the entire thing would have been but a dream, so a hearty back-slapping was due for the man in charge and when it came time to read, he treated the audience to the first chapter of his debut novel.

Next up came James R. Tuck, another hometown boy made good. The author of the Deacon Chalk series recently compiled stories for an anthology titled Mama Tried, featuring fiction inspired by outlaw country music. James rocked a little ditty titled Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out of Hand, a love story made all the more romantic when read by the sweet, sultry tones of Tuck’s baritone voice.

Filmmaker, author, and short fiction impresario Alec Cizak, perhaps singlehandedly responsible for repping some of the best short fiction in history through both All Due Respect and Pulp Modern, surprisingly has never read in a Noir at the Bar. Luckily, we remedied that in Georgia. He made the trip from Florida to read Katy Too from his chilling short story collection Crooked Roads, as well as contribute a copy of the out-of-circulation collection Uncle B’s Drive-In Fiction for the giveaways.

Folks in Georgia won’t soon be forgetting Warren Moore’s Just-So Story, which was published in Out of the Gutter in 2013. Warren’s delivery was sneaky-Southern and perhaps got the best mix of reactions from the audience, from laughter to gasps. A perfect reading.

This was my second time to listen to the smooth, soothing sounds of Grant Jerkins and once again he did not disappoint. Folks in Durham still talk about his reading of EBT at the Bull City’s inaugural N@TB, and I imagine those in Lawrenceville will long remember his rendition of NSFW, published last year in Shotgun Honey. Nearly everyone in attendance had a copy of A Very Simple Crime for him to autograph, which goes further to show that Grant Jerkins makes creepy look cool.

I tried to follow that act with my short story Knacker, but after an ill-timed joke about the Braves being swept in the ’99 World Series, I’m pretty sure folks just wanted me to get on with it and get off the stage. I obliged, handing the mic over to…

Peter Farris began his reading after dropping a nugget of wisdom he’d learned from his dad. “A writer reading his own work,” Farris quoted, “is like a dog licking its own asshole.” Either Dad never heard Peter read at a Noir at the Bar or dogs assholes taste like sweet, delicious whiskey because Peter fired through the first chapter of his unpublished novel Ghost in the Fields. He treated the audience like junkies, giving them a first taste for free, then pulling away the pipe when all we wanted was another chapter, and another, and another…

Folks stuck around for a good bit after to talk with readers, writers, and the cute bartender, all of whom were wondering when was the next Noir at the Bar in Georgia.

I can’t fucking wait.

Special thanks to McCray’s Tavern, Ben Carr (photos courtesy of) and everybody who came out! It was a blast popping that cherry on the Big Peach.


Dtodeen said...

What's the word with Farris and getting that book out? I mean really the guy is nasty good.

jedidiah ayres said...

Right? You hear us, Peter? Fucking get that shit into the world

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