Wednesday, November 7, 2012

N@B - Corydon

My (ahem) handy emcee set list & notes 
You wanna know, don't you? Well, N@B - Corydon was a blast. Got to spend the afternoon with Frank and Jenn and a neverending supply of black coffee and fried chicken products. Frank made the mistake of leaving me alone with his manuscript for the evening and an ARC of Donnybrook - neither of which did I deface... in any way.

The event itself was a beast - eight (8!) readers - eight books for sale (including early copies of Frank Sinatra in a Blender, which evapofuckingrated), three states, two podcasts and a shitload of beer, wine and minors. Yes, indeed, because they apparently didn't learn last year or perhaps because they just grow em thick of skin in the Hoosier State, there was, yet again, a handful of young ones in attendance at our tawdry, foul-mouthed literary event that was full of violence, drugs and what my unsuccessful home state representative Todd Akin has coined - legitimate rape.

Don't worry. We powered through and didn't let the youngsters censored. I hope they grow up to love books. Actually, they've probably got a better chance of it than the kids of folks who keep their little ones sequestered away from salacious materials.

Because I'm such a swell host and ice breaker, I read first - a quick selection from my story The Whole Buffalo.

Next up, Carrie Gaffney from the Indianapolis group Second Story read an essay about writing noir, and why she feels she comes up short... something about ideas N@B alum Richard Thomas put in her head. Tricky Dick strikes again. You do just fine, Carrie.

Next up, Matthew McBride read the hell out of his fine, fucked up story The Tar Hole from Noir at the Bar Vol. 2. Kids, if you've never read McBride, this is a damn fine place to start, and if you've read everything he's written, you still haven't read anything quite like this. Fucking lovely. (And where can you get your hand on N@B2? Right here, and no place else).

Trust me, nobody wants to follow McBride at a live reading, but if anybody were up for it, I figured hometown hero and the bloody amazing and gracious Frank Bill was up to the task. No suspense - he was. Frank read a selection from the follow-up to next year's Donnybrook. You think times is hard now? You ain't seen nothin yet, kids. Speaking of new Bill - Louisville Magazine has got a brand new story from him called Life of Salvage. Pick one up, if you're a completist. It's a great story. And if you feel you've missed out on your chance to preview Frank's future books by skipping the Corydon event, well pick up N@B2 which features a slice of his Viet Nam novel called Devil Dog. Again - Right here is the only place to get that.

Another Second Story reader, Lou Perry, read next from a piece titled something along the lines of Things That Are Awesome. And, would it be gratuitous to suggest that the story itself belongs on the list? Well, it does... along with tits and Mastodon.

For the final night of the orgy of reading, writing and paper-grading that had been his honeymoon week, David James Keaton graced us with the complete and unabridged version of his story Burning Down DJs which originally appeared in a short version at Tony Black's Pulp Pusher. The good news for those of you who missed the fleshed out reading - Keaton's short story collection Fish Bites Cop will include the full-length story and about fifty others. I'm reading that beast now and, holy shit, it's ridiculously good. Anyhow, DJs is another story of a cop's bad luck with the perp they pulled over - something of a theme in Keaton's work.

Somebody who knows of this theme is the evening's final Indianapolis reader, officer CJ Edwards who stepped up to represent the brethren in blue with an officer down story that ought to be available in the next issue of Plots With Guns whenever that goes up. You don't have to wait for that to go live to read some kick-ass Edwards though. Uncle B's Drive In Fiction is now available featuring six novellas of decidedly questionable taste from Edwards, Keaton, Jimmy Callaway, Alec Cizak, Matthew C. Funk and Garnett Elliott. I got mine.

Saved the closing slot for Mr. Kirby Gann, who read a selection from his novel Ghosting. It was a hungover passage which seemed full of foreboding considering its precarious position at the tippy-top of a boozy Saturday night... Wish I could say it hadn't been prophetic, but... Sunday was rough. Even with the extra hour.

Before my midnight drive home, I took the opportunity to fortify myself with coffee, waffles, biscuits and gravy at Waffle Hut with Robb Olson and Livius Nedin from Booked, who also recorded the whole affair and have plans to make it available to you through the magic of the internet soon. I should also mention the pleasure of meeting Dakota Taylor from the Books & Booze podcast at the event. Noir at the Bar... Books & Booze... Sounds like a fit.

N@B will be back in St. Louis Thanksgiving weekend.... Stay tuned for details. A very special N@B with international guests and holiday spirit!

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