Related to the meeting I talked about last time, I signed up for an “author’s fair” reading. I’m no stranger to public readings of my material. I used to do NOTA readings in college (NOTA stands for “None of the Above” and was the school’s literary club/magazine). Those took place every month or so, and had the classic college feel of guys with beards and plaid, mimicking Kerouackian rants and girls with haikus about their kitty. And I did a phone-in reading for “Influx Capacitor” in Big Pulp.
There’s no guarantee I’ll get in, but judging by the last meeting, I doubt there will be that many who submit. Also, I’ll be doing a reading from Merm-8, even though it won’t be published yet. I hope that won’t be a problem, given that I won’t have an actual book to promote at the time. I do have short stories though.
It’s sponsored by the library, and they are only taking submissions for 16 readers. I’m sure the only people who will be there are other readers. Maybe their families. It mystifies me who’s interested in local authors — the material they write has nothing to do with where they live. Harlan Ellison had to live somewhere. Does Maine still call Stephen King one of their local authors to do library readings?
Obviously, I’m not comparing myself to Stephen King. I’m just saying, I think books go beyond locational standards. That’s what’s great about them. I read a book, I can’t tell if the author’s male or female, black or white, foreign or domestic, unless I look at the author’s information. Who’s J.K. Rowling? I don’t know. S.E. Hinton? Shrug. J.D. Salinger? Got me*.
Unlike movies where there’s always issues with white-washing and gender (like Thor or misogynistic Michael Bay movies) I can focus on just the story, just the escape. What does it matter where the author came from? Especially a place like Minnesota where adventures and characters are pretty stable. Not like New York or Moscow.
*I do actually know who those people are, and their genders and places of origin.