Saturday, August 6, 2011
You can see a fuller report at my PulpRack blog.
I gave the first of four readings at the 'Fest. I read from three of my works in progress: an excerpt from Space Detective, an alternative-1950s SF/hard-boiled detective novel I'm working on with British artist Mike Fyles; a chapter from Shalimar Bang, about a contemporary pulp-styled action-adventure team; and a short chapter from a western novel, The Express Agent. The audience was interested, the Q&A lively, and the experience overall was very enjoyable. The pieces I read prompted laughs in the appropriate places, and no one laughed during the passages that were meant to be exciting action scenes, so everything seems to be working in the narrative as intended. I look forward to doing another reading someday.
I'd read excerpts from the first two novels -- Shalimar Bang and Space Detective -- and after some Q&A had enough time left to read from The Express Agent. I first asked if anyone in the room read westerns. Only one person raised a hand out of thirty or so attendees, and I was surprised to see the only person who responded was a woman. Maybe I'm narrow minded in thinking that most western readers are male, but there were fewer women in the room than men, so statistically speaking, I expected at least one male to raise a hand. On the other hand, I know the western genre isn't the most robust sales-wise in the book industry, so I half expected to see no one respond. But I was pleased to see at least one brave western reader among the bunch.
The audience all seemed to enjoy the chapter from The Express Agent as much (or, in the case of some folks, more than) as the other pieces. This reaction pleased me quite a bit. Maybe I converted some non-western readers to try out the genre. I hope so.