Reading in front of family and friends, especially when there are new readers in the audience, is never easy. On the one hand, I wanted to read something that showed I had grown artistically and the faith that my family has had in me—not to speak of the money they’ve lent me—had been justified. On the other hand, I wanted to introduce new readers to my work. It’s that delicate balance that I faced when I read at Books & Books on June 9, 2009.
Of course, Mitch Kaplan helped me in satisfying the expectations of old and new readers by mentioning my previous books and setting a context for Who’s Your Daddy?. Mitch has always been a great supporter of local writers and he also recalled the earliest readings that I and many other writers have given at my favorite South Florida Indie bookstore. It was a generous introduction that helped to set the stage for the stories.
I started with “Third Time,” a humorous tale about a young man who uses his father’s advice about the “third time being the charm” to his own advantage. The audience enjoyed the double entendres and the social commentary that was part of the subtext of the reading.
That, I thought was the end of the presentation, but in responding to a question, I read “My Jamaican Touch” as an example of my experimentation with meta-fiction and magical realism. The story was a hit and my mother-in-law enjoyed it even though I had some light hearted humor at her expense.
The book signing that followed was special for me. I met old friends such as Mary Luft, Vicki Hendricks, and Barbra Nightingale, who will be reading at Books & Books on June 19. 2009.
This was one of those readings in South Florida that I’ll always remember, not only because nearly all of my extended family was there and that I introduced a few new readers to my work, but I also read stories that confirmed a feeling that I’ve had for a long time—I’ve become pretty good at this writing thing.
Please follow this link for more photos: Reading of Who's Your Daddy? @ Books & Books.
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