So I made it the Noir at the Bar reading at the Irish House on St. Charles last night. I got there a bit early because I’d heard they had good food and figured to eat and drink a beer or two before the festivities began. Jāson Stuart, the organizer, and his wife, Karen, were also early so we all sat down to a meal. Karen and I had the house burger and we both agreed it was great. Jāson had the big Irish breakfast, with various kinds of sausages and puddings. Looked delicious and I’ll have to try that next time. Wonder of wonders, we talked books and writing. Who’d a thunk it?
Folks began to trickle in and we actually started the reading around 8:00. Jāson read a short, poignant piece from a work that should be out soon with a very intriguing main character. Heather Graham then read a piece from one of her published works. This was the first time I’d met Ms. Graham. She was very nice. The great Megan Abbott read next, from a work in progress. Everyone admired her description of rattlesnakes! I didn’t get a chance to talk to her a lot but did mention knowing her mother, Patti Abbott. She laughed and said that everyone knew her mother.
Laura Lippman was unable to appear, but we also had readings from myself, Greg Herren, and Nate Southard. Greg was the only person besides me with a piece set in the New Orleans area. I believe he said the title of his tale was: “A Streetcar named Death.” Nate and his wife came all the way from Austin, giving them the win in the travel department. Nate’s piece featured a small town sheriff who is not only dealing with crimes but with the onset of Alzheimer’s. What an interesting concept.
Besides the readers, there were probably about a dozen other folks there, as well as some people listening in who had come to the bar because it was…well…a bar. I have to call out three of my Xavier colleagues for coming out to support me: Elizabeth and Elliott Hammer, and Kate Eskine. Kate brought hubby along. He didn’t seem to have been dragged kicking and screaming. Elizabeth is such a sweetheart she even wore a hat with a “Charles Gramlich Fan Club” attachment. It was great to have them there and I thank them. I am not worthy!
After it was all over, several of us sat around and visited and had another drink or two. We talked more writing and traded some books among ourselves. I really had a good time. I don’t get out a lot and this kind of event always makes me wonder why since I have a good time when I do. Thanks to Jāson for organizing and to everyone who read or came to listen. I’m hearing rumors of another one next year so that sounds pretty cool.