F.A.Q. – E.A. Aymar’s Reading at the Gaithersburg Book Festival
May 6, 2016
I hear you’re not reading directly from your book. What gives?
Honestly, I still feel guilty about not reciting passages directly from my book during readings. I used to think that a writer’s prose should be so polished and perfect that it fit any context–a reading, a play, the side of a Chipotle cup. Then I gave a few readings using excerpts from my books, and it just didn’t work. I either spent time clumsily setting the passage up or telling a half-finished tale. And careful research and analysis (i.e., “my hunch”) shows that audiences respond better when they hear a complete story. I switched approaches and now, when I do a reading, I write something specific for the event. For my reading this year at Gaithersburg, I wrote a new short story that serves as a prologue to “You’re As Good As Dead.”
Isn’t jazz singer Sara Jones adding a musical component? LIKE YOU DID TWO YEARS AGO? Way to be original.
I love having Sara Jones jazz up a reading (see what I did there? I’m a writer). She and I have done these joint readings a few times now, and we’ve always used the same approach – she adds music that matches the spirit of what I’m reading, and that music is integral to the performance, but not the story.
This year we decided to change things up. Sara’s songs aren’t simply enhancing the reading; they’re an active part of the plot.
What does that mean?
It means everything’s harder.
The story had to be written to include music, without any of the songs sounding forced. And Sara has to bounce between genres since I picked songs that suit the story, but aren’t confined to jazz. It’s challenging, but exciting. I hope, like all good performances, that the excitement resonates with the audience.
Will noted mystery novelist Alan Orloff also sing?
Hopefully! Noted mystery novelist Alan Orloff is joining us on stage afterward for a conversation about writing, the crime fiction scene, and publishing. He has expressly stated that he will not sing. So, maybe.
I like free stuff. Will you give me free stuff?
I will! The first 30 attendees will receive a customized tote bag. Perfect for carrying books, groceries, or babies.
Also, cookies. I like giving out cookies.
I like cookies too! We have so much in common. When and where is this music/reading/conversation/tote bag and cookie giveaway happening?
The Dashiell Hammett Pavilion at 3:15. It’ll be a fun time, and the Gaithersburg Book Festival is absolutely one of my favorite events every year. I hope to see you there!
E.A. Aymar is the author of “I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead” and “You’re As Good As Dead” (2015). He also writes a monthly column for the Washington Independent Review of Books, and is the Managing Editor of The Thrill Begins (for the International Thriller Writers). His short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a number of top crime fiction publications. He holds a Masters in Literature and lives outside of Washington, D.C.