Sunday, Nov. 13th, I did a reading from the just released anthology, Tales From The House Band, at Borderlands Book Store in San Francisco. Pete had a gig, so he couldn’t be there, but our children and their spouses attended, as did four of my best friends. Six of the other authors were there and also did readings. This is a great collection of stories! I am enjoying getting to know the local writers’ community and am finding them delightfully individualistic with hints of eccentricity. The feedback I heard most about Family Values was that it made people want to know more about Emma, the wild rock star protaganist…which is a very good thing, since I’ve written a hefty novel about her. My agent is currently shopping the novel and tells me she’s optimistic that we’ll have a publisher before the end of the year. Meanwhile, I’m working on a new book, and Pete and I are writing new songs.
The weather here in Marin County is balmy, soothing you into thinking that winter will never come. God, I love California!
On Monday the 22nd, I gave a reading for my short story, Family Values, which will be included in the rock n’ roll anthology, Tales From The House Band, due out in November on Plus One Press. I read the entire story to a group of about forty people in the garden of a beautiful Victorian house in San Francisco. About one paragraph in, when the audience started laughing at the appropriate places, I felt relaxed and enjoyed the reading.
Family Values is a story featuring rock star Emma Allison, the protagonist of my new novel, A Light Rain Of Grace. Her Pentecostal relatives are in town and she has agreed to have dinner with them, but as she sits in The Trident (a famous restaurant hang-out of rock stars during the late 60s and early 70s) she realizes that the place is going to give her uncle a coronary with its bevy of gorgeous waitresses in see-through blouses and freaks lounging around getting drunk and high. She has a flirtation going with a guy at the bar…so interesting that she considers blowing off her relatives…but she has strong family values and decides to meet them out in the parking lot and steer them to another restaurant, and then return to the guy later.
Her dinner with her aunt and uncle basically consists of them warning her that she’s headed for hell and that California is worse than they had imagined–they had actually seen naked babies at the beach! Emma eventually loses it with them, and as she’s heading back to her place with with the guy from the bar, she concludes that while you can’t choose your family, at least you can choose your friends.
After the reading, everyone kept telling me that they have relatives just like the ones in the story. Everybody seemed able to relate. It was wonderful.