Sunday, May 18, 2014

A schmuck in New York

Last night I bought a crime novel called Schmuck.  It's a cozy.

But seriously, folks.  I was a great audience.

The Schmuck writer is Ross Klavan, and he read at New York's Beach Cafe, as did Charles Salzberg, Richie Narvaez, my old Bouchercon panel mate Terrence McCauley, Tim O'Mara, and Suzanne Solomon.

Not only was the pizza free, but the writing was good, and the readings began at 10 p.m., a more sensible hour for crime fiction than all those genteel 7 and 7:30 p.m. starts. I liked the evening's format, too: two authors reading, then a short break before the next two. This allowed socializing, blogging, and unobtrusive bathroom breaks, and organizers of future events would do well to follow the format.
Narvaez is president of the New York chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, which is bringing a daylong crime-writing workshop called MWA University to Philadelphia June 28. Manhattanites are an insular lot, and they get nervous when they have to leave their skinny island. Come on out to the workshop (whose cost is surprisingly low), and make them feel at home.

© Peter Rozovsky 2014

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Blogger seana graham said...

I think you're absolutely right about that late night hour for a crime fiction gathering. Especially if there's good public transportation.

May 18, 2014  
Blogger RT said...

Rimshot, please!

May 18, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, New York is the city of good public transportation, and I even discovered a connection between the 6 and 7 trains that made my trip from the bar to Penn Station a few minutes shorter.

It transpires that public transport in New York may be designed to accommodate such late-night celebrations. I remarked to one of the writers--Tim O'Mara, I think it was--on the quirk of Amtrak and Greyhound schedules that each offers transport out of town around 11 p.m., then nothing more until around 3 in the morning.

The Long Island Railroad offered a similar schedule in his younger days, he said, the better to let drinkers stagger out of the bars and collapse onto trains out to the island.

May 18, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T.: Bah-TINK!

Rimshots may make appropriate accompaniment to Schmuck. A radio comedy team, in particular one of the team's routines, figures in the story, invoked in the entertaining excerpt that the author read Saturday evening.

May 18, 2014  
Blogger seana graham said...

Peter, you might like this piece on Slate I saw recently about the end of the commuter train bar car:

May 18, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. I had read a couple of other pieces about the end of the bar car. That piece os a good deal better than the run-of-the-mill free opinions on anything and everything generally available online.

I wonder if the LIRR bar cars served nightcaps.

May 18, 2014  

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