I had my first public reading at the 33rd Street Wine Bar in Fort Lauderdale. The wine bar is decorated classy modern style with excellent lighting. A large wine showcase artfully blankets the east wall and it’s filled with some of my favorite wines. Wrapping around the showcase is a beautifully cut granite counter lined with black bar stools. A few couches and a coffee table provide a comfortable entryway and small round tables and stools hug the west wall.
For my book event, platters of cheese were strategically placed around the room and Sade played overhead. The staff obviously had a sense of humor and had read my book. They are some of the best in the business. Knowledgeable, fun and welcoming they quickly made me feel like a friend. That’s true for any customer who enters their wine bar. The owner, Candace, greeted everyone as they entered. Amanda and Paul suggested wines to order and gave a generous pour. Rob helped me set up the mic and stool on the stage for the reading, giving comic relief in the process.
Over the course of the evening I had three readings, starting with a somewhat normal scene, escalating for the second reading and a full on sex scene as my last reading. Little did I know that the mic was hooked up to the speaker system projecting outside. I’m sure that was interesting for someone just passing-by.
It was an excellent evening with old friends and new ones. I got to meet another writer who’s completing his first novel. It’s always a joy to share my writing and publishing experience, both the good and bad. I think all wine bars should have book readings. We can start a new movement like the Beat Generation of the 1950’s and 60’s. Anybody in?