Twelve accomplished women greeted me. Outside a blazing hillside of maple trees signaled the kind of New England autumns that colored my youth. A chance meeting with a Syracuse artist in Florida last winter had brought me north for a five day whirl of book events with my third novel Catcher, Caught. Le Moyne’s Education Department Dr. Gilmore arranged a SRO audience of students, faculty and local secondary school teachers. I talked about Salinger and how Catcher, Caught celebrates that classic in a re-telling of sorts, adapting Holden’s “cynical, slangy, vernacular voice.” Bethany Schill, administrator for one division of Nottingham High and a LeMoyne Education grad, coordinated my leading a writing workshop with the 10th graders who are reading Catcher, Caught. Like the prep school classes I’ve visited recently in Virginia, the kids wrote and shared their own “rants.” We talked about unreliable narrators, the importance of using your senses, and the power of first lines, first paragraphs. Beyond those exciting interactions and the first evening’s book club welcome, Soule Librarian Gary Jones and his enthusiastic assistant librarian led an evening book club discussion on Catcher, Caught which included the surprise visitor, Jim Snipes from Orange, Virginia and his new wife Pat long-time Syracuse teacher. My visit ended with the Downtown Writing Center and a group of serious aspiring writers and students in Director Phil Memmer’s two year certificate program. Their thought-provoking questions stirred my creative juices, and I’m sitting at the airport, eager to get back to my laptop and my fictional worlds. Tuesday, once I’m back in front of my river windows, Syracuse readers will be listening to Dennis Lahane talk about his mysteries, part of the Rosamund Gifford Fdtn Author Series, one of the best in the country. Thank you, Syracuse, for your support of authors and reading.
Archive for October, 2011
Syracuse, here we come, on October 25th. Thanks to local resident artist Donna Stoner, Syracuse, NY is welcoming Catcher, Caught next week all over town. After Donna’s book club, I speak to faculty and grad students in the education department at LeMoyne College (Wed. Oct.26th at 5:30 pm), lead a book discussion on Catcher, Caught at the Soule Library (Wed. Oct. 26th at 7 pm), and read and discuss fiction in the 21st century at the Downtown Writing Center (YMCA) on Friday Oct. 28th at 7 pm. Local arts writer Laura T. Ryan’s feature on Catcher, Caught and my visit will appear on Sunday October 23rd. Watch here for the link.