What better place for a reading of noir tales than a dive bar in downtown Los Angeles? We met last Wednesday in a tiny storefront nook at the bottom of an apartment hotel–the kind a private eye would have lived in, back when LA was affordable–where we hoisted a few beers, slapped a few backs, and climbed onto the shabby stage to read by the light of a neon beer sign. Of course it’s 2019, and the shabbiness was carefully calculated in the Ham & Eggs Tavern, but outside it was real enough, and the beer was real, and the noir was real. Besides myself (the least-known of the bunch) the crew included Scotch Rutherford, editor of Switchblade and sponsor of the darkness, Rex Weiner (who snapped the photo above), Lisa Douglass (editor of Stiletto Heeled, Switchblade’s all-women issue), Renée Asher Pickup, Andrew Miller, and the fabulous Ashely Erwin, all reading fiction so sharp-edged it would cut your guts out and laugh.
I read “The Comforter,” published in Switchblade #5, a story which is all about trusting the wrong people. Pick up a copy and enjoy–it’s so jammed with darkness that midnight oozes off the cover.
And keep your eyes peeled for an announcement of the next reading, which will be at LA’s best bookshop, Skylight, on June 28th.
See you there….