Book fair post-mortem

Thanks to Yolanda and her friend Tammy, Elizabeth and her brother Matthew, Shelley, Jim Palombo and others who stopped by the Local Authors Book Fair yesterday. It was nice to have some friends show up, because otherwise it was slow. The festival was held in a remote area of the Clark County Library, and didn’t seem to attract many of the patrons. Oh well. Bethany Coffey and I had a good time at the Huntington Press table, despite being blinded by the sun shining through the windows.

The next event is a panel discussion and reading at 11:45 a.m. Nov. 2 at the El Cortez (for the Vegas Valley Book Festival). I’ll write more about the discussion later this week.

Local Authors Book Fair

I’m taking part in the inaugural Local Authors Book Fair Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Road). I’ll be signing copies of Beneath the Neon from 1 p.m.-3 p.m., but there’s stuff – signings, workshops, discussions – going on from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. A lot of authors, publishing houses, book clubs and writers groups are expected to attend.

Best of all: It’s open to the public and free!

Reading Room signing

I just got back from the book signing. Nice early rush, then things slowed down. Overall, though, it was a good night.

Thanks to Nick, Daria, Bob Massi, Angela, Kate and others for dropping by. Also, thanks to Debra at the Reading Room. She and her staff really know how to put on a good event.

Book signing

As you can see on the schedule below, I have a book signing from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Reading Room (in Mandalay Place). Hope to see you there.

Updated schedule

Here’s my updated book schedule. I may add a few things before the end of the year, but probably not much. If any of the dates, times and locations work for you, drop by and say hello.

• Book signing from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Reading Room (in Mandalay Place)

• Book fair from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Road)

• Vegas Valley Book Festival from 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Nov. 2 at the El Cortez (600 Fremont St.)

• Book signing from 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at B. Dalton (in the Galleria Mall)

And the Rebels lost, too

I got back from Reno Sunday afternoon. The newspaper contest went well – CityLife kicked ass! – the book signing not so well. Only a few people showed up. Of course, they included Reno News & Review Editor Brian Burghart, Tucson Weekly Editor Jimmy Boegle (who was in town visiting family) and Huntington Press Editor Deke Castleman. Also, Krystal from the Nevada Sagebrush – UNR’s student newspaper – dropped by , hung out and asked some really informed questions. Indeed, I was impressed.

The main lesson I learned from this book signing is to at least glance at a community events schedule before setting up a signing. It turns out the signing was the same day and time as the UNR/UNLV football game, which was played just down the street and seemed to captivate the interest of the locals. In case you haven’t heard, the Rebels got punked, 27-20.

Reno book signing

My first book signing in Reno is this weekend: 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at Sundance Bookstore. I’m looking forward to it. Sundance is an independent bookstore that has been around for more than 20 years. Just browsing its shelves will be well worth the trip, I imagine.

It’s a quick trip, no doubt. I’m leaving Saturday morning and coming back Sunday morning. (Travel arrangements were made by Stephens Media, as some CityLife folks – myself included – are attending the Nevada Press Association awards banquet Saturday night.) I’ll have just enough time to sign some books, dip my feet in the Truckee River and look longingly at the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west.

RIP Capozzoli’s

And now I see that Capozzoli’s Italian restaurant is a pile of ashes. What next? Komol? Lotus of Siam? The Mediterranean Café?

RIP Center Stage

The corporate Mob has carried out another hit, this one particularly brutal and personal.

Center Stage was a steak and seafood restaurant on the second floor of the Plaza hotel-casino that featured horseshoe-shaped booths, a glass dome and a shotgun-barrel view of the Fremont Street Experience. (You may remember it from Casino and other movies.) It was dark, dingy and strangely romantic. The food was good. The service was good. The prices were fair.

So it had to go. And it’s been replaced by a – blush, blush – sports bar. Christ. A keno lounge would’ve been more merciful. Or even slot machines.

The only good thing about Center Stage closing, as far as I’m concerned, is my last night at the restaurant was a memorable one. After my book-launch party June 1 at the Arts Factory, about 30 friends and family members got together there and drank and ate and talked. My mom and dad were there. My sisters and brother. My sister-in-law. Ingrid. Joey. Mark. And a whole lot of other folks I care about – a lot.

So, it sometimes seems, that’s all you can ask for in Las Vegas: When a person, place or thing leaves you, it leaves you with good memories.

Some post-signing thoughts

When signing at a bookstore, an author encounters three kinds of people: those who won’t even look at him, for fear of turning to stone; those who nod or quietly say hello; and those who actually approach the signing table and ask about the book. (This last group includes many fellow authors, who know the naked loneliness of the table.)

I made this observation at some point during my latest book signing, held Sept. 15 at the Henderson Barnes & Noble. It was quite interesting, actually, watching people stream into the store and seeing how they reacted to the author – wide-eyed and hopeful – stationed just off to the side. A lot of people stopped, which means I’m closer to perfecting my I’ll-jump-off-the-Stratosphere-if-you-don’t-buy-my-book look. And no one asked me where the restrooms are, which is also an improvement.

A few familiar faces came beaming through the double-doors: Linda Lera-Randle El, Angela, Jim, Randy Shelden, and Yolanda. (Thanks, y’all.) I made some new friends. And I had to fend off one or two crazies.

It’s all in a day’s work at a Las Vegas book signing.

My next book signing is Sept. 29 at Reno’s Sundance Bookstore. It’ll be interesting to compare a Reno signing to a Vegas signing … and to see who walks through the doors, what their body language is saying and how they react to the author at the table.