Today’s Tea Tuesday took me and my friend Belle (also a writer) to a local literary event called Lit Up in a local coffee house.
The basic format of the event is readings followed by questions asked of the audience and then questions asked of the writers. It’s a neat way to get feedback and see what does well with the crowd. I read at their very first reading and it’s definitely something I would love to do again.
Tonight, the three writers were all very different but also very interesting.
The first reader, Annie Moose, read a selection from her novel, Arkansas Summer, about a California girl who goes to Arkansas for a summer in 1955 and falls in love with a black boy and the challenges they face. She writes beautifully, with great descriptions and a vivid sense of setting.
Next up was my friend D.M. Roberts, and her comedic novel Running with Hounds…And an English Degree. It is the story of a young college graduate who ends up dog sitting for a wealthy couple. Donna’s work is always good for a laugh.
The final author was David Putnam, a former law enforcement officer turned thriller writer, reading his new book The Vanquished. His life experience and expertise made the story very credible and detailed, and it all felt very real.
In fact, that was the thing that tied all three readings together — all three writers were incorporating aspects of their real life experiences or professions into their writing.
Belle and I both enjoyed tea — she got Earl Grey and I got the rose-petal black tea. Even though Kean Coffee is known as a coffee shop, their tea is probably the best thing there — all loose leaf and, when you order it “for here,” it comes in a cute little white tea pot. They will also refill the tea with hot water, and it’s just as good the second time around because it is such high quality tea.