Dust bunnies, serial killers, and mystical worlds are among the many topics covered at one Thursdays on First booth this summer. They can be found between the covers of 39 different books promoted by a 27-member authors’ collective taking their words to the street.
“When most people think about ‘buying local’ they think of produce, crafts, and artwork. I hope our presence at Thursdays on First will bring more awareness to local literary talent,” says an author who writes as S.L. Wallace and is selling “The Reliance on Citizens” trilogy at the booth. Her trilogy focuses on characters like Keira Maddock, an assassin for hire in the greed-infested and power-dived realm of Terene.
“We have over 350 Rochester authors in the area, and it’s wonderful that we can work together to help all of us succeed,” says Mike Kalmbach. He leads the Rochester Writing Group and organizes the authors’ Thursdays on First booth.
“I’ve been visiting similar events since childhood, and always searched for a booth showcasing books. With Thursdays on First featuring so many local artists and artisans, I felt this was a great opportunity for us to showcase the variety of talent we have right here in Rochester,” explains Kalmbach, who’s most recently published the children’s book “A Shark at the Park.”
“As a group, we can reach many more readers than any of us can individually,” he says.
To support the Thursdays on First booth, each author contributes a fee based on the number of titles he or she has for sale, and most also take a shift working the booth.
“The best part is meeting somebody who loves science fiction as passionately as I do,” says Anthony W. Eichenlab, describing his experience at the booth. His most recent publication is the self-published “Justice in an Age of Metal and Men,” a sci-fi western.
The cooperative group of writers includes authors that range in age from their early 30s to their late 60s. 68-year old Penny Duffy, who uses the pen name P.S. Duffy, wrote “The Cartographer of No Man’s Land,” which was published by W.W. Norton, Penguin-Random House, and Great Britain’s Myrmidon press. The book is even being translated into Hebrew.
“My book takes place in Nova Scotia and on the front lines in France during the First World War, and I’m always amazed at the number of people with a special interest in that time period,” says Duffy.
While working the booth, Duffy enjoys “meeting and engaging with other writers and with customers from here in town, those visiting, or those who are here for Mayo Clinic.”
“I’ve read a lot of the books we have on sale at the booth, so I’ve been able to make a few recommendations to people based on their tastes,” says Tony Wirt. Earlier this year, he self-published “A Necessary Act” using Amazon’s Createspace. The book tells the tale of a quest to stop a serial killer.
Wirt describes writing a book with a construction metaphor: “Think of the first draft as building a house—you’re just getting a frame up. Your re-writes are decorating and often remodeling it.”
The group has three more chances to reach readers at Thursdays on First: today, Aug. 18, and Aug. 25. If Kalmbach gets his way, the booth, in addition to finding readers for local writers, will help “inspire the next generation of writers.”