read from their works,
offer advice in novelist series
By Charles Cassady
Published Oct. 13, 2004
is a famous 19th-century definition of a novelist as somebody who
transported a mirror along a road, reflecting in the looking glass
all that lay along the surroundings of the journey, from brilliant
sun and sky to cracks in the road and mud.
(And, we might
add, in Northeast Ohio, orange construction barrels.)
Public Library, in association with Poets' & Writers' League
of Greater Cleveland and Borders Books, began this fall to present
"Night of the Living First Novelist," with a monthly lineup of illustrious
novelists almost always offer a pretty fresh view on all things,
you know," said Lakewood resident Darlene Montonaro, director of
the Poets '& Writers' League, who helped assemble the roster
She said that
first-time novelists write with less consideration for marketability
and more out of passion. Furthermore, she said, while seasoned authors
have (hopefully) put their years of struggle and deprivation behind
them, a first-timer can best offer advice to other aspiring storytellers
on how to land an agent, get that big break or hang in through the
as part of the "Night of the Living First Novelist" series, Vanessa
Brantly, coming in from Atlanta, will appear at the main library
auditorium at 7 p.m. to discuss and read from her debut "One Lucky
Woman." It's an ironically titled novel set in Atlanta's upscale
black community, featuring a reckless heroine whose mounting gambling
debts embroil her with gangsters, pro athletes, tycoons and other
traditional author-agent submission routes to self-publish "One
Lucky Woman," on her own Wroxfair imprint. Readers who follow the
book biz might remember that before "Da Vinci Code" mania, the bestseller
that also spawned seminars and commentary, "The Celestine Prophecy,"
was also originally self-published.
a pretty controversial topic," said Montonaro, on the topic of self-publishing,
and in what is becoming a standard addition to the series, guest
Brantly will encore the next day at the PWLGC Literary Center (12200
Fairhill Road in Cleveland), with a workshop/seminar on the current
self-publishing and publish-on-demand industry that helped bring
"One Lucky Woman" out in June this summer.
There is a
charge for the workshop; phone the Literary Center at 216-421-0403
or log onto www.pwlgc.com
for more information.
the kickoff talk in the Night of the Living First Novelist series,
with Robert Buckeye, author of "The Munch Case," brought a healthy
crowd to the library in September. The series continues with Grant
Bailie, author of "Cloud 8," who speaks on Dec. 7. Michael Hogan
discusses "Man Out of Time" on Jan. 11, and Thrity Umrigar talks
about her "Bombay Dreams" on Feb. 8. All locals.
novelists who are all coming up in the second half of the series
have all been honored by us for contributing to the Cleveland literary
that in Michael Hogan's case, the manuscript languished on a shelf
for 10 years before finally arriving in print.
has a great story...It's a hard profession."
There is no
first-novelist discussion set at the Lakewood Public Library for
November, but there is an epic literary event as a library benefit.
British writer Lynne Truss has enjoyed a surprise bestseller on
both sides of the Atlantic with "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: A Zero
Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" -- no novel, but a mirror held
along a roadside that's found improper sentence construction and
misleading punctuation to be as pernicious as potholes.
appear in person at a signing and presentation at the Beck Center
on Nov. 19. Unlike the Night of the Living First Novelists, there
is an admissions charge for Lynne Truss to raise funds for the library
and its programs. Tickets are $35 per person; phone 216-226-8275.
Rockin' at Mahall's:
This Friday marks the return of Rock-a-Bowl to Lakewood, and what
would Rock-a-Bowl be without the Tabloid Twangers?
2002, North Ridgeville's Tom Mahall came up with the idea for a
nifty makeover for the longtime family business, Mahall's 20 Lanes
bowling alley on Madison Avenue. He set aside part of the place
and remade it into a part-time music club.
And thus was
born Rock-A-Bowl. On most every Friday and some special occasions,
the place hosts some of the funkiest local bands, especially the
ones who don't mind competing with the clatter of strikes, spares
and gutter balls. Rockabilly, in particular, seems to thrive in
the kegling environment. One of the most frequent headliners of
Mahall's are the Tabloid Twangers.
Twangers are a high-energy quartet blending members of Hayshaker
Jones and The Red Star Rangers, two of Cleveland's best-known bands
in the realms of rockabilly, honkytonk and western swing.
Smitticus, Biv and Mattie Blue take their name from a routine of
shouting out tidbits from supermarket tabloids during their sets,
and they play both originals and covers -- the likes of The Derailers,
Webb Pierce, Faron Young and Hank Williams. It's been a pretty lively
year for the Twangers (including an expedition to Nashville) and
recently the guys added an honorary fifth member, Big Don, to do
There is usually
a $10 cover charge to get into Mahall's on Rock-a-Bowl night, but
in honor of Sweetest Day it's been adjusted to $15 per couple. The
sum not only pays for your listening pleasure but also gets you
(and perhaps your sweetheart) a rental on bowling shoes and time
at the lanes or at the billiards table.
Lanes is located at 13200 Madison Ave., and the phone number is
216-531-3280. You can also check out Rock-a-Bowl online at www.rockabowl.com.
The Twangers, meanwhile, have a site at www.tabloidtwangers.com.
FILLED: In a rescheduling from September, Dr. Hook is finally
making a house call on Saturday to the Winchester Tavern in Lakewood.
Ray Sawyer, a former folk musician from New Jersey, fronts the durable
band, which originally went by the name Dr. Hook and the Medicine
Show when it formed in 1968. Long before the recent "Stacey's Mom
has Got It Going On," Dr. Hook had a hit with "Sylvia's Mother," and
scored a legendary publicity coup with a standard rock wish-fulfillment
song "The Cover of the Rolling Stone." Shortly after releasing that,
Sawyer and the band did indeed make the cover of Rolling Stone, just
as they had predicted. The Dr. Hook sound is an often-ribald mix of
country-flavored rock and humor, the latter a legacy from the late
poet-humorist (and Pat Dailey buddy) Shel Silverstein, whose songs
they often performed.
the show is $25, and curtain time is 8:30 p.m.
is honoring tickets sold for the September playdate, but owner Jim
Mileti asks that you phone in advance to verify at 216-226-5681.
The Winchester Tavern and Concert Club is located at 12111 Madison
Ave. in Lakewood.