In many cities, like Washington, DC, “Noir at the Bar” has swiftly become an institution. The elements are predictable, atmospheric:
- Crime, mystery and thriller writers take over the back room of a bar, preferably a seedy one in an iffy neighborhood.
- Someone arranges for a scratchy sound system.
- Recognized and not-yet-recognized writers read short-ish passages of their stuff.
- You can buy their books by. Or not. No pressure.
They’re a hoot. For aging suburbanites like me, it’s a dip into the writing community. A chance to discover some writers I want to read, and a few I don’t.
But, in the time of coronavirus, Noir at the Bar is one more entry on the ever-lengthening list of verboten activities, right?
Not so fast. The irrepressible E.A. (“Ed”) Aymar has organized DC’s “Virtual Noir at the Bar.” The first one — on April 10 — was a hoot. There were headliners reading (led by DC’s own Condor man, James Grady). Ed introduced us to things that can be done while wearing a horse head. (You’ll have to read his book; this is a family website.) Sara Jones, a smooth jazz singer, provided bluesy breaks from the torrent of words. The tech didn’t break down. A couple of hundred people streamed in!
So it’s happening again this Friday, the 24th. I’ll be reading from The Lincoln Deception, my novel, though I’m not sure which part. If you want your crime fiction with a sci fi spin, Nik Korpon will be there. Gothic, spooky stuff — try Tara Laskowski. Detectives start your engine? Austin Camacho‘s too. And four more writers.
The event also aims to help DC’s indie bookstores in this strange time. For the first one, One More Page Books of Arlington sold books; this Friday, it’ll be Kramerbooks. So you can help out folks who deserve some help. Like, all of us.
It’ll happen live on Friday night, 8:00 p.m. sharp. Well, pretty sharp. Check it out. You’ll have fun. And, hey, what else do you have to do?