FISH KICKER, the novel, was officially published on March 7, and on March 9 I had a launch party to celebrate the occasion. It was held in Mid Manhattan and was hosted by the National Writers Union. We had beautiful weather. The sun was out, the air was nearly spring like and there was not a cloud in the sky.
There was cheese and crackers, and more than enough wine for everyone. I made a companata, a kind of pickled eggplant relish dish, one of my favorite appetizers, to complement the cheese. Everyone milled around meeting old friends, making new friends and there was room enough for even the few stragglers who showed up at the last minute.
Several people who used to live within blocks of each other were reunited after many years of separation. And what was so interesting was that I was able to blend my old neighborhood with my new neighborhood, with friends coming from many locations in New York.
There were lots of smiles.
There was a couple moments of quiet contemplation.
And there was some serious conversations between the younger guests, and one kid, a major gamer, who put the Ipad away when I read from FISH KICKER.
All right gang, the reading is about to start.
Tim Sheard, representing the National Writers Union, gave a short explanation of the Union and its importance to writers and then he introduced me.
Fortified with a swallow of white wine, I read from the first nine pages of the novel.
“Sharon sat in a small patch of sunshine outside Willie’s weigh station, resting her back against a scrubby pine tree, her face raised to the warm light. The heat from the afternoon sun dulled her mind like a drug. The end of summer was unseasonably warm this year on the Kenai Peninsula. The Alaskan fireweed had already finished an early bloom, which meant the first snowfall could come any time now. Sharon wondered where she’d go when it turned cold.”
“A pick-up truck loaded with a fresh catch of salmon rambled up the road and backed into the weigh station. Open net fishing season, a short run of excess salmon during spawning season, put into play a frenzy of underemployed men and women scrambling for the mother lode of sockeye and reds heading up stream and into the interior. Willie owned a stretch of land on a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet and in the summer he turned an old shed on his property into a weighing station and became a middleman for the fish canneries.”
Then the launch party was over. There were still a few chunks of cheese left, a couple spoonfuls of companta on the bottom of the bowl, a bit of wine left in one bottle, but it was time to say goodbye. I hope you can come to my next book launch. Drop me a line and I’ll be sure to put you on my mailing list.