Events Buzz: Happy Fall!

09242018 - autumn picture

Happy autumn, everyone! Fall is our favorite season here at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester—and we’ve got a lot of cool, autumnal items for you—from new decorated towels to some perfect seasonal books! Come on in and see what new things have fallen into our store!

A big Thank You to all our friends who came out for Sharon Healy-Yang’s book event this Saturday to celebrate her Letter from a Dead Man. We had a wonderful time with all of you!

Have you enjoyed our events or the time you’ve spent in our little store? Consider leaving us a review on TripAdvisor or leaving us a review on Yelp. You can also review us on Facebook!

Want to see what’s happening THIS WEEK?

TONIGHT, September 24, starting at 7:00 PM, come out to The Free People’s Artists Workshop. Chat with like-minded creators, critique each other’s work, and share what you’re making!

THIS WEDNESDAY, September 26, at 7:00 PM, join us for our weekly Board Game Night!

And THIS FRIDAY, September 28, 12:00 – 1:00 PM, bring your kids (or even your inner child) and enjoy some read-aloud fun at our Storytime: Farm Animals. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times during the event.

We know it’s a busy time of year, so we’ve got even more events up on our calendar—and if you’re a newsletter subscriber, you get them delivered right to your inbox. Interested in getting special coupons and being the first to hear about special sales and events?

Sign up for our newsletter here!

Here’s a peek at what else we’ve put on the calendar!

NEXT SATURDAY, October 6, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Josh Funk Pancake Party Reading, Signing, and More! Have some fun listening to Josh read and talk about the adventures of Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast and take part in some fun breakfast-based book activities. (No actual pancakes will be served or harmed during this event.)

Monday, October 8, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Pete the Cat Day.

NEW LISTING: Saturday, October 20, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Christian Poetry with Diane Ashmore.

Saturday, October 20, 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Rainbow Readers Discusses Check Please by Ngozi Ukazu.

NEW LISTING: Sunday, October 21, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – An Afternoon with Author / Publisher R. Salamack.

Friday, October 26, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Storytime: Spooky Tales.

NEW LISTING: Sunday, November 4, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Literary Rehab with Donnie O. Steiger.

NEW LISTING: Saturday, November 10, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Meet Curious George!

NEW LISTING: Saturday, November 10, 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Labors of an Epic Punk Author Event.

Saturday, November 17, ALL DAY – Annual Doctor Who Day!

NEW LISTING: Sunday, November 18, 11:00 – 2:00 PM – Crafty Owls Drop-in Craft.

Saturday, November 24, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM – Small Business Saturday with Local Children’s Authors and Artists.

As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and our website for even more great family and children’s programming we’re putting together for you! Or sign up for our newsletter, and get that information right in your inbox!

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

Game Night, every Wednesday (unless there is an author event) at 7:00 PM. Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

Storytime, last Friday of each month at 11:00 AM. Come in for an hour of read aloud time for children ages 3-8. This September, our theme is Farm Animals! Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Next meeting, THIS FRIDAY, September 28.

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting, TONIGHT, September 24.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is October 18.

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting October 20.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author Spotlight: Josh Funk

09212018 - Mission Defrostable

Annie’s Book Stop is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on children’s book author Josh Funk! Besides being active and running some excellent workshops through the New England chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as picture books – such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, Lost in the Library, How to Code a Sandcastle, Dear Dragon, and more.

Josh will be at our store celebrating the latest Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast release, Mission Defrostable on Saturday, October 6, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. We will have some fun Pancake Party activities, like coloring sheets, word finds, and connect the dots, and Josh will read, talk about his work, and sign books!

Thank you so much for joining us Josh! For thos e not as familiar with you, can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself?

I’m just a dad who read a lot of books to his kids. When they were 3 and 6 years old, I decided to try writing some stories myself. And it was not as easy as I thought. It took years of writing really really REALLY terrible stories before I wrote something worth publishing. But with a little hard work and a LOT of luck, I have now published 9 picture books!

How would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast #3: Mission Defrostable?

I generally write silly and (hopefully) humorous picture books, often in rhyme – and Mission Defrostable is no exception. In this third adventure, our titular characters have to venture into the freezer to stop the fridge from icing over – and they need to recruit their oft-nemesis, Baron von Waffle.

While the first book in the series (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast) was a race and the second (The Case of the Stinky Stench) was a mystery, Mission Defrostable attempts to fill the culinary picture book void with another new genre – action/adventure/thriller. Maybe for a fourth I’ll go for a sci-fi/comedy – who knows?

09212018 - Josh Funk Headshot - Credit Carter Hasegawa

Photo by Carter Hasegawa

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

I’ve always wanted to explore more about Baron von Waffle. Is he completely evil? Is he simply misunderstood? Somewhere in between? You’ll have to check out Mission Defrostable to find out. I also quite enjoyed playing around with Agent Asparagus. She’s a new character who works at the F.B.I. (Fridge Bureau of Investigation).

Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?

Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Keep writing new stories. Every story you write will be better than the last, with every preceding story serving as practice.

Don’t get hung up revising the same manuscript over and over and over again. Inevitably, and probably subconsciously, you’ll end up taking what you learned from that first manuscript and applying it to the next – which will start off in that much better of a starting place.

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

I’ve got a handful of sequels in the works. Another meta-fractured fairy tale in the It’s Not a Fairy Tale series (It’s Not Hansel and Gretel). A sequel to How to Code a Sandcastle next fall (How to Code a Rollercoaster). And possibly more…

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

Bookstores everywhere! Yes! I also volunteer at The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and you can always get signed copies of my books at The Concord Bookshop.

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

For more info about me, visit www.joshfunkbooks.com and follow me on Twitter @joshfunkbooks, Instagram @joshfunkbooks, Facebook at Josh.Funk.Books pretty much everywhere at joshfunkbooks.

Thank you so much for the great interview, Josh! We’re very much looking forward to our Pancake Party celebration with you on Saturday, October 6, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM!

10062018 - Lost in the Library

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Events Buzz: Mid-September

02102018 - Letters Dead Man Wraparound

We wish a restful fast to all of our friends celebrating Yom Kippur this week.

Thank you to everyone who came out to our 65 James Street store this past week and weekend! We had a fun time with YA Sci-Fi author Greg Katsoulis, celebrating his release of Access Restricted, the follow up to All Rights Reserved. We also had a great meeting with the Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts discussing River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey.

Have you enjoyed our events or the time you’ve spent in our little store? Consider leaving us a review on TripAdvisor or leaving us a review on Yelp. You can also review us on Facebook!

And we’ve got a LOT happening this week, too!

THIS WEDNESDAY, September 19, at 7:00 PM, join us for our weekly Board Game Night!

THIS THURSDAY, Thursday, September 20, 7:00 – 8:00, we have our regular Doctor Who Discussion Night.

This month we’re looking at changing seasons and the passage of time! While the Doctor and his Companions can jump around in time, sometimes they do follow it in a straight line. How does the show represent changing seasons and time as it passes when the characters are stationary? How do we perceive seasons and how do they affect the different story lines?

And THIS SATURDAY, September 22, from 1:00-3:00 PM, we’re excited to welcome back Noir Mystery Author Sharon Healy-Yang and Letters from a Dead Man.

Spring 1945: WWII may be crashing to a close but Jessica and Liz Minton’s hopes for the future are short-lived as they become trapped in a world of intrigue and murder. Jessica’s beloved is missing in action in Europe, leaving her to save herself and the ones she loves from a dark past of false identities, stolen jade, and murder. Jessica and Liz have their work cut out for them. A family friend’s lost honor, a frame-up, and a predatory socialite with underworld connections are only a few things they must deal with while avoiding dogged detectives and an FBI agent from Jessica’s past with his own secrets. It’s enough to make Dusty the cat’s fur stand on end!

Sharon Healy-Yang is passionate about mysteries from the golden age, whether in a book or on screen. Her fascination with mysteries and the 1940s drives her pleasure in crafting novels that recapture the wit, adventure, and suspense of the era. Known on the campus where she teaches as the lady with the 1940s hats, she has the great fortune to combine her love of literature and film in courses aimed to enkindle that same excitement in her students. Healy-Yang lives in Massachusetts with her husband two cats and an enormous collection of vintage films.

We’ve got even more happening next week!

Monday, September 24, 7:00 PMThe Free People’s Artists Workshop.

Friday, September 28, 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Storytime: Farm Animals.

We know it’s a busy time of year, so we’ve got even more events up on our calendar—and if you’re a newsletter subscriber, you get them delivered right to your inbox. Interested in getting special coupons and being the first to hear about special sales and events?

Sign up for our newsletter here!

Here’s a peek at what else we’ve put on the calendar!

Saturday, October 6, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Josh Funk Pancake Party Reading, Signing, and More!

Monday, October 8, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Pete the Cat Day.

Saturday, October 13, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Loom Knit. Pre-registration and $5 Materials fee required.

Friday, October 26, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Storytime: Spooky Tales.

Saturday, November, 17, ALL DAY – Annual Doctor Who Day!

Saturday, November 24, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM – Small Business Saturday with Local Children’s Authors and Artists.

As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and our website for even more great family and children’s programming we’re putting together for you! Or sign up for our newsletter, and get that information right in your inbox!

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

Game Night, every Wednesday (unless there is an author event) at 7:00 PM. Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

Storytime, last Friday of each month at 11:00 AM. Come in for an hour of read aloud time for children ages 3-8. This September, our theme is Farm Animals! Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Next meeting September 28.

How To…, one Saturday each month at 11:00 AM. Join us for a quick talk and demo about how to do… something new! September’s topic is How To: Loom Knit with store owner, Patricia Cryan. Pre-registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly. Next meeting October 13.

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting September 24.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is September 20.

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting October 20.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author Spotlight: Grady Hendrix

09142018 - We Sold Our Souls hi-res Cover

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on Grady Hendrix, one of our horror-writing friends! Grady writes horror books and movies… and an entertaining bio on his website www.gradyhendrix.com, so we’re stealing part of it for our introduction:

Grady Hendrix writes fiction, also called “lies,” and he writes non-fiction, which people sometimes accidentally pay him for. He is the author of Horrorstör, the only novel about a haunted Scandinavian furniture store you’ll ever need. NPR selected it as one of the best books of 2014 and it has been translated into 14 languages and is being turned into a television show by Gail Berman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl). They have never met Grady, but that is their loss.

His last novel was My Best Friend’s Exorcism, about demonic possession, friendship, exorcism, and the Eighties, out now from Quirk Books. It’s basically Beaches meets The Exorcist and it caused the Wall Street Journal to call him “a national treasure” and received rave reviews from everyone from Kirkus to Southern Living.

He also wrote Paperbacks from Hell, a history of the horror paperback boom in the Seventies and Eighties that followed the success of Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, and Thomas Tryon’s The Other. It is so popular it won a Stoker Award, and while you may not know what that is, trust me when I say that it is a big, big deal that gets Grady 20% off all purchases at the Franklin Mint.

His next novel is We Sold Our Souls, a heavy metal take on the Faust legend—and ABSW have it in stock on September 18 (assuming Florence doesn’t mess with shipping), along with several other of his titles that we keep selling out of.

Thank you for being part of our Friday Spotlight, Grady! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?

I write horror novels that readers apparently find funny, although to me I always just think I’m writing very, very seriously about the world around me.

 

What kind of research went into writing We Sold our Souls? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

We Sold Our Souls is a heavy metal horror novel, so I had to go deep on metal, a genre that I’ve never been cool enough to appreciate. In the process I learned that a) metalheads are the nicest people, b) Black Sabbath is where everything begins, c) David Lee Roth is my spirit animal, d) death metal isn’t for me, e) Black metal is a hell of a lot of fun, f) but nothing is more fun than 80s hair metal.

09142018 - Grady Hendrix 3

Photo by Albert Mitchell

What was the inspiration for We Sold Our Souls? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

I was originally writing a book about dudes in a metal band who had their souls sold out from under them back in the Nineties but it wasn’t coming together. Then in November, 2016 I went to a horrible election night party and realized that if I wanted to write about people who were despised and hated by the entire world, I had to write about women. As soon as I gender swapped my lead, the book took off like a rocket.

 

What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out We Sold Our Souls? How did you overcome that challenge?

I’m not a musical person, so writing about musicians was tough. I wound up taking guitar lessons while writing the book, however, which solved that problem.

 

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

Myself. Every author is fictional, and we all hate ourselves the most. And love ourselves the most. It’s confusing.

 

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

I write horror because I am a disturbed person who clearly had an unpleasant childhood. I assume everyone is drawn to it because they are also terrible misfits who can’t be seen in polite company.

 

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

My favorite part is the money. It’s a pity there’s so little of it.

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Please quit. That way there’s less competition for me.

 

How important has the New England setting been to your writing?

I live in NYC, so the entire infrastructure of New England that provides me with light, gas, power, and water. That keeps hordes of wild dogs from eating me alive and is of the greatest importance to me.

 

What question do you wish interviewers would ask you, and what would the answer be?

This one!

 

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

Right now I’m deep into my next novel, another horror novel (sorry, I’m a one-trick pony), coming out in Fall 2019.

 

What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?

Hobbies? What are those?

 

What are some of your writing-related hobbies, crafts, addictions?

I once told myself that I could buy any used book I wanted, rather than agonize later over not having bought it. This has resulted in my wife being crushed to death by an avalanche of my used paperbacks. That is called situational irony.

 

What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

I have an office in a very drab building, and I’m located between a driving school and a medical billing processor. It looks like the kind of place where lots of divorced men secretly live under their desks because they can’t afford another apartment and cry themselves to sleep every night. It’s the perfect environment for writing horror.

 

What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?

That I am incredibly handsome. Photos don’t do me justice.

 

09142018 - Grady Hendrix 5

Photo by Albert Mitchell

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

That one time I had to find the Lost Grail. It was insane.

 

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

I love silence, but there’s a driving school right next door to my office so there’s not a lot of that around.

 

Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work.  Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?

They “help” by coating themselves in batter, cooking themselves at high temperatures, and leaping into my mouth.

 

Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?

Gin.

 

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

Not writing is the hardest part of writing. I defeat that challenge by writing. It’s a pretty simple process but one I struggle with daily.

 

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?

Never precede your editor into a dark basement. Especially if the door locks from the outside.

 

Are there any groups, clubs, or organizations that you would recommend to other writers that have helped you in your career?

The Illuminati.

 

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

Everything they ever didn’t want to know is at www.gradyhendrix.com

 

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

All my tweeters, Facebookers, and more are right there on my website.

 

Thank you so much for the great interview, Grady! We are really excited to be able to share We Sold Our Souls with our customers, and look forward to even more from you!

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Events Buzz: Shana Tova!

Shana Tova to our friends and family who are celebrating Rosh Hoshanah this week! May all of you have a sweet and good new year!

For those of you who are stopping into the store this week, check out our new Gothic Novel section—just below our Suspense section—which includes some great vintage titles!

09102018 - Gothic Shelf

We also still have plenty of literature for any last-minute back-to-school reading needs. We can even send books directly to you through our mail order program.

We had an absolutely amazing week last week!  Thank you to everyone who we got to spend time with or meet for the first time. Whether it was our Board Game Night or our Friday evening with SF Author Gene Doucette and his novel The Spaceship Next Door, or ifyou saw us on Saturday either at our booth for Worcester Pride or for our How To: Garden with Integrated Crop Management.

Have you enjoyed our events or the time you’ve spent in our little store? Consider leaving us a review on TripAdvisor or leaving us a review on Yelp. You can also review us on Facebook!

And we’ve got a LOT happening this week, too!

THIS WEDNESDAY, September 12, at 7:00 PM, join us for our weekly Board Game Night!

And THIS FRIDAY, September 14, from 6:00-8:00 PM, we’re happy to host YA SF Author Greg Katsoulis and Access Restricted.

Last year, Gregory Katsoulis introduced a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked. In All Rights Reserved we were riveted to see what happened when one girl—Speth Jime—elected to remain silent, rather than pay to speak, and how her defiant and unexpected silence threatened to unravel the very fabric of society. In Access Restricted, Speth and her friends have freed the city of Vermaine from Silas Rog and his oppressive litigation. But now, with the Wi-Fi untethered, the citizens of her city are looking to Speth to lead them. Just as Speth never intended to lead a rebellion of Silents, she has no idea how to begin putting Vermaine back to rights. All she wants to do is break out of the dome and track down her parents, who were sold into indentured servitude years before. Leaving the care of the city in the hands of her friend and mentor, Kel, Speth and a few friends embark on a journey to explore the rest of their world and spread the cause of freedom.

Gregory Scott Katsoulis is a writer, teacher, artist, and goofball. He is in love with ideas and possibility. When he is not writing, Katsoulis composes incidental music and enjoys taking photographs of faces, debunking bunk, and confounding children by teaching them about black holes, time travel paradoxes, and the hilarious fallibility of human memory. He lives in the lovely and stimulating Cambridge, Massachusetts. You can visit his website at http://www.gregorykatsoulis.com for occasional thought updates.

THIS SATURDAY, September 15, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM, stop into the store as Rainbow Readers Discusses River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey.

In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true.

Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.

This was a terrible plan.

Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.

Copies of the book are available at the store now!

And finally, THIS SUNDAY, September 16, from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, join us for a Drop-in Craft: Foxes!

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester invites you to Crafty Foxes, a drop-in craft and activity day! From 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, on Sunday, September 16, we’ll be offering fox-themed crafts and coloring pages for children of all ages and parents. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times.

And there’s plenty more happening the rest of this month!

Thursday, September 20, 7:00 – 8:00 – Doctor Who Discussion Night.

Saturday, September 22, 1:00 – 3:00 – Noir Mystery Author Sharon Healy-Yang and Letters from a Dead Man.

Friday, September 28, 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Storytime: Farm Animals.

We know it’s a busy time of year, so we’ve got even more events up on our calendar—and if you’re a newsletter subscriber, you got them delivered right to your inbox last week. Interested in getting special coupons and being the first to hear about special sales and events?

Sign up for our newsletter here!

Here’s a peek at what else we’ve put on the calendar!

Saturday, October 6, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Josh Funk Pancake Party Reading, Signing, and More!

Monday, October 8, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Pete the Cat Day.

Saturday, October 13, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Loom Knit. Pre-registration and $5 Materials fee required.

Friday, October 26, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Storytime: Spooky Tales.

Saturday, November, 17, ALL DAY – Annual Doctor Who Day!

Saturday, November 24, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM – Small Business Saturday with Local Children’s Authors and Artists.

As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and our website for even more great family and children’s programming we’re putting together for you! Or sign up for our newsletter, and get that information right in your inbox!

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

Game Night, every Wednesday (unless there is an author event) at 7:00 PM. Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

Storytime, last Friday of each month at 11:00 AM. Come in for an hour of read aloud time for children ages 3-8. This September, our theme is Farm Animals! Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Next meeting September 28.

How To…, one Saturday each month at 11:00 AM. Join us for a quick talk and demo about how to do… something new! September’s topic is How To: Loom Knit with store owner, Patricia Cryan. Pre-registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly. Next meeting October 13.

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting September 24.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is September 20.

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting, THIS SATURDAY, September 15.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

Posted in events, Kids and Teens, Local Authors, Monday, Speculative Fiction, vintage and antiquarian books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Spotlight: Tim Powers

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Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on one of our Baen author friends, Tim Powers!  Tim Powers is the author of fifteen novels, including The Anubis Gates, Last Call and On Stranger Tides, which was the basis of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie. He has twice won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award and three times won the World Fantasy Award. He lives in San Bernardino, California, with his wife, Serena. Tim’s latest release, Alternate Routes, just came out this August—so come and look for it on our shelves!

Thank you so much for joining us, Tim! For our readers and friends who aren’t as familiar with you or your work, can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?

            Ever since I was eleven, when my mother got me a copy of Heinlein’s Red Planet — and then when I was twelve, and I discovered H. P. Lovecraft — I’ve never wanted to do anything professionally but write science fiction and fantasy.  And aside from various part-time jobs, I never have.  These days I read at least as much mystery-and-crime — Dick Francis, Michael Connelly, always Raymond Chandler — as I do science fiction and fantasy, but I can’t think up any plots that aren’t SF/F! 

 

How would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from your work?

I write supernatural adventure stories, and I guess my models in the genre are writers like Theodore Sturgeon (as in More Than Human or The Dreaming Jewels), Fritz Leiber(as in Our Lady of Darkness)  and H. P. Lovecraft (as in The Dunwich Horror or The Shadow Over Innsmouth). I try to make it as clear as possible that the stories are happening in the real world — the same world the reader lives in.

 

What kind of research went into writing Alternate Routes?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

I had to research Greek mythology, and then Greek and Cretan history — and then I had to research recruitment and routines of the Secret Service! I guess one interesting thing I found out was that there has to be a Secret Service agent posted at every rest room along the route of  a Presidential motorcade, in case the President should want to stop for a bathroom break.

 

What was the inspiration for Alternate Routes? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

            Everybody knows that Ariadne gave Theseus a ball of string to unwind as he made his way into the Labyrinth to kill the Minotaur — but the earliest Greek representations of the Labyrinth show it as unicursal, without branchings or forks. So why did he need a string? To figure that out, I had to figure out what the Labyrinth really consisted of, and what sorts of things a string might be.

 

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

I love stories that take me through situations that are imaginable, but not actually possible — I love to see believable characters dealing with ghosts, or time-travel, or faster-than-light space travel — and so I write that sort of thing.  And I’m confident that readers, too, like fiction that takes them sideways right out of mundane reality.

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Read constantly, and in all areas — fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry — and don’t stick to post-1900 stuff. And don’t read the old stuff through your 2018-attiude lenses! Don’t be chrono-chauvinist! Read it on its own terms, as readers of the time would have. And of course write constantly too.

 

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

Right now I’m in the middle of a sequel to Alternate Routes — there’s plenty more implicit weirdness in Los Angeles than I managed to touch on in that book!

09072018 - Tim Powers Photo

What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

            My office is a narrow room that I think some previous owner wanted to make into a bathroom — there are holes in one wall as if for pipes.  And it’s filled by my desk and file cabinets, and the walls and half of the window are completely filled with bookshelves. The room is generally a mess, largely due to cats throwing things around, but I make it an ironclad rule that no research book can ever leave the room — that way I always know that a book I need is within four feet of me, even though it might take some digging to find it.

 

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

Because of being friends with Tom McEvoy, a winner of the World Series of Poker, I was able to do a signing of my book Last Call at a vacated table in the middle of the 1992 WSOP — I got to give a copy of my book to Doyle Brunson! And Johnny Moss, the Grand Old Man of Poker, walked past my table and looked at me and said to somebody, “What the hell does he know about Poker?” — which is like having Einstein look at you and say, “What the hell does he know about physics?” I mean, who’d imagine such people would ever have occasion to ask?

 

Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work.  Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?

We’ve got a lot of cats, and there’s always a kitten or two on my lap or on the desk or on the keyboard. They help by pushing books off the desk and deleting passages of whatever I’m writing that  they evidently think are no good.

 

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

Inevitably there comes a point in the middle of writing a novel — at least for me! — when you are suddenly absolutely convinced that the whole project is worthless in every way, and that you’d have spent your time better if you’d devoted all those months of work to just making sculptures with toothpicks. I have to remind myself that this has occurred in the middle of writing every book, and it has turned out not to be true, and the odds are that it’s not true this time either. 

 

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

            I would like to think wherever books are sold!

 

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

Facebook page, and post in it fairly frequently and check it a lot!

 

Thank you very much for the great interview, Tim! We’re happy to have our hands on your latest book, Alternate Routes, and we look forward to sharing it with our friends and customers!

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Events Buzz: Happy Labor Day!

09052016 - Labor Day clip art

Happy Labor Day! We hope all our friends are having an excellent holiday weekend and staying safe. Do you know what we are celebrating today?

According to the Department of Labor: Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Find out more about Labor Day and its history on the Department of Labor website.

We ARE open TODAY, Labor Day, for our regular fall hours, so feel free to stop in. We always have our hours listed on our website, but here they are for your quick reference:

 

Sunday:                       10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Monday:                      10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Tuesday-Thursday:     10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Friday-Saturday          10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

And we’ve got a LOT happening this week, too!

TODAY, MONDAY, September 3, since we’re open, we’re also still hosting our Spinning Yarns group. Come bring your material craft, relax, chat, and listen to a good audio book or audio drama!

THIS WEDNESDAY, September 5, join us for our weekly Board Game Night!

And THIS FRIDAY, , September 7, 6:00-8:00 PM – SF Author Gene Doucette and The Spaceship Next Door.

Gene Doucette is the best-selling author of the fantasy series Immortal and The Immortal Chronicles, and sci-fi thrillers Fixer and Unfiction. He is also a humorist, award-winning screenwriter and playwright. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife.

 

For fans of classic SF classics like  Villeneuve’s Arrival, H.G. Wells’s War of The Worlds, and Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Doucette’s chilling, off-beat tale begins three years ago, on a cool August night, when a spaceship lands in the sleepy New England town of Sorrow Falls. Since then, it has remained dormant, never opening its doors. After being taken over by the US Army and cordoned off, it remained impenetrable and continued to do… nothing.

Until one day, everything changes. Townspeople, both alive and dead, begin to “sleepwalk” through the streets, hysteria sweeps through the community. Investigating government agent Edgar Somerville finds an unlikely ally in 16-year-old Annie Collins, a precocious local teenager, and the two embark on a thrilling, at times terrifying, quest to uncover the secrets of the alien vessel once and for all.

Saturday, September 8, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Garden with Integrated Crop Management with Breezy Gardens.

This September, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to again team up with Kim Miczak of Breezy Gardens in Leicester to present “How to Garden using Integrated Crop Management” just in time for autumn garden preparations. Growing fruits and vegetables through environmentally sound practices is the very best way to enjoy healthy, delicious foods. Pre-Registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly at 11:00. Pre-register in-store or by calling (508)796-5613.

Saturday, September 8, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – ABSW Table at Worcester Pride Festival.

We’ll be by the children’s area on the Green—and we’re getting in some special titles just for this event! Stop by and say “Hi!”

 

 

Have you enjoyed our events or the time you’ve spent in our little store? Consider leaving us a review on TripAdvisor or leaving us a review on Yelp. You can also review us on Facebook!

And look at the rest of September…

Friday, September 14, 6:00 – 8:00 – YA SF Author Greg Katsoulis and Access Restricted.

Saturday, September 15, 6:00 – 8:00 – Rainbow Readers Discusses River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey.

Thursday, September 20, 7:00 – 8:00 – Doctor Who Discussion Night.

Saturday, September 22, 1:00 – 3:00 – Noir Mystery Author Sharon Healy-Yang and Letters from a Dead Man.

Friday, September 28, 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Storytime: Farm Animals.

We know it’s a busy time of year, so we’ve got even more events up on our calendar—and if you’re a newsletter subscriber, you got them delivered right to your inbox last week. Interested in getting special coupons and being the first to hear about special sales and events?

Sign up for our newsletter here!

Here’s a peek at what else we’ve put on the calendar!

Saturday, October 6, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Josh Funk Pancake Party Reading, Signing, and More!

Monday, October 8, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Pete the Cat Day.

Saturday, October 13, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Loom Knit. Pre-registration and $5 Materials fee required.

Friday, October 26, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Storytime: Spooky Tales.

Saturday, November, 17, ALL DAY – Annual Doctor Who Day!

Saturday, November 24, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM – Small Business Saturday with Local Children’s Authors and Artists.

As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and our website for even more great family and children’s programming we’re putting together for you! Or sign up for our newsletter, and get that information right in your inbox!

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

Game Night, every Wednesday (unless there is an author event) at 7:00 PM. Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

Storytime, last Friday of each month at 11:00 AM. Come in for an hour of read aloud time for children ages 3-8. This September, our theme is Farm Animals! Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Next meeting September 28.

How To…, one Saturday each month at 11:00 AM. Join us for a quick talk and demo about how to do… something new! September’s topic is How To: Garden with Integrated Crop Management with Breezy Gardens. Pre-registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly. Next meeting September 8.

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting September 24.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is September 20.

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting September 15.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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