Friday, June 11, 2010

We're not talking an oil spill here, this problem should be fixed.

REED FARREL COLEMAN at Suspense Night 2010 in St. Louis,Mo. Thats a terrific T-Shirt you're wearing by the way. An Effingham Mustangs T-shirt..yes that's my team !

My problem is somewhat like the chicken & the egg dilema. Which comes first. Ok,so here goes..I have all these wonderful authors that I love to read and want to share with others. Simple enough, I talk about them on here at "Signs & Wonders" and I verbally tell anyone who is willing to listen to go buy their books. The problem lies within. They can never find their books in book stores to buy. can you read someone you can't find? Oh, you can find John Grisham, Stephen King, Stuart Woods, Mary Higgins Clark,Dan Brown, etc... on the shelves and at every used book store & booksale. You can find lots & lots of their books. But, lets be crazy and say we want to read any of the following authors.... ( Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Craig McDonald, Daniel Woodrell, Duane Swierczynski, Ace Atkins, William Gay, Megan Abbott, Tom Schreck, Victor Gischler, Anthony Neil Smith, Sean Chercover, Katie Estill, Sean Doolittle, Derek Nikitas, Michael Lister, Ray Banks, Scott Phillips, Robert Randisi, Gabriel Cohen, Jack Kerley, Sara Gran, James Sallis, James Crumley, John Shannon, Tom Piccirilli, Bob Truluck...) Just try and find their books. I could go on & on but just take the above list and head out to your local midwestern mega-bookstore ( Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million ) and see how many of these authors you find on the shelves. I attend some of the biggest used booksales in the St. Louis area & will be lucky if I find 4 or 5 books from this list of authors. I understand how it works, if they dont move quickly, then they don't stock them. On the other hand, how can you develop a following when they aren't available to the average book buyer. I pick up just about every copy I run across at book sales to share with others who can't find them. Some might guess that the above authors must be not well known or critically acclaimed or they would be readily available. You would guess wrong! Daniel Woodrell & William Gay for example are considered two of the finest living writers today, among their peers. Bruen, Coleman, Abbott, McDonald, are all up for either Macavity or Anthony Awards as we speak. Yes, you can find their work if you know where to look. If you have a computer you can go to websites for wonderful bookstores such as "Murder by the Book", "Big Sleep Books", "Square Books" or "Poisoned Pen" to find most of the above mentioned authors. However, that doesn't solve my problem of not being able to actually send a friend to a local bookstore to find great writers that aren't mainstream cookie cutter bestsellers. I mean no offense to those who are, it's just that the others deserve to have a chance to be read as well. We need a bookstore in the St. Louis area that caters to the overlooked & unknown wonders that are just waiting to be discovered and become your next favorite author you can't imagine living without. Allright I admit it, that's my dream, to someday open a bookstore that caters to wonderful writers you might never have heard of. I truly believe if I can get you to buy that 1st book, you'll back again & again. A guys gotta have dreams right.