Philly Liar’s Club Tells Truth at Between Books

by Don Lafferty on July 28, 2009

Between Books, Claymont, DE

In the final sequel of The 40 Year Old Virgin, the one where grandfather, Andy Stitzer meets St. Peter at the pearly gates, it’ll be the doorway into Greg Schauer’s Between Books that greets the eternal fan boy.

This bookstore has, over its thirty years in business, become a regional Mecca for sci-fi, horror, fantasy, mystery and crime readers, as well as comic book, action figure, and gaming enthusiasts.

Fanboy's dreamspot; Between Books, Claymont, DE

Jonathan Maberry with his book, PATINT ZERO, and PATIENT ZERO, the premium collectable figure from Sideshow Collectables

Patient Zero author Jonathan Maberry is an old friend of Between Books. “I love this fricken place.” commented Maberry, “Greg always does a great job supporting local writers and always has a nice turnout of knowledgeable readers, writers and other publishing industry types.”

The Liar’s Club panel took questions from the packed house and after a little more than an hour, they broke to play some games, give away some prizes and push the usual health snacks of Fortune Cookies, Rice Krispy Treats, Oreos and Nutter Butters. Made, of course, with 100% organic ingredients, 100% fat free, fat burning, and buzz-worthy.

The Philly Liar's Club tells Truth about Independent Bookstores

Between Books

There was concerned discussion about the future of Kindle competition in a world where Amazon can summarily delete any title they want to. A bunch of people didn’t know the details of the situations, so here’s a link to Glenn Fleishman’s explanation of the affair: Double Plus Ungoods: Amazon Unpublishes Orwell

Between Books

Keith Strunk, Gregory Frost, Merry Jones and Kelly Simmons

Gregory Frost talks about the first days of the Philly Liar’s Club. “Jonathan and I were sharing best marketing practices at lunch one day a couple years ago. He was good at some things I wanted to do better and he liked some of the stuff that was working for me. We talked about doing something more structured to so we could use our individual strengths to create something even better.”

Keith Strunk, Gregory Frost, Merry Jones, Marie Lamba and Dennis Tafoya

Frost continued, “It wasn’t until a couple of days later that we both started thinking it would be even better if we had a bunch of local authors. Pretty soon we had eight more names on the list. Maberry jumped in to add, “We wanted to form a group of positive thinking, self-marketing, like-minded, creative people, and like Greg said, we wanted a team whose individual strengths would help us to be more effective partner for our local booksellers. In the tradition of the Liars we are, we capped our number at 13. An even dozen.”

Philly Liars take questions from the packed house.

Maberry also talked about the great things he’s seeing being published by small press. “I love what’s coming out of micropublishing.” he said. “I’m glad to see some of them finally getting the recognition they deserve.

As usual, somebody asked the question about publisher support which prompted Merry Jones to speak about her early, long-gone, days as an author, when limos picked her up at the airport or the train station to whisk her off to the latest morning talk show. She should’ve know better than to give that opening to her ‘friends’, who reminded her that a lot of things were different back in the 20’s.

Gregory Frost, Merry Jones, Kelly Simmons, Marie Lamba and Dennis Tafoya

Dennis Tafoya talked about the promotional value of offering the free crime writing workshop he’s been doing at booksellers up and down the east coast. “Readers and writers come out to get a behind-the-scenes look at my personal process, which is always interesting to people who are into it, but I usually learn just as much as the people who come out.” said Tafoya.

Tafoya was recognized by the International Thriller Writers recently at their debut author’s breakfast, and appeared at Book Expo of America with the Mystery Writers of America. Dennis was a featured reader at the June meeting of the Philadelphia Crime Fiction Brunch, sponsored by Larry Robin’s Moonstone Arts Center and was interviewed by Jemila Ericson on NPR affiliate WHQR’s Mid-Day Cafe. Here’s a link to a video I took of Tafoya’s reading at Bridget Foy’s. : Dennis Tafoya reads from DOPE THIEF.

Keith Strunk, Gregory Frost, Merry Jones and Kelly Simmons

Greg Frost appears to see right through Keith Strunk’s histrionics, while Merry Jones seems to be falling for it. Kelly Simmons and Marie Lamba are both accustomed to Strunk’s flim-flam.

Between Books

Sweeny’s Bakery of Wilmington provided a sweet Liar’s Club cake, and so all kinds of ‘eat me’ comments ensued, while everybody took a couple of hours to get to know each other better and explore the shop. That was enough to get people out of their seats.

Liar's Club Cake courtesy of Sweeny's Bakery, Wilmington, DE Mad snacks

Between Books

Between Books

Jonathan Maberry chats with readers

Shannon laughing at Ryan

Between Books, a banging spot to hang

Jonathan Maberry and Greg Schauer

Jonathan Maberry with bookshop owner, Greg Schauer. Greg started the shop 30 years ago with a vision of a place he would love to hang out. Maberry had a copy of his newest non-fiction offering THEY BITE: Endless Cravings of Supernatural Predators (Citadel Press) with David F. Kramer, and hinted about some of the stuff readers of Marvel’s Punisher and Black Panther comics can expect in upcoming installments.

Between Books, Claymont, DE Between Books, Claymont, DE

Between Books, Claymont, DE Between Books, Claymont, DE

Keith Strunk

Gregory Frost

Greg Schauer and Gregory Frost

Greg Schauer with Gregory Frost. Frost, a visiting instructor in Swarthmore College’s Department of English Literature, offered this advice to aspiring authors: “Give up one reality TV show or Sitcom a day and write something. Anything. Give yourself that gift, and in a year you’ll have some kind of a manuscript to work with, besides the fact that you’ll be smarter simply by virtue of cutting out the TV.”

Greg’s been on the road this summer, teaching workshops at the Fantastic Fiction Salon series in Seattle, Washington, WisCon in Madison, Wisconsin, the Alpha SF Workshop for Young Writers of The Fantastic at the University of Pittsburgh, and The Philadelphia Writer’s Conference here at home. Click here to keep up with Greg’s schedule of appearances.

Greg Schauer

Schauer Power. Just look around this place; every square inch is packed with cool stuff.

Author of WHAT I MEANT, Marie Lamba Author of SHADOWBRIDGE and LORD TOPHET, Gregory Frost

Marie Lamba Gregory Frost

Keith Strunk enlists the help of an innocent child to draw a game piece in the TRUTH OR LIE game

Merry Jones Strunk enlists the help of an innocent

Keith Strunk gives away a copy of Dennis Tafoya's DOPE THIEF

Master of Ceremonies, Keith Strunk, pawns off copies of Dennis Tafoya’s DOPE THIEF and Jonathan Maberry’s PATIENT ZERO to a couple of lucky prizewinners.

Keith Strunk gives away a copy of Jonathan Maberry's PATIENT ZERO

The Philly Liar's Club

The Philly Liar’s Club with the staff of one of our favorite Indie booksellers, Between Books.

Between Books

Thanks to Greg, Danielle, and the rest of the amazing staff of Between Books, and to Sweeny’s Bakery, 2068 Naamans Rd, Wilmington DE; Phone: 302 475 5884

PATIENT ZERO Premium Format Figure courtesy of Sideshow Collectables.

www.liarsclubphilly.com

Don Lafferty

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