I’ll be doing a reading/signing event for my newest novel Heartworm at Lakewood Public Library in Lakewood, Ohio on Thursday, March 24. Festivities begin at 7:00 pm. Copies of Heartworm and my first novel Wivenhoe Park will be available for purchase. I don’t have a set agenda for the talk yet but hopefully I can get a good discussion going about ’80s and ’90s indie music and the climate of the times — how things like learning about new bands, finding out about gigs, and meeting like-minded friends where different in the days before the internet. I’ve had several younger readers tell me that they were amazed that I navigated my way across Europe back in the day without the aid of a mobile phone! Those are the kind of things I try to capture in my books. In the same way that no one will ever be able to write a song like Aztec Camera’s “We Could Send Letters”, younger people will never experience life abroad quite the way my friends and I did. When I studied at University of Essex in Colchester, England in ’85-’86, I had to walk about half a mile to a lobby on campus in order to use the only payphones on campus where you could make international calls.
I’d also like to encourage discussion about what I like to call the last days of the music industry in the mid-late ’90s. Sure, labels still exist but IMHO, for better or worse, the Britpop scene in the UK and the grunge movement in the U.S. were the last big movements where labels had ridiculous amounts of money to throw at bands and there was a plethora of magazines and fanzines to write about it all. Despite the ‘freedom’ of the internet, I feel like there are less musical publications than ever in these increasingly conservative musical times, most of them, even supposedly ‘under the radar’ magazines covering the same dozen major label/large indie buzz artists.