VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?
MOFFETT: I read at City Lights with the two other authors of the Silent History (Eli Horowitz and Matthew Derby). We arrived about 30 minutes early and there was one person there, a man sitting in a rocking chair reading from a book of poetry. I am always the last of my friends to recognize famous people but even I knew immediately who it was: Tom Waits. I thought, Well of course Tom Waits is at our reading, what else would Tom Waits be doing? As people started accumulating, the manager of the store started making martinis in plastic cups, then announced that the reading would be starting in 15 minutes. Tom Waits stood up, replaced his book on the shelf, and gracefully ducked out. Of all the readings I’ve given where people have walked out–including the couple in Philadelphia who stood up in the middle of my story and as they were leaving said, “It’s not you. We just remembered we have tickets for the opera”–this was the best.
Kevin Moffett is the author of two story collections and a collaborative novel, the Silent History, which was first released as an app for mobile devices and is currently in development at AMC. He is a frequent contributor to McSweeney’s and his stories and essays have appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Believer, The Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. He has received the National Magazine Award, the Nelson Algren Award, the Pushcart Prize and a literature fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts. He teaches at Claremont McKenna College and in the low-residency MFA at the University of Tampa.
Come see Kevin read at Book Show in Los Angeles on Friday, February 19 at 7:30pm.