VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a literary gathering?
WALLEN: Hosting a DimeStories anniversary in a church hall, I had to deal with one James Lee, a human trafficker, who guzzled multiple large red plastic cups of wine, then on stage stomped his heavy steel-toed Korean army boots while ranting about killing the dirty children of our overpopulated planet while waving his manifesto, then was drug down the aisle of the church to the curb where the police arrested him. We got a restraining order to keep him from attending any more of our events, but a year later I watched on the news when he strapped a bomb to his chest, carried a gun and other ammunition into the Washington DC Discovery Channel building, kidnapped the TV show’s staff, then was shot and killed by the SWAT team. You can read his manifesto online.
Amy Wallen is associate director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute and teaches creative writing at the University of California, San Diego Extension. Her first novel was a Los Angeles Times bestseller which she read from at a Vermin on the Mount event in LA’s Chinatown in 2007. She loves cemetery walks and will do almost anything for a bag of peanut M&Ms. Not plain.
Come see Amy read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm.