Look Who’s Coming to Vermin SD: Heather Fowler

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

FOWLER: Filming for the short film adaptation/trailer shoot for Beautiful Ape Girl Baby had paused due to torrential downpour and the cast and crew came together in a single room. As the book author, I was invited to watch the entire process. While we waited, the actors practiced their lines in the round. It was great to be seated there, watching my characters come to life and listening to director Lauren Rachel Berman advise on the scene. The best moment for me, because it was so privately amusing, was when the actors made slight adjustments to a line here or there and Lauren said, “Try that again. In the book and adapted script, it reads…” 

I’m a constant reviser–to the extent that sometimes, if reading unpublished work, I’ll even revise right as I read, so it was really fun to have the script kept so sacrosanct even when I myself was amenable to more fluid adjustments. Being an author often open to other people’s creative adjustments but having my exact terms kept precise–definitely memorable. I had to remind myself that the novel had yet to drop (but the edits were done), so Lauren was right. Now I’m writing plays and screenplays, so such things may not happen again in this way any time soon–a play/movie in development can be changed at every turn. 

I welcome the organized chaos to come. Here’s the trailer. These actors are great!

Heather Fowler is a novelist, a poet, a fiction writer, a librettist, and a playwright. She is the author of the novel Beautiful Ape Girl Baby (2016) and the story collections Suspended Heart (2010), People with Holes (2012), This Time, While We’re Awake (2013), and Elegantly Naked In My Sexy Mental Illness (2014). She is also co-author of a collaborative book of poems called Bare Bulbs Swinging with Meg Tuite and Michelle Reale. Her work has appeared in such venues as PANK, Night Train, storyglossia, Necessary Fiction, Feminist Studies, and more.

Come see Heather read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, January 21 at 7pm. 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin SD: David Eric Tomlinson

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

TOMLINSON: This is a reading in Dallas, early September, so it’s hot. The locals, myself included, are all in shorts, t-shirts, open-toed sandals. One of the performers is from Ohio and he comes in wearing cowboy get-up – boots, Wranglers, long-sleeve denim shirt, a black Stetson. His book is very good, as is his delivery. But it’s just too damn hot for all that gear.

David Eric Tomlinson was born and raised in Oklahoma. He studied writing at the University of California, San Diego, and has worked as a copywriter, art director, karate instructor, and stay-at-home dad. David lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and two daughters. His first novel The Midnight Man, about five Oklahomans who overcome deep-seated racial, political, and social differences in the year preceding the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, was published this month by Tyrus Books.

Come see David read at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, January 21 at 7pm. 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin LA & SD: Vi Khi Nao

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

NAO: The reading was at a hair salon in New York. It had been raining intermittently and it had been terribly noisy and stuffy. It was hard to hear the readers. I was in the arms of my lover and I had fallen asleep. When it was my turn to read, I jolted awake, wheeled myself to one of the tall, swirly chairs made for cutting hair and read. I wish I had requested that my hair got either permed or washed during my reading. I see now how limited my imagination was.

Vi Khi Nao is the author of novel, Fish in Exile, and poetry collection, The Old Philosopher. Vi’s work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. She was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize and the 2016 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest.

Come see Vi read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, January 20 at 7:30pm and at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, January 21 at 7pm. 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin LA & SD: Lou Rowan

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

ROWAN: In May 2008 I was booked into a radical London bookstore, to read as part of an artistic celebration of the protests of May 1968.  I began the reading to a small group with a story in which “my brother’s” problems are ascribed, probably not seriously, to his worship of “Bob Dylan.” The first mention of “Bob Dylan” provoked the MC to cut in and reminisce about Dylan’s contributions to his personal growth, and the reading was blown away by heated discussion of the “revolutionary” folk singer.

Lou Rowan’s books include A Mystery’s No Problem, novel, 2016; Love’s, poetry, 2016; The Alphabet of Love Serial, stories, 2015; My Last Days, Superman’s autobiography, 2007;  Sweet Potatoes, stories, 2008.  A native of Southern California, he received most of his formal education in the Atlantic states.  Living in and around New York City, he earned his living as a teacher, and as an institutional investor. The early onslaught of the derivatives “revolution” drove him to Washington State, to a then-stable pension investment firm, and in 2003 he forwent finance to write full-time. The same year marked the advent of Golden Handcuffs Review, which he continues to edit. His informal education began in the Lower East Side of New York City, when the artistic experiments in and around St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery flourished. He is eternally grateful to the English Department at Harvard University for making the formal study of accepted literature repugnant to him.

Come see Lou read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, January 20 at 7:30pm and at 3rdSpace in San Diego on Saturday, January 21 at 7pm. 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin LA: Melissa Yancy

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

YANCY: One of the more interesting things was when an audience member called out Junot Díaz during a Q&A. She all but called him a sucio, implying they had personal history. Actually, a lot of atypical things happen at Junot engagements. The last time I saw him, there were 500 people waiting ahead of me in line–in Los Angeles–and when he told a personal story about the 1980s, the college girls around me realized he was almost 50. They seemed to think he was 25. He continues to have quite an effect on the ladies.

Melissa Yancy‘s short fiction has appeared in One Story, Glimmer Train, Zyzzyva, and many other publications. she is the recipient of a 2016 Literature Fellowship, and her story collection Dog Years won the 2016 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was released in October 2016. She lives in Los Angeles where she works as a fundraiser for healthcare causes.

Come see Melissa read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, January 20 at 7:30pm

VOTM in S.D. 1/21

It’s been six months since the last Vermin in San Diego. That changes on Saturday 1/21. Come celebrate the arts with writers from L.A., San Diego, Seattle and points unknown. Books and merchandise will be available for sale and surprises abound in the world famous Vermin raffle. Everything you need to know is right here.

VOTM in L.A. 1/20

A new year brings new filth and I’m not talking about the new regime being sworn into the White House. Celebrate the arts with writers from L.A., Seattle and points unknown. Books and merchandise will be available for sale and surprises abound in the world famous Vermin raffle. Learn more about the logistics here. Don’t be bitten…

Tickle Me Vermin

Humans have discovered that rats like to be tickled: According to the New York Times “the similarity of rats to humans in the tickling realm is pleasantly bewildering.” News to you, perhaps, but not to the Legion of Vermin.

 

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Susan Straight

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

STRAIGHT: Strangest thing that ever happened to me at a reading was when my first novel came out, my husband and I decided to do a camping book tour with a one year old and three year old, and we arrived in SF with me wearing dirty jeans and a dirtier jean jacket, so the audience at Black Oak in Berkeley thought my elegant, purple-turbaned escort was the novelist and cheered for her. I wanted to pay her to read for me.

Susan Straight has published eight novels and two books for children. Her novel Between Heaven and Here (McSweeneys, 2013) is the final book in the Rio Seco trilogy. Take One Candle Light a Room (Anchor Books) was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, and A Million Nightingales (Anchor Books) was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2006. Highwire Moon was a Finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. “The Golden Gopher,” published in Los Angeles Noir, won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story. Her stories and essays have appeared in The O Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, McSweeneys, The Believer, Salon, Zoetrope, Black Clock, and elsewhere. She has been awarded The Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times, The Lannan Prize for Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. She is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UCRiverside. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family, whose history is featured on susanstraight.com.

Come see Susan read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Tyler Knight

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

KNIGHT: I once flew from LA to NYC just to read a short story in the East Village, then flew back to LA. I was in New York just two hours.

Tyler Knight is an adult film actor who has performed in over 500 films. In 2009 he won the Good For Her: Feminist Porn Award, and has also won several AVN Awards. Rare Bird Books published his memoir, Burn My Shadow, in November 2016.

Come see Tyler read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Mario Piumetti

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

PIUMETTI: Most unusual experience I had at a literary event was going to a J. Ryan Stradal reading during AWP 2016.  I went up after to congratulate him on a great performance.  He smiled and said, “Mario!  I’m so glad you could make it!” I don’t think he and I had met before…

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mario Piumetti admits he writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror simply because he enjoys them. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in English from California Lutheran University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, his work has appeared in Carpe Nocturne, The WiFiles, The Horror Zine, and Arts Collide. He is also a story analyst for the entertainment industry. He draws inspiration from a mixture of science, art, history, and imagination, forming a cocktail he calls the Stuff.

Come see Mario perform at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm

Look Who’s Coming to Vermin: Julia Ingalls

VOTM: What’s the most unusual experience you’ve had at a reading?

INGALLS: A friend’s marriage had unraveled the week before I had planned to stay with him for a writer’s conference in Seattle. He said I should still stay with him; I promised to help him fight his way “out of the grief cave.” It was an unfortunate cave; his spouse had left him for the singer at their wedding, a slight man with a sharp-planed face who we named “rat-fucker.” I also had another friend who I hadn’t seen in years wanting to meet up after the conference’s panels were done. Several Manhattans later, I found myself on an L-shaped couch between my divorcing friend, my long-lost friend, and the trifecta of lust, opportunity, and booze. Being something of a lightweight, I abruptly fell asleep on the couch; but when I awoke, I realized I had become an inadvertent match-maker. Miraculously, I made it to my 9 am panel without waking anybody up.

Julia Ingalls is primarily an essayist. Her work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Guernica, Salon, and The LA Weekly among other publications. She’s into it.

Come see Julia read at Book Show in Highland Park on Friday, November 11 at 7:30pm

Vermin in L.A. 11/11

Join us for a night of irreverent readings with Natashia Deón, Julia Ingalls, Tyler Knight, Mario Piumetti, Susan Straight on Friday Nov 11 7:30pm at Book Show 5503 N. Figueroa St. Highland Park. Proudly sponsored by Razorcake. Poster art by Keith Rosson. Books and miscellaneous merchandise will be available for sale. World-famous Vermin raffle and admission are always FREE!

Save the Date

Vermin returns to celebrate our final event of 2016 with some amazing readers. Details coming soon…

VOTM in Lit Hub

Many thanks to Siel Ju for her excellent profile of Vermin on the Mount in Literary Hub: “The Reading Series That Wants Readers to Feel Like Rock Stars.” It was great to reminisce about the highs and lows of running a reading series for a dozen years. Plus, lots of members of the Legion of Vermin (Jami Attenberg, David Fromm, Amelia Gray, Scott O’Connor and Wendy C. Ortiz) weigh in on their experience with VOTM. Here’s the opening paragraph:

“A dominatrix-cum-memoirist. A PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. An ex-junkie rock star. A bestselling novelist. When you walk into a Vermin on the Mount reading, you never quite know what you’re in for.”