That Dreaded Reality of Public Readings: Or, How to Put Together a Night of Readings of Local Authors by Ron Kearse – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ron Kearse will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

That Dreaded Reality of Public Readings: Or, How to Put Together a Night of Readings of Local Authors

Many authors are introverts and don’t like being the center of attention. Meanwhile there are others like me who have hambones as wide as the sky. One of the realities of being a writer/author is that, at some point, you will be encouraged to appear in front of an audience to read a passage or two from your story. In spite of being the show off that I am, when I began to understand that concept, it sent a bit of a chill through me.

Over the years, I have acted in plays, and I’ve been a co-host for both radio and television community broadcasting programs. I was used to being in front of an audience, and apart from the usual stage-jitters I was fine being there.

So, just as the release of my first novel was immanent, I was told that I should seriously consider a launch party where I would have to read a passage from the novel for up to forty-five minutes. This was different from my past experiences, as I would be telling a story, much of which was based on happenings from my past, and it made me feel vulnerable. Talk about feeling like I was going to be naked in front of an audience!

In spite of that, I made arrangements with a local independent book store to help me host a launch party for my novel. They provided the refreshments and set up provisions for book sales, and I provided the audience. Everything was tremendous! I had a good turn-out, and chose a part of the novel that I had always found amusing and the audience appreciated it too.

There have been several things that I’ve learned as I’ve been putting together reading nights since that time. The first is, it’s easier than I originally thought, because there is always help available to you, you just need to ask. The second is that it’s always more fun when you can assemble up to a half-dozen authors for a night of short readings. Your audience appreciates it as well.

It’s always good to try to have authors of different genres, (poetry, short stories, novels, I’ve even had a musician appear a couple of times). And it helps if you can give the evening a catchy name. One of the participating authors suggested that we should call the evening Authors Unbound. So that became the name for the series.

Your local library is always an ideal place to assist arranging a reading night. There may be a nominal security fee, but they will gladly help you put an event like this together. In many cases, that would include having your event posted in their newsletters and e-notices, as well as assuming responsibility for setting up the space, providing the microphones, etc., and clearing the space afterward.

Many independent book stores are fantastic when it comes to playing host to reading nights, it always means possible business. Most times, they will happily arrange for all book sales be done through their till. That makes sales easier to deal with for everybody. It’s standard practice for the book stores to ask the authors to provide an invoice for: the names, titles, suggested prices and the number of the individual books being consigned to them.

It’s always good to have some refreshments on-hand as well, even the basic chilled, bottled water. People will appreciate it. Some libraries may be hesitant about having food and liquids on premises, but others will make provisions for refreshments, as will independent book stores. Check information like that beforehand.

Oh, and of course, have a display table of the participating authors’ works–usually at the back, or to the side of the room for book sales, and an available float as well–in the case of a library where cash registers are not usually available.

You’ll want to advertise your event as well: posters and flyers on community billboards, small notes in the Community Section of your local community newspaper, and libraries and book stores will post your event on their websites. Of course, don’t forget word-of-mouth notice, I’ve found that it’s more powerful than we give it credit for.

One would think that during the Covid 19 crisis, book readings would be non-existent, and I’m sure in a lot of cases this is true. However, I’ve done a quick-scan of the Eventbrite website for Vancouver and area, and found there are many book readings still happening in spite of Covid. It appears that you have to reserve a seat ahead of time, and you have to come prepared to social distance and wear a mask, but they are still happening! The best advice I can give you is for you to check with your local library and independent book stores to see if they are still hosting book readings at this time.

All of this is to tell you that if there are no book readings happening in your area, you can make them happen. And once you’ve put together a couple of reading nights, it becomes a really easy thing to do. Just remember, there is always lots of assistance available to you to arrange these events. Just ask.

Just Outside of Hope, the sequel to Road Without End, moves through the early years of the 1980s. It takes us from the Canadian Prairies to the pubs, bath houses and nude beaches of Vancouver, British Columbia.

It is now September 1980 and ex-Lieutenant Jim Whitelaw is dealing with the guilt he feels from the fall out of a military tribunal, and lingering family issues which make things worse. But just as he feels he’s getting his life together, cracks appear once more and he has to make some serious decisions.

Meanwhile, in a matter of a moment, Jim’s friend and sometimes lover Bert Gilhuis, finds himself trapped in a serious situation that eventually sees him set off on new adventures in Vancouver.

These are two more stories in the continuing series of the lives of gay men who lived through the most exhilarating and terrifying of times.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Bert stares silently down at the table. This moment of silence seems like forever.

“I’m going to miss the hell out of you, Jim. It’s too bad you’re leaving. We could have had something really good together.”

Then he takes a deep breath. “What does it matter though? I’m probably going off to jail for the next little while, and even if you stayed here, I probably wouldn’t be seeing much of you for God-knows-how-long anyway.”

We’re silent again.

“I think it’s good that you’re going back to help your family in their time of need,” he says. “I really hope your father will be okay, somehow, and I really hope that someday you can come back to Calgary.”

I smile at him and nod.

One of the guards knocks then opens the door. “Five minutes to count Gilhuis!” Then he shuts the door and goes back behind the counter.

“Count?” I ask, “What’s that?”

Bert looks at me sadly. “That means I have to go. They stick us back in our cells just to make sure we’re all still here,” he says with a sigh. “They do this to us about three or four times a day.”

We’re momentarily silent again.

“Bert, I won’t forget you.”

“Jim, I sure as hell will never forget you. Promise that you’ll write to me?”

I smile sadly and tell him I will. I slowly get up from the table. I look into Bert’s eyes wanting to say something, anything that won’t sound trite or superficial. But what do I say at a moment like this? I want to kiss him, to hug him, but I don’t dare, not in here.

It’s as Bert is reading my thoughts. “You don’t have to say anything, Jim. Just go. You have a life to live.”

I bow my head and leave the room. I open the door I look back to Bert. He has a sad but stoic look in his eyes.

“Goodbye, Jim.”

My voice cracks as I say, “Goodbye, Bert.”

I turn and walk through the door.

I feel overwhelming sadness. It’s strange where time brings everybody. I think of my life and twists and turns it’s taken over this past year and a half. I think of Bert, my father, Glenn, Bryn and Marcel, the military and the tribunal. I think of Cliff who has made a special trip out from Manitoba and is at my place packing some boxes for me. I think of how every change in my life seems to be more dramatic and comes at me more quickly. Somehow though, I seem to muddle through those changes and manage to carry on. I don’t know what these next years are going to bring, but I can tell you this much, I’ll conquer every single one of them. This I promise myself.

About the Author: Ron Kearse lists travelling, photography, art, reading and history as his main sources of inspiration.

An artist, broadcaster, actor and writer, Ron has a colourful and varied work resumé.

Having lived a nomadic life, Ron has finally settled in Victoria, BC where he lives with his partner James Howard.

Just Outside of Hope is the second installment in the Road Without End Trilogy, he has also published a photo book of Vancouver Street Art in the mid-1980s called Lost History.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon CA, Indigo, or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It relaxes the penile arteries and increases the blood flow to the penis which makes is possible for a man when the cheapest cialis he feels ashamed in front of his partner. His current wife Crystal Harris is news cialis sale 25. viagra without prescription Hence, one of the consequences of pollution is low sperm count. It is also useful in the treatment of premature ejaculation. viagra no prescription view for more


  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. James Robert says

    Thanks for sharing your great  book and for the giveaway too.

  3. Victoria Alexander says

    I’ve enjoyed following the tour for Just Outside of Hope and can’t wait to check it out. Thanks for sharing all of the great posts along the way 🙂

  4. Great excerpt, thank you.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.