Watchung Booksellers is a standout among local indie bookstores. Always a great selection of all genres. I even profiled them for LitHub’s feature My Favorite Bookstore.
They’ve had everyone from Judy Blume to Carol Burnett, and this Thursday at 7:00PM, they host me, Alex Segura, Hilary Davidson, and Dave White for ELEMENTS OF CRIME. We’ll be discussing our influences, how we write suspense in this increasingly chaotic news cycle, and more.
Watchung Booksellers is located in Watchung Plaza, Montclair, at 54 Fairfield Street. Street parking is available, and it is footsteps away from NJ Transit’s Watchung Station on the Montclair-Boonton Line.
Join me and Alex Segura as New Jersey author Dave White, of the Jackson Donne thrillers, interrogates us about our latest books at Watchung Booksellers this Thursday night April 27th, beginning at 7:00 PM.
Alex is the author of the Pete Fernandez P.I. novels set in Miami, the latest of which, Dangerous Ends, dives into the violent past of Cuba. And I’m the author of Bad Boy Boogie, about Jay Desmarteaux, who is out of prison 25 years after killing a brutal rapist in high school, trying to live a normal life…. but old friends and new enemies won’t let him.
Drinks and snacks will be served, we will read briefly from our books and sign them. There will be copies of Dave and Alex’s series, as well as my adventure novel Blade of Dishonor, and both Protectors anthologies, which have stories by me, Dave, and Alex, if you want the trifecta!
I had my first book signing this weekend, at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair. If you missed the event, they still have signed copies available at the store and online.
The store was packed, standing room only. I was stunned at the crowd. Friends I hadn’t seen in years, cousins and aunts and uncles, friends from Asylum Fight Gym, fellow writers, friends from Twitter, and two surprise guests:
My great-uncles Dominic and Jimmy, to whom I dedicated Blade of Dishonor! I teared up as I told the crowd how they influenced me as a young man, and how their experiences helped shape the story. To give you an idea, we call Uncle Dominic “Butch,” even if he’s as far from the Butch in the novel as can be. The hard-working spirit of the men who lived through the Depression, fought Hitler, and supported their friends and families for decades is what went into the book.
It is an honor to know these men, and it was a greater honor to have them visit me on this very special day. Jimmy’s son told me they started getting together every Friday after Jimmy’s nurse visit. And I’ll be there.
If you buy Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT through Watchung Booksellers mail-order, I will donate a new children’s book (of your choice, if you’d like) that I will purchase from Watchung Booksellers, and drop off at the donation point at The Montclair Times newspaper. So you’ll be helping two causes- the kids of Paterson, and the kids of America, because 100% of the proceeds benefit PROTECT, the National Association to Protect Children. It has several exclusive stories, including my near-novella size “Black Shuck and the Summer of Blind Joe Death,” and stories by Andrew Vachss, James Reasoner, Joe Lansdale, Ken Bruen, George Pelecanos, Johnny Shaw, Patti Abbott, Roxane Gay (who has a story in The Best American Short Stories of 2012), Tony Black, Wayne Dundee, Charlie Stella, Dan O’Shea… and 30 more.
Simply buy the book online or go to the store. Use my Contact Form to email me and send the receipt, and the title of the children’s book you’d like me to buy. I’ll take a photo of it and send you the receipt, and kids in Paterson will have great books to read, you’ll have 41 great stories to read, and PROTECT will have more cash in their coffers to fight child abuse.
The death of the independent bookstore has been greatly exaggerated.
Some are having hard times, and some are closing. But imagine my surprise when I walked into my local, the excellent Watchung Booksellers, and found that they will be closing next week.
Now, that’s the kind of news a writer and a book lover finds joyful. I’ve known the bookmongers and proprietors for nearly twenty years, and they run a great shop with a sprawling children’s section, a meaty mystery department, and they’ve had everyone from Jenny Milchman and Dennis Tafoya to the one and only Lawrence Block signing and speaking there. All in a very efficiently used, and to dip into realtor parlance, charming and cozy space.
It’s a small store. I’ve been in smaller bookshops, but I can’t recall them, and I think they’re all in bookstore heaven now. So I am thrilled to see them taking over space from next door and embiggening themselves.
I stopped in to pick up Sara Gran’s Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, on the urgent recommendation of Matthew Funk, and snagged Night Soldiers by Alan Furst, after hearing about his ambitious series of linked novels set in the run-up to the Second World War. They have impeccable taste- meaning they carry books I love by friends and other authors I admire- and they’ve sold a few copies of the Lost Children Anthology, which is available from them locally and via mail order, if you like supporting indie bookstores.