About eight weeks ago, I was hitting up my favorite bookstore (Main Point Books in Wayne!), chatting up the proprietor, Cathy, when she asked me if I was meeting with the Liars on Sunday. Naturally, I questioned whether she had me under surveillance.
But it turns out, no, she was talking about the writers group that invades her bookstore on the third Sunday of every month. They call themselves the Liar’s Club, and I hope that, having attended three of their meetings, and having shown up with a portable martini bar this past Sunday, that they will count me among their number. Or, at least, consider me a mascot. Or something.
To be brief, these guys are pros. Between ten and twelve members show up every week, most are published novelists, and the ones that aren’t are swinging for the fences with ferocity (much like myself). I’ve met up with various writing groups in the past, mostly playwrights, and I rarely meet up with them a second time, because it always devolves into a bellyaching duel of who’s been futzed by which theater worse. Also, more than once, I’ve turned out to be the most successful person in the room, which is very very sad.
During the two hours we chewed the fat, I learned about a writers’ conference that one of them is helping to run, a book that one of them is launching next month, a tricky-to-meet agent that one of them met (Donald Maas, who I’ve actually heard of, but only because his agency was one of many who rejected my manuscript), and a gentlemen speaking of his campaign to get his new book picked up by submitting to fifty agents and publishers. Fwew! That’s a lot. A real, honking lot.
Sure, I question a bunch of writers meeting in a bookstore. Seems a little like an AA meeting in a speakeasy. Lucky we got anything done at all, what with all the glancing at the bookcases the whole damn time. But if you’re a writer who wants to get serious, and you’re in the neighborhood of Wayne, PA at noon on Sunday, August 20, you’d be doing yourself a major disservice by not stopping in. Chances are, I won’t have my martini kit again, but I’m sure we can work something out.