On December 13, 2021, I received an email from Landis Wade, the founder and host of the Charlotte Readers Podcast. The re message read “Pitching an idea.” Intrigued, I opened Landis’s email. “I have a proposition for you to consider,” he wrote. He went on to say that he and Sam Poler, the Director of Member Experience at Advent Coworking, were thinking about starting a book club that would meet quarterly at the Advent Coworking facility on Louise Ave. He wanted to know if I would be interested in partnering with them. Of course, I said yes.
A few days later, Landis, Sam, and I met, and we officially founded the Charlotte Readers Book Club as a bookish collaboration involving Advent Coworking, Charlotte Readers Podcast, and Storied Charlotte. We agreed that our book club would feature recent books by talented local authors. We also agreed that our events would be open to the public and that attendees would not be required to read the featured books in advance. We decided to feature two authors at each event, and Landis and I agreed to co-host the conversations with these featured authors.
I am pleased to announce that the Charlotte Readers Book Club’s debut event will take place on Wednesday, March 30, at 5:30 pm at Advent Coworking (933 Louise Ave., Suite 101). This month we’re discussing Code Name: Serendipity by Amber Smith, and Dear Miss Cushman by Paula Martinac. The central characters in both of these books are young, and the authors will comment on writing about young characters. This event is free and open to the public, but we are asking that attendees request tickets in advance: https://adventcoworking.com/en/events/tickets/1415004192/charlotte-readers-book-club
Here is some more information about our featured authors:
Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of young adult and middle-grade novels, including The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, Something Like Gravity, and most recently, her middle-grade debut, Code Name: Serendipity. An advocate for increased awareness of mental health, gendered violence, and LGBTQIA+ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her wife and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats.
Paula Martinac is the author of a book of short stories and seven novels. Her debut novel, Out of Time, won the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction (Seal Press, 1990; e-book Bywater, 2012). Her novel-in-stories, The Ada Decades (Bywater, 2017), was short-listed for the 2017 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction, the Foreword Indie Award for LGBTQ Fiction, and the Goldie Award for Historical Fiction; and her novel Clio Rising (Bywater, 2019) received the Gold Medal for Best Regional Fiction from the 2020 Independent Book Publishers Awards. She has also published three nonfiction books on LGBTQ themes. She is a lecturer in the creative writing program at UNC Charlotte. I am looking forward to co-hosting our first Charlotte Readers Book Club event. Here’s the event link for you to share: Charlotte Readers Book Club For me, co-hosting this event relates directly to the main reason I started my Storied Charlotte blog. Both are all about celebrating Charlotte’s community of readers and writers.