Busy week ahead for Everybody Reads program

Whitman County Library is thrilled to virtually welcome Matthew Sullivan, author of “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore,” as part of the Everybody Reads program Tuesday through Friday.

Everybody Reads is a regional program that builds a shared reading experience around a single book to foster curiosity, spark discussion and celebrate a love of story and community engagement.

Join us for a presentation by Sullivan on his dark and twisty debut novel followed by an audience question-and-answer session at noon Tuesday and 7 p.m. Thursday.

These virtual author talks will be streaming on Everybody Reads’ Facebook page Live as well as on Zoom. There is no need to register for these events, simply visit Facebook.com/everybodyreadspnw to enjoy Sullivan’s talk. If you prefer to attend via Zoom, visit everybody-reads.org for the link.

Since our library’s event is usually an in-person luncheon in The Center at Colfax Library, we wanted our patrons to be able to have a similar experience during this year’s virtual event. We are partnering with a local restaurant so that our patrons may enjoy the author presentation with a delicious meal. Please contact Serfes Foods at (509) 558-9066 to reserve the “Everybody Reads Special” for $12 by Monday and pick up at Serfes in Colfax.

During the presentation, Sullivan will answer questions directly from the attendees, but he will also be sharing about his debut novel, a fiendishly clever mystery that will keep you guessing until the very last page, where the truth, in the end, may be stranger than fiction.

Local favorite and previous Everybody Reads author, Jess Walter, shared that “Sullivan has written a smart, twisty crime novel filled with compelling characters set in a world that book-lovers will adore.”

Interested in reading “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” for yourself? Whitman County Library, along with other participating libraries in the Palouse and Lewis-Clark Valley (see a full list at everybody-reads.org) have made additional copies available for you.

Sullivan grew up in a family of eight children in Colorado. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Idaho and his writing has won several awards. Sullivan has worked in bookstores, as well as teaching writing at colleges in Boston, Idaho and Poland. Sullivan and his family currently reside in Anacortes, Wash.

As part of the author program, Sullivan also is having two writing workshops via Zoom; at 4 p.m. Wednesday and 1 p.m. Friday. Registration for these workshops is required at everybody-reads.org, where you may also find an opportunity to send the author a sample of your writing for review. Everyone is invited to participate, including new and seasoned writers.

Wednesday’s workshop, “Here Comes Trouble: Conflict and Story Fundamentals,” is geared for teens, although all ages are welcome. “While we typically want to avoid conflict in our daily lives, avoiding it on the page is a death sentence for our writing,” Sullivan shared. Conflict can be a useful tool to help us to better understand the basic building blocks of a story and to raise the stakes in our writing. This interactive workshop will use conflict as a tool for introducing and reviewing the basic elements of storytelling.

Friday’s workshop, “Building Suspense,” is geared toward adults, although all ages are welcome. This interactive workshop will focus on some of the ways that writers can use suspense to create compelling fiction and intensify the reader’s experience, regardless of the genre in which they write. Topics will include style and pacing, plot escalation, character development, and the role that structure can play in heightening suspense.

For more information on Everybody Reads’ events, please visit everybody-reads.org or contact the Whitman County Library at (509) 397-4366 or sarah@whitcolib.org.

Phelan-Blamires is the marketing and adult services librarian for the Whitman County Library.

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