In honor of doing a reading at Mysterious Galaxy here in San Diego on Thursday night…I once again present my top 5 “readings gone wrong”.
#5 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ World Horror Convention II, 1993
My reading at the second World Horror Convention, in Nashville, Tennessee, was probably the lowest point for me of any reading. No one was there except my wife, Ann. I was going to just leave, but Ann insisted I read anyway. So I launched into “The Bone-Carver’s Tale.” About fifteen minutes into the reading, two people showed up. It was still the loneliest reading I’ve ever endured and I came out of it convinced that I was never going to amount to a hill of beans.
#4 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Disease Guide Reading, Undisclosed Location to Protect the Guilty, 2003
The craziness that constituted the readings in support of the Night Shade hardcover edition of the fake disease guide covered chain and indie bookstores in several major cities. (We had amazing support from, among others, Borders.) However, some of the bookstores clearly hadn’t done their homework. At one reading where we all showed up complete with our stethoscopes, plastic livers, stuffed animal disease microbes, and lab coats, I was cornered by a bookstore clerk who wanted me to diagnose a chronic problem with his knee. “No, I’m not a doctor,” I explained. “You need to see a professional.” “Okay, so maybe it’s not your specialty, doctor,” he replied, “but you could still take a look at it.” “I’m not a doctor,” I insisted. “Just take a look, doc,” he said. “It’s been hurting for a long time.” Eventually, I got free of this guy. But it took most of the night.