Join us for a panel presentation featuring accomplished authors from the state of Michigan! Featured authors are Detroit author Michael Ferro, celebrating the release of his debut novel Title 13, named a "Most Anticipated Small Press Book of 2018" by literary blog Big Other; Ann Arbor writer R.J. Fox, author of the memoirs Love and Vodka and Tales from the Dork Side, speaking about his newest release, Awaiting Identification; and author and editor Eric Smith, promoting the release of his debut novel young adult novel The Girl and the Grove.
Praise for Title 13
"Affecting and inventively funny... Ferro's work is an eclectic mélange." --Kirkus Reviews
"A wonderful experience and a terribly compelling character study... sometimes fun, sometimes dark. For a first-time novelist, (Ferro is) very knowing about the emotional territory of life. A very, very ambitious book." --Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune and host of "After Hours with Rick Kogan"
"TITLE 13 is a darkly comic story for our time, a mélange of 'Barton Fink,' 'Office Space,' and Kafka, a novel that examines our alienation from one another and increasingly, our own country. Michael A. Ferro is a young writer on the rise." --Nickolas Butler, author of Shotgun Lovesongs, Beneath the Bonfire, and The Hearts of Men
“Readers who enjoy stories of political and individual blundering and irony should run, not walk, to TITLE 13: it's a hard-hitting story wrapped in a unique voice that makes it nearly impossible to put down." --Midwest Book Review
About Title 13
A timely investigation into the heart of a despotic faction within the government, TITLE 13 deftly blends satirical comedy aimed at the hot-button issues of modern culture with the gut-wrenching reality of an intensely personal descent into addiction.
Heald Brown might be responsible for the loss of highly classified TITLE 13 government documents--and may have hopelessly lost himself as well. Since leaving his home in Detroit for Chicago during the recession, Heald teeters anxiously between despondency and bombastic sarcasm, striving to understand a country gone mad while clinging to his quixotic roots.
Trying to deny the frightening course of his alcoholism, Heald struggles with his mounting paranoia, and his relationships with his concerned family and dying grandmother, all while juggling a budding office romance at the US government's Chicago Regional Census Center. Heald's reality soon digresses into farcical absurdity, fevered isolation, and arcane psychological revelation, hilarious though redoubtable in nature. Meanwhile the TITLE 13 secrets remain at large, haunting each character and tangling the interwoven threads of Heald's life, as the real question looms: Is it the TITLE 13 information that Heald has lost, or his sanity?
MICHAEL A. FERRO's fiction and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies. He won the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award for Fiction, received an Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train for their New Writers Award, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Born and bred in Detroit, Michael has lived, worked, and written throughout the Midwest; he currently resides in rural Ann Arbor, Michigan. TITLE 13 is his first novel.
Praise for Awaiting Indentification
“At first, reading R.J. Fox’s Awaiting Identification, I had intimations of Elmore Leonard meets Donald Goines. But that impression was fleeting and soon I was caught in Fox’s own unique lyrical style and a scenario that keeps you engrossed. Seeping between his lines as well as background to his ensemble of doomed characters is Detroit’s industrial pulse, which Fox expresses with a profound intimacy. Throughout Awaiting Identification there is a cinematic quality that is enhanced by fresh, spiky dialogue and literary cachet.” —Herb Boyd, author, Black Detroit: A People’s History of Self-Determination
“R.J. Fox is a writer of great talent and skill. In Awaiting Identification, he carefully guides his readers through the mean streets and back alleys of contemporary Detroit. The reader is brought along on an urban mystery into the ‘heart of darkness.’ A rich and suspenseful narrative that will keep the reader anxiously turning each page. Fox is a wonderful writer who truly knows Detroit and how to tell a damn fine tale.” —M. L. Liebler, Award-Winning Detroit-Based Poet & Editor
“Cinematic, lyrical, and unflinchingly raw, Awaiting Identification is both a love letter to Detroit and a cautionary tale. If you’re looking for a fresh new voice in fiction, R.J. Fox is the real deal.” —Camille Pagán, author, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences
About Awaiting Identification
Five bodies, five intersecting storylines, five lives . . . each searching for hope and redemption
Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, Detroit, Michigan: October 31, 1999.
Five unidentified bodies lie in the Wayne County morgue on Halloween night. Although each character was on a separate journey, fate leads each of the five victims to cross paths on the streets of Detroit en route to their tragic demise.
Set against the backdrop of a Devil’s Night party at legendary Detroit concert venue and nightclub, Saint Andrew’s Hall, Awaiting Identification details the final night on earth for five lost souls. Like the city in which it takes place, Awaiting Identification is a story of hope, identity, and above all, redemption.
R.J. FOX is an English and video production teacher who uses his own dream of making movies to inspire his students to follow their dreams. He has previously worked in public relations and as a journalist. He is the author of Love & Vodka. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Praise for The Girl and the Grove
"Smith's novel covers the important topics of adoption, identity, and environmental awareness, while also touching on teenage relationships and inserting beautiful images of nature into the text." --School Library Journal
"Readers will feel for Leila; her emotions around her family history are raw and real." --Kirkus Reviews
About The Girl and the Grove by Eric Smith
Teenager Leila's life is full of challenges. From bouncing around the foster care system to living with seasonal affective disorder, she's never had an easy road. Leila keeps herself busy with her passion for environmental advocacy, monitoring the Urban Ecovists message board and joining a local environmental club with her best friend Sarika. And now that Leila has finally been adopted, she dares to hope her life will improve. But the voices in Leila's head are growing louder by the day. Ignoring them isn't working anymore. Something calls out to her from the grove at Fairmount Park.
ERIC SMITH is a young adult author and literary agent who grew up in the wilds of New Jersey. When he isn't working on books (his and other peoples), he can be found writing about books for places like Book Riot and Paste Magazine. He lives with his wife, Nena, and their legion of small furry animals in Michigan. Find him online at www.ericsmithrocks.com or on Twitter at @ericsmithrocks.