Mysterious Galaxy is an independent bookseller which specializes in mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy books for all ages. The Meet and Greet they hosted at their San Diego location on Saturday, September 8th at 3 p.m. was certainly representative of this. Over 20 local authors were present, from the father and sons team of Henry, Josh, and Harrison Herz who created Nimpentoad to Kari Thompson, the author of Amateur Angel, and including Terrence King, the author of The Silent Partner. Mysterious Galaxy had both refreshments and authors galore, having limited seating and a shade out front but with the inside of the bookstore being the center of activity. Each author gave a brief introduction, which led to moments both poignant and humorous. Adam Tritt, the author of the children’s book Bud the Spud, shared that the day was the anniversary of his wife’s death from cancer. On the other extreme, one of the other authors told about his first book, which he self-published as an e-book originally, which was about a writer who couldn’t get an agent to represent him and who goes on a killing spree. It was a perfect opening for the agent who had accompanied one of his fellow authors. (He had since found an agent and signed a subsequent book deal with a major publisher, but the pitch that nobody present need go to such extremes brought laughter.)
This event was a great event for anyone interested in understanding authors or to ask about their professional experiences, but it was also an opportunity to meet several authors on the rise who also happen to be real people. Adam Tritt was preemptive in cutting off condolences by the end of the event, and there were some amusing anecdotes shared while chatting with the authors. The combinations of their writing careers and their “day jobs” sometimes figured into these. Reina Menasche, who is also a social worker, said that giving her main character the same profession led to the insistence that Twice Begun must really be her story. “People ask, ‘how old is your daughter?’” Menasche said, “and I tell them that he’s fourteen.”
Over the course of a couple of hours, it was an opportunity to get to know at least a few new authors. Though most authors did have additional books on hand in addition to the store’s inventory and all would autograph, there was no pressure to buy. Instead, the authors and store staff were gracious and appreciative of the opportunity to meet new readers. The only negative to the event was the fact that the store really was packed, which meant that congestion could be a problem. This is part of why getting the opportunity to speak with every author was difficult, as well as the number of authors. People did end up clustered within the aisles, though stepping outside was possible and taken advantage of. Overall, this is an event which is well worth attending for someone in the area if they repeat it. Getting there a few minutes early can also prove to be a treat, chatting with authors as they set up. Mysterious Galaxy is a store focused on relationships and community, and this event was an example of that emphasis.