Join us as local authors Tim Lees (Devil In the Wires), Pam Ferderbar (Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale), Tamara Winfrey Harris (The Sisters Are Alright), and Sandra Colbert (Chicago Bound) share their latest works at The Book Cellar!
About Tim Lees:
Tim Lees is a British author living in Chicago. His short fiction has appeared in Postscripts, Black Static, and Interzone, among many other publications. He is the author of the collection The Life to Come, nominated for a British Fantasy Award, the novel Frankenstein's Prescription, and the first Field Ops novel, The God Hunter. When not writing, Tim has held a wide variety of jobs, including teacher, conference organizer, film extra, and worker in a psychiatric hospital.
About Devil In the Wires:
After the perilous retrieval of a long-dormant god from Iraq, Chris Copeland—professional god hunter and company troubleshooter—is about ready to quit his job. But his employers at the Registry have other plans…plans to build a power facility on the shores of Lake Michigan. Adam Shailer, a rising star at the Registry, thinks he can cage the god, drain its energy, and power the city.
It's Chris's job to make sure nothing goes wrong. And at first, everything seems fine. Great, even. But when ecstatic devotees start leaving human sacrifices on the beach near the god-house, it quickly becomes clear that the god is not as contained as the Registry would have everyone believe. The devil's in the wires, and there's no turning back now.
About Pam Ferderbar:
After graduating Marquette University with a B.S. in Journalism, Pam worked at Ferderbar Studios, the family advertising photography business where she honed her skills as a TV commercials director. She eventually went on to direct commercials for Microsoft, Wells Fargo Bank, Bally’s, ITT and others. She has written several screenplays, such as Bob Dylan Stole My Wife. Pam is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, and the Coalition for Photographic Arts/Milwaukee. She is working on a second Charlotte Nightingale novel and a companion book with reader’s “Charlotte moments” complimented with illustrations and Pam’s own photographs. She is also currently studying the art of photography under the tutelage of her father, Tom Ferderbar.
About Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale:
Charlotte Nightingale has the worst luck in the world. Her cluttered apartment is the poster child for “shar chi” – poison luck in the realm of feng shui. Her boyfriend’s a jerk, her job sucks, she’s broke and her own family seems to hate her. Every day is a bad hair day. Kwan, a handsome Chinese food delivery man and aspiring feng shui practitioner, takes pity on Charlotte. While Charlotte searches for the money to pay for the Emperor’s cashew chicken Kwan has delivered, he surreptitiously begins to move things around in Charlotte’s apartment in accordance with the ancient art of placement – hoping to improve her life. Charlotte’s luck subsequently appears to change in a big way. It goes from bad to worse – or so it seems.
Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale is an uplifting and hilarious fable about empowerment and perception, and the magical things that happen when we begin to see the glass as half full.
About Tamara Winfrey Harris:
Well-versed on a range of topics Tamara is a sought-after commentator, having appeared on or published in media outlets such as NPR’s “Weekend Edition”, Minnesota Public Radio’s “The Daily Circuit,”, Ms., The American Prospect, Salon, The Guardian, Newsweek/Daily Beast, Jane Pratt’s "XO Jane," The Huffington Post, and Psychology Today. Tamara’s article, “No Disrespect: Black Women and the Burden of Respectability,” which first appeared in Bitch magazine, was published in the fourth edition of the textbook, The Arlington Reader (Bedford/St. Martin’s 2013).
Tamara's writing career began with the personal blog, "What Tami Said." Her work there has been referenced by New York Magazine and a host of sites dedicated to feminism and race. An article from the blog post, “Nappy Love: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Kinks” was published by Oxford University Press (2014) in How Writing Works: 1st Edition with Readings. Tamara was also a senior editor at "Racialicious", a blog that explores the intersection of race and pop culture.
The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative for Black Women in America (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Spring 2015) is her first book.
About The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America:
What is wrong with black women?
Not a damned thing but the biased lens most people use to view them, says Tamara Winfrey Harris. When African American women arrived on American shores the three-headed hydra of asexual and servile Mammy, angry and bestial Sapphire and oversexed and lascivious Jezebel followed close behind. In the 60s they were joined by the Matriarch, the willfully unmarried baby machine, leeching off the state. These caricatures persist—even in the “enlightened” 21st century—through newspaper headlines, Sunday sermons, social media memes, cable punditry, government policies and Top 40 lyrics.
The Sisters Are Alright delves into areas like marriage, motherhood, health, sexuality, beauty, and more. And, using progressive author analysis brought to life by the stories of real women, reveals the effects of anti-black woman propaganda and how real black women are living their lives and pushing back against distorted cartoon versions of themselves. The book takes sharp aim at pervasive stereotypes about black women, replacing warped prejudices with the straight up truth—the complicated, but far-from-hopeless reality of being a black woman in America.
About Sandra Colbert:
Sandra Colbert was born and raised in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago - a neighborhood created and then dominated for decades by the Chicago Union Stock Yards. Chicago Bound is her first book. She currently resides in Rockford, Illinois.
About Chicago Bound:
This collection reflects the times, as well as the attitudes of the people in the part of Chicago know as Back of the Yards, which later became known as the Chicago Union Stock Yards. The Stock Yards - now long gone, were an integral part in the shaping of a city and this collection is a reminder of the people that lived there.
"Sandra Colbert's Chicago Bound, a collection of stories about the first generation immigrant experience in Chicago, was a pleasure to read. By turns charming, eloquent, or sad, each story was honed to a sharp edge, exposing an underlying darkness I didn't expect. Most are populated by ordinary individuals who may not recognize their flaws but deal with both joy and sorrow in a way that reinforces the humanity in us all. Colbert is definitely a writer to watch."
- Libby Fischer Hellmann, author of Nobody's Child