On Sunday, Sept. 16, the authors of stories collected in the new Santa Cruz Weird anthology will gather at the Santa Cruz Art Center to launch the newest literary snapshot of our endlessly weird city.
“We have the Food Lounge from 6:30 to 8:30 [p.m.],” explains the editor, Nancy Lynn Jarvis, “so there will be plenty of time for attendees to listen to a little introductory talk, hear authors read from their stories, have a question and answer session, and then book signings.”
Jarvis explains that Santa Cruz Weird is a follow-up response to the recently published Santa Cruz Noir short story collection. She’s a firm believer that the true vibe of our region is a weird one.
“We have those bumper stickers, after all,” she notes wryly. So Jarvis put out the call for submissions last year to selected local writers. “The ground rules were pretty broad,” she admits. “I told people their stories needed to entertain me and not be too dark.”
Jarvis also met with writers she knew, and “a number of writers’ groups, to scout submissions.” The collected results range from Ed Sams’ tale about the Harmonic Convergence to Vinnie Hansen’s mystery tour of local tourist destinations, and Nancy Wood’s saga of the Great Santa Cruz Treasure Hunt.
Hansen herself relishes writing short stories. “They’re great. There’s a single conflict and an arc I can see in its entirety from the start,” she says. “I can rough out the shape of a short story in a day, and then spend time endlessly fussing over word choices and nuances.”
The launch party for ‘Santa Cruz Weird’ will be at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Santa Cruz Art Center, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. More info at misteriopress.com.