With the Fourth of July weekend ahead, most bookstores are taking a small hiatus from their regular schedule of readings and signings, but just past the weekend, Pomegranate Books in Wilmington will host an event that’s worth previewing now. Dennis Tafoya, author of Dope Thief, will be leading a free “30-Minute Crime Writing Workshop” at the bookstore on Thursday, July 9, at 7 p.m. I haven’t read the book yet, but Tafoya has earned some pretty solid reviews for this first novel. Kirkus called the book “an impressive debut.” Publishers Weekly called Tafoya a “writer to watch.” And BookList said that the book has a “hard, violent edge that recalls Richard Price.” No small praise on that last comparison.
For the workshop, Tafoya will read sections from his own novel as well as other works of crime fiction and then will guide participants in a short writing exercise. “Crime writing has some special elements, through at some level, all good writing is the same,” he explained in a release sent out by Pomegranate Books. “Plotting, character development, the sense of place, all of these elements have to work, whether you’re talking about The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.” About this unique approach to the book tour, he added: “I thought the short crime-writing workshop would be a cool way to get out and introduce my book to people. It combines the traditional signing with something a little more interactive.”
Tafoya was born in Philadelphia and now lives in Bucks County, PA, where the novel is set. He’s currently at work on a second book, tentatively titled The Wolves in Fairmount Park.