Noir at the Bar

Photo: Tanis Mallow

Counting down to next week's Noir at the Bar Toronto, and loving how it's taking shape.

After catching a glimpse at Bouchercon last September, Tanis Mallow and I were convinced Toronto needed its own N@B. Given the raft of crime fiction authors in town, we knew we'd find six gritty voices pretty easy. In no time, our endeavour became fraught with the same considerations as picking a team for a game of road hockey. Only no one drops out after the first period to let the other kids play. As the line-up took shape, out-of-town authors threw their hats in the ring. For our first shot at this, I gotta say it's looking pretty strong. Bonus: we've got a great list of authors to invite out next game.

Next, we needed a venue. Sending a couple writers on a search for the right bar is a sure way to slow things down. Eventually we found The Fireplace Lounge above PJ O'Brien Irish Pub. With plenty of booths and dark wood and...well, it's Irish. 'Nuff said.

Over the next bunch of weeks, there was a bookseller to engage, a Twitter feed to set up, the Facebook page, a poster, an evite—you get the picture (by the way, that knife up there ain't Photoshopped—kudos, Tanis). Hats off to guys like Todd Robinson and Eric Beetner who make it look like a breeze in New York and LA.

Bottom line, if we weren't in this for the long haul, it would have been nuts to take it on.

Thing is, at the end of the day, this is all about a bunch of readers and writers getting together in a bar every few months for a little gritty fiction. What could be simpler than that?

If you're curious how it turns out or maybe looking for the next one, "like" our Facebook page, and we'll keep you in the loop.