An award-winning mystery/suspense author and a Pushcart-nominated poet, both Farmington Hills residents, will be featured in the kickoff for a new literary series hosted by KickstART Farmington Gallery & Gift Shop in downtown Farmington.
Open from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on January 15, Wednesday Night Sessions will feature Stephen Mack Jones reading excerpts from his August Snow series, and Joy Gaines-Friedler, who will read and discuss her poetry.
Jones, a 25-year local resident, is the author of August Snow and Lives Laid Away, published in 2017 and 2019, respectively, and a third novel, which will be released later this year.
The series centers around a Detroit cop awarded $12 million in a wrongful termination lawsuit. Snow moves back to his childhood home in Mexicantown, where he works to revitalize his neighborhood and rebuild his life.
While set mostly in Detroit, the suspenseful thrillers stretch across metro Detroit and even into Farmington, with a stop at Silver Dairy.
“(August Snow is) comfortable wherever he goes in metro Detroit,” Jones said, “because he’s comfortable with himself. He’s comfortable with who he is, and with his history, his family. He sees human beings, not demographics.”
An advertising/marketing professional with some 30 years of experience, Jones said he always wanted to become a published writer.
“I really feel blessed with where I’m at,” he said. “I’ve wanted to be a published writer all my life.” August Snow, he added, was published the year he turned 62. “You really should never give up on your dreams.”
Gaines-Friedler is the author of Capture Theory (2018), Dutiful Heart (2013), and Like Vapor (2008). She has taught writing at the university level, and at the Lapeer Correctional Facility with the Prison Creative Writing Project. Her work has been published in more than 100 literary magazines and journals.
A 20-year professional photographer, Gaines-Friedler says poetry is “a natural extension of the photographic art form: both use images, contrast, tensions, a kind of rhythm and tone to convey what language alone, cannot.”
The discussion will be moderated by Mitchell Nobis, a writer and teacher who has led workshops and professional learning experiences for writers and writing teachers.
KickstART Farmington director Dwayne Hayes said the events will be “conversational and interactive but also include readings by the authors featured.”
The KickstART Gallery & Gift Shop is located at 33304 Grand River. Wednesday Night Sessions are open to the public and free of charge. Learn more at facebook.com/events/493705864833182/.