Burqueño Ryan P. Freeman is not only one of the podcast hosts for, “What’s Up ABQ?” He’s a published author, cares about his city, and especially cares about other writers like him.
Like all authors, he wants people to know about and read his work. Being a man who seems to know Albuquerque inside and out, Ryan wanted to find a way to help promote independent authors in New Mexico, and thus launched, “Friday Night Reads.”
“Way back at the beginning of the pandemic, independent authors were getting hammered,” said Ryan. “It’s hard enough to get attention for your work as an indie (independent) author, and I wanted to see if I could help.”
Ryan reached out to the owners of, ‘Title Wave Books, Revised,’ the owners loved the idea, and a new project was born.
“It’s hard enough to get attention for your work as an indie (independent) author, and I wanted to see if I could help.”
Keeping things basic, Ryan makes an event on Facebook to help spread the word, and people can sign up to, “attend,” there. Because of the pandemic, the bookstore isn’t having crowds inside, as it would be tight quarters. As a result, it’s just Ryan in the bookstore, and the Internet as his audience. “Once we get past the pandemic,” Ryan said hopefully, “we can keep this going and have guests in the store.”
“I’m doing this for a few reasons,” Ryan explained to me before he got started. “I want to encourage writers out there getting discouraged to keep writing, I want people to know that there are talented authors they don’t know out there, and you can find them at your independent bookstores. I want people to patronize their indie bookstores, and I want these authors to succeed.”
On Friday nights, Ryan arrives at the bookstore about a half hour before the scheduled start time, and settles into a quiet corner of the bookstore.
A tripod in front of him, he locks in his iPhone, takes out the work he’ll be reading from, and makes sure one last time everything is ready to go.
This week, Ryan was reading from a short piece titled, “Talking About My Generation Blues,” from The History of Fugue, by local Burqueño Will Clattenburg.
Before getting into the story, Ryan spoke directly into his phone, and the audience:
“Pay attention to the Forward. Whenever you open a book, check out who it’s dedicated to, because it means a lot to the author. It helps tell the story of why the book was written.”
With that introduction made, Ryan began:
“Madison was the girl that got me to quit listening to Led Zeppelin…”