July 16, 2015
By Gregory Camillone
The NorthEast-Millerton Library will host a Literary Tea on Saturday, July 18, at 1PM with authors Victoria Alexander and Kristen Panzer there to discuss their novels.
Alexander got the voice of Hamlet from David Tennant, who played Hamlet in the Royal Shakespeare Production. “He is like Doctor Who,” Alexander said. “Clever, witty, a little bit crazy. He’s like an alien. Hamlet feels like an alien coming from the city and having different values from the people around him.”
“The Library Tea event is an opportunity for local writers to meet, talk and share their successes,” said Director of NorthEast-Millerton Library Rhiannon Leo-Jameson. “It’s a way for them to bond.”
Everyone is welcomed to attend. The event will be located in the library and is free. Tea will be served along with other refreshments and snacks.
Alexander is a novelist and a philosopher of science. She has published four novels: “Smoking Hopes,” “Naked Singularity,” “Trixie” and “Locus Amoenus.” In addition, she has one work of philosophy called “The Biologist’s Mistress.” “Locus Amoenus,” her latest work, came out June 22.
“Locus Amoenus” is a Latin phrase that means “pleasant location.” It’s a literary term for a place where nothing bad ever happens. However, poets have made it become a place where bad things do happen, according to Alexander.
The novel is about a Sept. 11 widow named Gertrude with a son named Hamlet. The two of them moved to Amenia after Sept. 11, looking for a beautiful paradise to help them get away from tragedy. They soon find out the horrors of transitioning from city life to rural life.
“I make fun of that person that moves from the city and doesn’t understand local dynamics very well,” said Alexander.
Alexander moved to Amenia from Manhattan with her husband and son. Although she is not a Sept. 11 widow, she calls Gertrude a parody of herself.
“I’m kind of a good-doer activist type,” said Alexander. “I have an organic farm like characters in the book. I have sheep like the characters in the book. Education is really important and making sure children eat healthy is too.”
Alexander got the voice of Hamlet from David Tennant, who played Hamlet in the Royal Shakespeare Production.
“He is like Doctor Who,” Alexander said. “Clever, witty, a little bit crazy. He’s like an alien. Hamlet feels like an alien coming from the city and having different values from the people around him.”
“Hamlet” is also Alexander’s favorite play.
As a person who cares about the local authors and musicians around her, Alexander invited Panzer to join her at the Literary Tea event.
“I’m very grateful to her for inviting me to this event,” said Panzer.
Panzer, who has been writing for 10 years, is completing her second book, part of a cozy mystery series that began with her first book, “Thea Gallas Always Gets Her Man.”
“It doesn’t have on-screen gore,” said Panzer. “It’s kind of like PG-13.”
The new book is about adventures and misadventures of Gallas, a lactation consultant and sleuth.
“I came to this idea because it was my actual career. It’s sort of like the hook of the story,” said Panzer.
Thea Gallas is a want-to-be lactation consultant who is investigating an attempted murder. However, there are also attempts on her life in the course of her investigation.
“I’m a lactation consultant, so I decided to write a cozy mystery about a lactation consultant as the amateur detective,” Panzer said.
Alexander and Panzer will talk about their work and sign copies of their books. Visitors are encouraged to pick up copies of “Locus Amoenus” and/or “Thea Gallas Always Gets Her Man” from Oblong Books if they do not already have them to bring to the event.
Alexander also has her books in Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook, where she attended a literary festival in May.
“It’s nice to connect with readers and hear their questions and see their responses,” said Alexander.
“I hope to find something really juicy in my book to read,” said Panzer of her plans for the tea. “I’m happy for the opportunity to share my work with people who are interested and just spend a little time with people who like to write and like a good story.”
The library is encouraging people who are interested in writing to come out and ask questions about the profession and learn from the authors about what it takes to complete a book and how to find a home for it.