My Atheist Thriller: Another Book Reading


I seem to be on a roll, with one book reading leading to another, given that I had one last month, will have one this coming week, and have a tentative one scheduled for next month. 

As readers of this blog know, I self-published a novel called "Imaginary Friend" a couple of years ago and have been steadily increasing its readership ever since.  This July I will finally get attend the Thrillerfest conference that I missed (due to nearly dying) last summer (see Related Posts below: "Report on Old Doug: Health, Theater, eBook, and More" and then "Mama Cat Saves My Life").  At that conference I plan to snag an agent for my atheist thriller, but in the meantime I'm selling a goodly number of copies at book readings.

My first was held a couple of weeks ago at the Humanist Community of Central Ohio here in Columbus.  About thirty people attended, all HCCO members or guests, and I began by reading two selections from my novel, both having to do with my protagonist's troubles when he went on national TV and confessed to being an atheist.  I did not read from the thrilling parts of the book (the explosion at Ohio Stadium, the kidnappings, the gun shots, or the horrific ending), but focused on what can happen if someone admits to being an atheist in a situation where it will not be well received.  Of course, I was preaching to the choir at this event, and those present, on hearing my reading, promptly wanted to tell their own stories about coming out as atheists.  One after one they did so, and the stories were amazing.

One woman was a correctional officer at a prison and she reported that in the large institution there were only three atheist prisoners, who had to be segregated from the general population, which was overwhelmingly both Christian and intolerant of atheists in its midst.  So much for the idea that atheists are amoral and societal risks—prison statistics all show a huge religious population and almost no atheists behind bars.  As Scott Hurst has pointed out, if all atheists left the United States it would lose 93% of the National Academy of Sciences but less than 1% of the prison population.
Prisoners Being Converted
One of the members of the audience was a woman who raised her hand and said that her daughter (a nine year old, who was present) had a story to tell about being an atheist in elementary school.  The daughter, Samantha, quite shy but determined, explained in a little voice that her school consisted of many very religious people including one of her best friends.  She was astounded when this friend announced one day that she hated atheists (not knowing one was present).  When quizzed what she'd do if she found out someone she knew was an atheist, Samantha's friend hotly stated, "I'd slap her as hard as I could!"  I then asked Samantha what she'd replied to that, and Samantha said she changed the subject.  I laughed and commented that that was what most of us would do: "Sometimes the better part of wisdom is to tap dance away from trouble."  This, in turn, led to a discussion about when it's best to stand your ground and when tap dancing is the appropriate response, all of which was very interesting.

My next book reading is scheduled for next Thursday evening, May 24th, in the Thompson Library (the main library) on the Ohio State University campus, second floor, in room 165 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The event is monthly meeting of the Secular Student Alliance; the general public is welcome to attend.

So if you're interested, come hear the reading and stay for the extended discussion.  I will also be selling copies of my book (I sold out at the last reading) for $10.00 each, which is cheaper than the $15.99 plus shipping on Amazon (though the ebook is available for $2.99 on Kindle).
Related Posts:
“Catholicism and Me (Part One),” March 13, 2010
“Superstitions,” March 21, 2010
“Catholicism and Me (Part Two),” April 18, 2010
“How To Become an Atheist,” May 16, 2010
“Imaginary Friend,” June 22, 2010
“I Don’t Do Science,” July 2, 2010
“Explosion at Ohio Stadium,” October 9, 2010 (Chapter One of my novel)
“When Atheists Die,” October 17, 2010
"Escape From Ohio Stadium," November 2, 2010 (Chapter Two)
"Open Mouth, Insert Foot," November 21, 2010 (Chapter Three)
"Rock Around the Sun," December 31, 2010
"Muslim Atheist," March 16, 2011
"An Atheist Interviews God," May 20, 2011
"A Mormon Loses His Faith," June 13, 2011
"Is Evolution True?" July 13, 2011
"Atheists, Christmas, and Public Prayers," December 9, 2011
"Urban Meyer and the Christian Buckeye Football Team," February 19, 2012
" Report on Old Doug: Health, Theater, eBook, and More," June 28, 2011
"Mama Cat Saves My Life," October 23, 2011
"Intelligent Design, Unintelligent Designer?" May 12, 2012


  1. Ah the world of book signings. I hope you're enjoying them as much as I do.


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