Karen Spears Zacharias Tours Mississippi

I hadn’t gotten a tour dispatch from Karen Spears Zacharias for a while, but a few weeks back she let me know about her travels in support of the latest anthology in Macadam/Cage’s Blue Moon Café series, A Cast of Characters and Other Stories. As always, she’s got some great anecdotes to share…enjoy!

kszacharias.jpgThey still play the Bee Gees, Frank Sinatra and Chicago on the radio in Jackson, Mississippi. And you don’t even have to switch the dial. That was the mix I heard Saturday morning on the drive from my hotel to the vibrant and always-hopping Lemuria Bookstore.

I saw Sonny Brewer pull out of the parking garage right ahead of me, so I knew I wasn’t going to be late for the stock signing of A Cast of Characters and Other Stories—Sonny’s the editor of the series. Jack Pendarvis introduced us at the Southern Literature Festival in Nashville last year. Or as Sonny put it, “Jack was going around acting like he was Karen’s agent.” It was Jack who passed along my piece, “When Jesus Lost His Head,” that appears in the new collection.

Turns out I was late to the stock signing. I’d stopped to get a coffee, spilled it, had to clean it up and get another. By the time I arrived, nearly all of the other authors in the anthology were sitting dutifully at the tables: Howard Bahr, Stuart Bloodworth, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, Tom Franklin, Frank Turner Hollon, Chip Livingston, Thomas McGuane, L. A. Hoffer, and James Whorton Jr. (Only Ron Rash, Rick Bragg, and William Gay weren’t there.) I took the only seat left, the one next to crusty Howard Bahr, who kept calling me “ma’am”, until I wore him down and convinced him that “honey” was much more to my liking.

“Is that a navy tattoo?” I asked, pointing to a blue-mottled mark on his forearm.

“Yes, ma’am.”


“Yes, ma’am.”

“What years?”


“Aren’t you impressed that I’m a girl and knew that was a Navy tattoo?” I said, smiling.

“I am,” Bahr replied.


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5 September 2006 | events |

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