O'CONNOR: My most unusual experience at a reading was in fourth or fifth grade, when I entered an oratorical contest for the local Optimists’ Club. I’d breezed through the school-wide heat, and secured a place in the finals. The competition was held in a motel by the Syracuse airport, in a small conference room looking out onto a runway. A few rows of banquet chairs were filled with adult members of the Club, various relatives of the competitors, friends, possibly a few vagrants just looking for a place to sit, furtive couples taking breaks from the kind of clandestine trysts that take place at motels by the airport. My speech was entitled, “Optimism: A Way of Life.” There were three contestants, myself included. I came in third.
SCOTT O'CONNOR is the author of the novella Among Wolves, and the novel Untouchable, which won the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award and Publishers Weekly’s Fiction Audiobook of the Year. His new novel, Half World, will be published by Free Press in January, 2014. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.
Come see Scott read at 826LA in Echo Park on Friday, October 19 at 7:30pm.