“Brian Freeman was so personable – and loved Goodbye to the Dead!”  “The author was great!”  “[I most liked] putting a face to the author and understanding some of his strategies in the stories.”  “Brian Freeman was a very good speaker and fun to listen to.”  These are just a few of the comments from participants in the Virginia Public Library’s inaugural Queen City Reads program.

The intent of Queen City Reads is to provide an event which opens pathways of communication among members of the community.  Goodbye to the Dead, by award winning Minnesota author Brian Freeman, was selected as the inaugural title for the broad appeal of its storyline and the accessibility of the local setting – Duluth.

Photo of Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman, beginning his talk


Conversation was quite lively at the book discussion on February 23rd.  The author provided questions designed to spark dialogue, and they worked.  Participants spent a full hour in happy chat, even generating questions to be asked of Brian the following week.

Virginia Public Library’s auditorium was much more crowded for the author event on March 2nd.  Brian is a thoroughly delightful speaker, keeping all engaged as he described how he came to be a writer and where his stories came from.  He even answered the difficult questions on how to convincingly write scenes of sex and violence.

Photo of Brian Freeman talking

Brian Freeman, talking about writing

As if that weren’t satisfying enough, Brian brought a presentation titled, “Stride’s Duluth,” using photos taken by both Brian and his wife Marcia during trips to the city for research.  Those who didn’t have to return to work were able to see what Jonathan Stride sees in the many mysteries centered on him.  Most fascinating was to see a photo series demonstrating the progression of action within a scene.

Thank you to everyone who supported Queen City Reads, brought to you by the Virginia Public Library, the Friends of the Virginia Public Library, and the City of Virginia; and supported by more than thirty downtown  Virginia businesses and individuals.  Thank you, Brian and Marcia Freeman for taking the time to come to our library and for being so pleasant to work with.  Our greatest thanks go to the Friends of the library; without them, programs such as this wouldn’t be possible.

Photo of Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman, chatting with Dawn Heisel

A list of program supporters can be found on the Queen City Reads brochure.  A copy can be obtained at the library.