Enigma Bookstore in Astoria, Queens is still a relatively new bookstore, but it has the friendly presence of a neighbor you’ve known your whole life. Amid a selection of seemingly hand-picked fantasy, sci-fi and graphic novel titles, you can find anything and everything that your inner nerd bookworm might desire. In my opinion, though, the staff is what really makes this bookstore great. You can run into a chain bookstore and struggle to flag someone down for help, or you can sit at home and order books online while wearing PJs and sipping spiked hot chocolate (and let’s be honest… sometimes we ALL want to do just that) but nothing will beat the personal experience you get from visiting a bookstore and talking to a real person… especially a real person who happens to be as cool, witty and lively as Claire and Hugh, the owners of Enigma.
Recently I had the honor of taking part in an event at Enigma (April is the Cruelest Month), talking on a panel with Trisha Wooldridge, Jennifer Allis Provost and Lisa Amowitz about how we torture our characters for the sake of fiction. Each of us had a very different approach to present, given that, among the four of us, we write in the romance, YA, high fantasy, midgrade and comedy genres. My books tend to be in the comedy and urban fantasy category, so I applied my frenetic, wacky sense of caffeine-fueled humor to the panel by reading aloud from Death and Mr. Right and flailing just a bit too much while answering questions from the audience. Our audience was interactive and super fun, asking questions without hesitation and taking part in the discussion.
The bad weather (cold rain, wind) outside couldn’t dampen our spirits and certainly didn’t hurt the event. And there were snacks! (Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee). After the event, the owners, Claire and Hugh, were kind enough to ask us to sign copies of our books. Very cool!
If you’re in Queens, you need to check out this bookstore! And while you’re there, tell ‘em I sent you and feel free to grab a copy of my screwball comedy, Death and Mr. Right!
Address: 33-17 Crescent St, New York, NY 11106
Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can’t learn karate (or ballroom dancing). She is the author of the magic realism novel INANIMATE OBJECTS, the dark comedy DEATH AND MR. RIGHT and the poetry collection GEMINIS AND PAST LIVES, and has conducted interviews with NYT Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, goth rocker Aurelio Voltaire, and Project Runway winners Dmitry Sholokhov and Michelle Lesniak Franklin among many, many others. www.kendralsaunders.com / @kendrybird