top of page

Join Us for:


HNS-NYC program 12-13-23 Troubled Protagonists.jpg



These two books, Playground Zero by Sarah Reylea, and Blithedale Canyon by Michael Bourne, follow the upheaval and gentrification of the Bay Area neighborhoods in Northern California. It is a clash between the old world of artists and dream makers and the new order of corporate fortune-makers. Some are left out being able to support themselves or others find a future they can afford, emotionally and financially. Come listen to authors Sarah Reylea and Michael Bourne describe the journey of creating these unlikely protagonists who must fight to belong to the new world order.


Join us on Wednesday, December 13 for this live event at our regular venue the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. We'll have refreshments and networking for the first half-hour starting at 6:00 pm (Eastern). Our program and the Zoom feed will begin promptly at 6:30.





Sarah Relyea  is the author of Playground Zero, a novel set in the late 1960s. Sarah grew up in Berkeley during the counterculture movement of the 1960s. As a young girl, she went to the infamous Altamont concert and frequented Telegraph Avenue. She would soon swap California's psychedelic scene for studying English literature at Harvard. A PhD who has taught at universities in New York and Taiwan, Sarah is also the author of Outsider Citizens: The Remaking of Postwar Identity in Wright, Beauvoir, and Baldwin, published by Routledge. Along the way, she has worked as a literary manager for an Off-Broadway theater and test developer for the Educational Testing Service. Sarah lives in Brooklyn, New York, and continues to spend time in Northern California, where she and her partner enjoy the redwood canyons.

Michael Bourne is the author of Blithedale Canyon, published by Regal House in 2022. He is a long-time contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and he has written for the New York Times, the Globe & Mail, The Economist, Literary Hub, and Salon. His fiction has appeared in more than a dozen literary magazines including, most recently, december, The Southampton Review, and Tin House. He grew up in Northern California and now lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his wife and son.


Our host Susan Wands is a writer, tarot reader, and actor. A co-chair of the NYC Chapter of the Historical Novel Society, she helps produce monthly online book launches and author panels. In London, she has lectured at Watkins Books for their Recorded Authors series, at Atlantis Bookshop and Watkins Books in London, and lectures at the Occulture Berlin Festival on tarot. Ms. Wands’ writings have appeared in Art in Fiction, Kindred Spirits magazine, and The Irving Society journal First Knight. Susan’s first book in her series about Pamela Colman Smith, Magician and Fool, Book One Major Arcana Series, is out by SparkPress. The second book, High Priestess and Empress, will be published in 2024, and Emperor and Hierophant, the third book in the series, is in final edits.

This is a hybrid event, December 13, 2023.

Networking at 6:00 pm (Eastern).

Live program and Zoom feed at 6:30 pm.



bottom of page