Jaffe Hosts Brad Parks Book Signing
Event Raises Funds for Children's Literacy Initiative
Jaffe Communications hosted a reception for Nero- and Shamus-award winning author Brad Parks on Tuesday, April 16, 2012 at 27 Mix in Newark.
Parks, a former reporter at the Newark Star-Ledger, signed copies of his third novel, The Girl Next Door, which, like his previous two books, is set in Newark. His protagonist, Carter Ross, works as an investigative reporter at the Eagle-Examiner, a newspaper that bears more than a passing resemblance to The Star-Ledger.
Parks novels are in the mystery genre but rife with humor. He had more than 40 former colleagues and fans chuckling while reading a passage from his work.
Jonathan Jaffe, owner and founder of Jaffe Communications, said the firm often holds receptions to support budding authors, filmmakers and others making positive contributions to New Jersey.
A portion of the proceeds from novels sold at the reception were donated to the Children's Literacy Foundation, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that helps teachers to transform instruction so that children can become better readers, writers and thinkers.
Jen Weikert, director of individual giving and strategic partnerships for the Children's Literacy Initiative, told the attendees that the organization has been working with teachers in Newark for several years and has helped to improve literacy. The group was recently singled out by the Newark Trust for Education for its work in Newark.
"It was only natural for the proceeds of a book signing to go to a group that is helping to improve reading skills of our children," Jaffe said.
Bruno Tedeschi, a principal of Jaffe Communications, noted in his introduction of Parks that the novelist has a disdain for editors. Tedeschi, the former city editor of The Star-Ledger, noted that many of the editors in Parks' novels resemble newsroom characters at The Star-Ledger, except for Parks' fictional city editor Tina Thompson.
"Tina is our city editor," Parks' writes in his second novel, Eyes of the Innocent. "At most paper's the city editor is some frumpy bearded guy named Bruno. At our paper, it's Tina, a too-hot-for-her-age thirty-eight-year-old with curly brown hair, a penchant for short skirts, and abs you could play checkers on."
"I'm not sure who the inspiration for Tina was in the newsroom at The Star-Ledger," Tedeschi said. "But I can assure you that Brad never played checkers on my abs."
Parks admitted that Tina was completely fictionalized to ensure that his wife did not think he had a crush on any of his fellow newsroom employees.