Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This article appeared on page E - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle

'TechnoCRAFT at YBCA': '100 Chairs'

Catherine Bigelow
San Francisco Chronicle July 14, 2010 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Makin' book: Lit lovers and St. Ignatius College Preparatory loyalists crowded the Irish Cultural Center on Thursday to celebrate newly minted author Tim Reardon and his book, "Shadow Lessons."

Actually, it's Reardon's fourth novel - just his first published.

"With the exception of funeral receptions, it's not often you can attract 250 people like we have here tonight," joked master of ceremonies Matt Miller, a lawyer and S.I. alum. "Unless, very much like a funeral reception, your event is at the Irish Cultural Center and free food and booze are advertised."

But as a native son of the Sunset, son of Judge Timothy Reardon, S.I. class of '86 grad and current S.I. creative writing teacher, Reardon's reading was as easy a draw as an S.I. Wildcat playoff game.

The author was well toasted and roasted by class of '68 alums, including S.I. English teacher Jim Dekker and comedian Bob Sarlatte.

"Don't get too cocky, Tim," Dekker advised. "Three of your books are on Amazon and already being sold as 'used.' "

"Shadow Lessons" is the story of a white English teacher and a black female firefighter who create a literary hoax that ends up fueling a national race debate.

Reardon's copy also attracted numerous, knowing laughs as his characters - the 40-year-old Irish Catholic creative writing teacher, the high school sweetheart spouse, the prestigious Sunset District Jesuit high school - so closely mirror Reardon's life.

"He is a modern-day J.R.R. Tolkien for creating this remarkable, fanciful persona," Miller joked. "Timmy somehow nails this character as if he had lived it."

Between being a teacher, husband and father, Reardon described his writing process as "one page a day; in a year you have a book."

He sent out more than 200 query letters to agents and publishers. Most liked Reardon's writing but weren't interested in the book's dialogue on race relations - except for small-press publisher All Things That Matter Press.

"I was never really sure this was going to happen," Reardon said during an audience Q&A. "Tonight is the first moment when I've actually seen people buying the book."

Chronicle society correspondent Catherine Bigelow's columns appear Wednesday in Datebook, Sunday in Style and at E-mail her at

Read more:

TIM'S CURRENT AMAZON RANK: Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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