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An evening with a bunch of characters

Humor writer Molly D. Campbell, two-time Erma Bombeck Writing Competition award winner, will launch her new book, Characters in Search of a Novel, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, in the General Motors Rotunda of the Dayton Art Institute.

The event, “Spend an Evening With Some Real Characters,” features Campbell and illustrator Randy Palmer. The evening will include a book signing, readings and a raffle for prizes — including Campbell and Palmer collaborating on an original character story and illustration that will be custom framed for the winner.

Currently a best seller in pop culture on Amazon.com, Characters in Search of a Novel is a collection of short-short stories about everyday people. What started as a Twitter stream of unique names and attributes (Loretta Squirrels beats her husband and makes moonshine) has turned into a book.

“Loretta Squirrels developed a kind of cult following on Twitter,” says Campbell. So when a few fellow writers suggested I write stories about each name, I decided to do it. I am currently working on a second anthology of short stories.”

The Charles Phoenix Retro Holiday Slide Show will follow the book launch at 8 p.m. Phoenix, who collects old Kodachrome slides of unusual families, delivers a hilarious riff on Christmas, families and Americana. Tickets for his performance in the NCR Renaissance Auditorium are $30.

The public is invited to both events.

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