Wouldn’t you just love to wind up a humdrum winter’s workday by sipping a beverage, chatting with friends – and listening to an author of a well-known book talk about her work in a casual setting?

The folks at Larkin Square and Talking Leaves are guessing you would.

And so, they are collaboratively starting a new book- and writing-themed series of talks at the Filling Station at the Larkin Square space in the city.

The new series will debut Thursday evening with a talk by Kathleen McCleary, author of “A Simple Thing,” a book that USA Today called a “hot beach read” of last summer.

The event featuring McCleary will begin at 5 p.m. and conclude around 6:30, organizers said. It is free and open to everyone.

The goal of the new Larkin Square Author Series is to create a fun place for people to gather after work for a literary-focused event with a casual vibe, said Leslie Zemsky, Larkin’s “director of fun.”

“The idea is to introduce writers in a relaxed, unexpected venue ... for an informal book talk and chance to share a glass of wine with the author,” Zemsky wrote. “The time is chosen to make it easy to come right from work, hear something interesting, enjoy a glass of wine and have the rest of the evening free!”

Right now, plans call for the series to extend through the warm weather months, Zemsky said.

Another event in the series, planned for April 1, will feature Cathy Buchanan, author of “The Day the Falls Stood Still,” organizers said.

“If it is an author new to Buffalo, they can talk about their book and writing,” wrote Zemsky, of the concept behind the events. “For some local favorites, I will ask them to talk about other books they are reading, or other topics.”

McCleary will likely discuss her book “A Simple Thing,” which is her second novel. It tells the story of two women, one of them a mother looking to protect her children – from bullying and other things – by removing herself from the craziness of everyday life to a remote island.

The work of McCleary, a Virginia resident who teaches writing as an adjunct faculty member at American University, has won praise from the New York Times and USA Today, among other places, event organizers said.

Buchanan has a new book coming out this week. “The Painted Girls” takes as a subject a young dancer painted by Degas.

The Filling Station is located at 745 Seneca St.

For more information about the speaker series, visit the Larkin Square website,, or see the Talking Leaves website at