Jeremy Hawkins is guest host of #LitChat on August 3, 2015. Follow #LitChat on Twitter, or login to our direct channel at hawkins

Jeremy Hawkins‘s debut novel, The Last Days of Video, is a quirky story of redemption for a lovable group of outcasts, and a love letter to the presence of movies in all of our lives.

It’s 2007, and video stores are dying. But most of you don’t care. You’ve got your Netflix and your Redbox and your DVR, so why deal with VHS tapes or scratched DVDs? Why deal with the grumpy guy at the worn-down independent video store?

The Last Days of VideoThat grumpy guy is Waring Wax, and he’s usually too drunk to worry about his declining business at Star Video, let alone his quickly evolving extinction in popular culture. But everything changes in his small college town when a bright and shiny Blockbuster Video opens nearby: Clearly, this means war.

So Waring enlists the help of his two reluctant employees to hatch a series of wild schemes and fight against the corporate invaders. Together, these three misfits try to save Star Video while confronting Waring’s self-destructive tendencies, a life-training cult, corporate bicycle gangs, an indifferent base of customers, and the arrival of a famous Hollywood director plagued by visitations from the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock.

Jeremy Hawkins’s writing has appeared at Electric Lit-erature, Diagram, Pacifica, The Molotov Cocktail, and other venues. He earned an MFA in Fiction from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and he is the founder and lead editor of The Distillery, a web-based editing service. Hawkins is also an independent bookseller at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, N.C. and he teaches creative writing at the Carrboro Arts Center. And of course, he worked for almost ten years at VisArt Video, a family-owned chain of video stores in Chapel Hill/Durham, North Carolina.

Follow Jeremy Hawkins on Twitter: @LastDaysOfVideo.