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7

FRIDAY

Ron McLarty is that guy. You know: That quirky sex therapist on Sex and the City. That lovable sergeant on Spenser: For Hire. The 57-year-old is the archetypal working actor, but even an old reliable has his dry spells. So, in the early ’80s, he began writing fiction as a catharsis. After years of shopping around his manuscripts, McLarty gave up on being published but continued to write. In 2000, Recorded Books, the actor’s sometime employer, released McLarty’s unpublished The Memory of Running on tape. An audio copy of the novel, in which a middle-aged bachelor named Smithy pedals cross-country on his childhood bike after his parents die in a car crash, reached the hands of Stephen King, then recovering from his own 1999 accident, in which he was struck by a minivan while walking. King’s subsequent endorsement of the book in Entertainment Weekly led to deals with Viking-Penguin and Warner Bros. Ask McLarty about his—and Smithy’s—amazing adventure when he reads at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 418 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 638-7610. (Anne Marson)