Author Richard Ford is an accidental novelist, landing in the literary world after failed attempts to become a Marine, a hotel manager, a CIA operative, and an Arkansas state trooper. In 1982, after Sports Illustrated declined to hire him, Ford was reduced to fiction writing, and later went on to write Independence Day (1996), the only novel ever to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. His new book, Women With Men, is comprised of three long stories about the complications of intimacy and loves that wander, as Ford has, through Chicago, Paris, and Montana. Ford will read selections from his love stories at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. $23. For reservations call (202) 347-5495. (Stephanie Mencimer)