Friday, August 3, 2018

Now I'm Here - reading & music events with author Jim Provenzano summer/fall 2018

Instead of whipping up some inspirational essay on writing, or revealing the hours of unleashing stage one of a media campaign, I'll instead just share the goods on my sixth novel, Now I'm Here, and share my schedule of readings with music and more, from this month to mid-October. I spent hours on the moody artwork above, so instead of changing it, the schedule below will. Thanks! Hope to see you soon.


Dog Eared Books
AUG 14
Queer Authors Reading Queer Authors 
Dog Eared Books Castro  489 Castro St.  7pm.
www.dogearedbooks.com
Along with hosts Richard May and Wayne Goodman, stellar authors Margo Perin, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Nona Caspers and myself bring favorite excerpts from other LGBT authors.  Event info HERE.  I'll be reading from the late Mark Merlis' American Studies.


In 1996, Merlis's novel, one of four great works, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and the Ferro-Grumley Award for distinction in gay writing. It's a fascinating story of one man's obsession with the past life of a closeted schoolteacher.  Merlis died in 2017.

I've loved each of Merlis's works. His Greek gogo stud epic, An Arrow's Flight, unleashed my impulse to underline my third novel, Cyclizen, with a Greek myth. You can read more in my tribute to Merlis.

In 2012, when I'd been in Philadelphia for a week of researching Message of Love, I ran into many friends, including meeting Merlis and his husband Robert Ashe. We had brunch and talked shop. I was flattered that he recognized me. Two days later I won a Lammy.

Giovanni's Room June reading 2015
In 2015, before a reading I'd organized at Giovanni's Room (with Paul Lisicky, Dean Kostos, Matthew Hittinger and Kelly McQuain) for the weekend before again attending the Lambda Literary Awards (only a finalist that year), I'd been in Philadelphia with author/pal John Weir, who drove! from Brooklyn!

Merlis attended the reading. It was a fine afternoon.
You can see Mark in a back row, as Paul Lisicky reads.
I guess my point is, I'm showing up for someone who showed up for me.

Also, from EchoNYC via the Washington Post:
“I am, of course, a gay man whose . . . novels are swarming with gay characters,” Merlis once told an interviewer with the website EchoNYC. “And I have allowed myself to be marketed as a practitioner of a genre called gay fiction. But this is a commercial category, not an artistic one. I write, like anybody else, about how it is to be human.”



AUG 29
NOW I'M HERE  - Kindle and ebook Release
Yes, you can order now on Amazon
But this is the release date.
Since it's online, I will do a Faceplanksnapthingy that day.

You can also buy it on KOBO.
You can also buy it as a Nook on BarnesandNoble.com
Try them all!




SEPT 20
NOW I'M HERE 
Launch party, reading, 
signing and music of Queen performed by Peter Fogel 
Dog Eared Books Castro  489 Castro St.  7pm.
www.dogearedbooks.com

So yes; the big Hello; launch party, music, drinks and literature at the center of the Castro district. It should be fun.

Yesterday I uploaded all the new media, the various-shaped versions required for odd-shaped headers (see above) on the TwitInstaFace. It was all to get started on this glorious expedition back into the 'people noticed you wrote a book' land.

I didn't even share the Facebook event page except on my author page and personal profile, and already in one day, 15 people RSVPed to be there. Before I send out the invites, or even buy another ad, it's interesting to not, as a sort of beta test, who sees what you put out there, particularly with warped perspectives, lousy algorithms and whatnot. It's great to see a few old friends being there for you.


Peter Fogel @ DNA Lounge. photo: Anthony Bonnett
Yes, you'll see a musical theme here, particularly Queen.  

Fogel, who's been a prolific musical playwright, composer, and been in like 14 bands, will play his own take on a few Queen classics.

From creating the rock camp epics Above & Beyond the Valley of the Ultra Showgirls and Club Inferno, and the upcoming Queen of the Galaxy,  to folk retro bands like The Whoa Nellies, and even crooning as Rocky in his Horror Show, Fogel is a fabulous performer in any setting.

Among Fogel's mirthful musical gigs;  the drag band PepperSpray (photo by Anthony Bonnett). A few videos of their live shows reside on my YouTube Channel.



SEPT 27
Literary Speakeasy
7pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market
www.litquake.org 

This night is a hoot, a jam-packed eclectic mix –and so are the cocktails– hosted by James J Siegel for two years. The last Literary Speakeasy I did was in June 2016. with Ginger Murrary, Jeff Desira, Anna Pulley, and Peter Thomas.
The line-up for September is TBA, so check back soon.
Enjoy a cocktail and some terrific authors.
 

OCT 12
NOW I'M HERE 
Reading, signing and music of Queen
performed by Dudley Saunders
Book Soup 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood

Hollywood, baby! Not unlike my steadfast protagonist Joshua, I'm approaching Los Angeles with hope and jitters. The venerable Book Soup lies in the same neighborhood where several chapters in Now I'm Here take place, albeit decades earlier.


A 2018 Emmy winner, Dudley Saunders will perform acoustic versions of a few Queen songs.

Saunders is an accomplishing performer and songwriter. He also recorded the eloquent acoustic version of the title song, "Message of Love" for my book's trailer.


His art explores the hidden lives of marginalized people in: performance art, video, fiction, documentary film and experimental folk music. Saunders has written and performed four evening-length performance art pieces, Second Sleep (The Pyramid Club, 1990), The Long Swallowed Hair (Or Faggot Skin) (The Kitchen, 1992), Birdbones (The Kitchen, 1994) and Death Blues (Dixon Place, 1995), which New York Press selected as Best Musical of the Year.  He has twice collaborated with Heather Woodbury on the award-winning, multi-evening epics What Ever And Tale Of 2cities, the latter of which received an OBIE Award for Ensemble Performance. 
Plenty more at dudleysaunders.com


Maria Konner & Race Bannon 2016
OCT 20
Lit Crawl at Martuni's
5pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market
www.litquake.org

At my tenth anniversary night hosting
BARtab's first-hour Lit Crawl event, I'll be joined by Bud Gundy, Trebor Healey, Kathleen Knowles, K.R. Morrison, and Gar McVey-Russell.

Bud, Kathleen and I share Midwestern roots. Trebor's an old friend and colleague, and Gar and I read at a recent event at Books Inc Opera Plaza. Can't wait to meet K.R. Morrison.

Last year, we included music in between readings, and it was a hit. So we're back for the tenth time. With the star of Puff! and Flore music nights, Maria Konner, at the piano authors read excerpts that relate to a song or genre. Play 'em off, Maria!

So.   It looks like I did write an essay about writing after all.
More events soon, hopefully.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Now I'm Here - Get an Advance Reader Copy now!


It's Christmas in July! New Advance Reader Copies of my sixth novel, Now I'm Here, have arrived.  I'll be mailing signed copies to more than a dozen fans in the next few weeks.

To sign up, simply private message me via either of my social media pages: Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, or Instagram. Like and subscribe, then send a private message with your mailing address.
In exchange, you agree to post an honest review of Now I'm Here on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com and/or BarnesandNoble.com. Post a review on all three sites, and on the social media account of your choice, and I'll mail you a signed copy of my first novel, PINS!
This offer is for U.S. and Canada addresses only.
For overseas fans, ebook giveaways will kick off in August. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Now I'm Here, new novel, new website

Now I’m Here
a novel by Jim Provenzano

ISBN-13: 978-0998126265
Release date: September 19, 2018

“Here is a novel of such sweep and breadth that to call it simply a love story is inadequate, even while the love of David and Joshua at the heart of the book resonates so deeply that I could not stop reading their tale. Provenzano is one of our masters; like his character Joshua he is a kind of musician. The instrument he plays on is the heart, and the story of these men rings true for all of us who lived through these years.”  
Jim Grimsley, author of Dream Boy and Winter Birds
"Jim Provenzano has again created characters that a reader can’t help but fall in love with. This is an epic story, a tale as captivating as a favorite piece of music.”  
Mark Abramson, author of Minnesota Boy
“A haunting page turner;  Provenzano fearlessly navigates, with wit, unflinching candor and a detective’s tenacity, that deepest mystery: first love, with all its euphoria, madness and wreckage. Gorgeously written, Now I’m Here stands alongside the best of Edmund White and Andrew Holleran. I could spend a year with each sentence.” 
Adam Tendler, concert pianist, author of 88x50: A Memoir of Sexual Discovery, Modern Music and The United States of America

So, yes! My sixth novel is available for pre-order on Amazon.com in ebook and paperback editions. It will be in bookstores in September.

And to jazz up this little celebration, I got a new website: https://www.jimprovenzano.com/
Visit, scroll around and let me know what you think.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Wrestling with Angels, Laughing at Demons

Randy Harrison and Francesca Faridany
 in Angels in America at Berkeley Rep.
photo: Kevin Berne
It would be great if the fact that two major productions of Tony Kushner's two-part drama, Angels in America, could bracket our nation and hold it together. But unfortunately, it reflects the comic chaos then and now, and our confused queries about democracy, death, and justice. On its 25th anniversary, the work continues to inspire, and reminds me of the many people I've lost in the past quarter century.


The story of the play's development is as long and fascinating as the work itself. Here's a Slate oral history of the work's development, which moves from San Francisco to New York, as did my journeys to see the play. A brief quote:
Stephen Spinella with Tony Kushner
in the 1993 Broadway production
of Angels in America

"Tony Kushner’s Angels in America premiered in the tiny Eureka Theatre in San Francisco’s Mission District. Within two years it had won the Pulitzer Prize and begun a New York run that would dominate the Tony Awards two years in a row, revitalize the non-musical play on Broadway, and change the way gay lives were represented in pop culture. Both parts of Angels, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika, put gay men at the center of American politics, history, and mythology at a time when they were marginalized by the culture at large and dying in waves."

Understandably, death plays an important role in the works. But surprisingly, while the main character Prior Walter actually wrestles an angel for answers, and his blessing, the plays are quite funny –hilarious, in fact– because the jokes are paired with serious issues and emotions.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

And the Theatre Kids shall lead them; exposing NRA-whore politicians with Truth

Defying the latest round of rightwing-fed 'crisis actor' accusations, teenage survivors of the latest school shooting have proven defiant to the hypocritical inaction of GOP politicians who, instead of enacting swift gun control efforts, veer to the reverse, all the while enacting inept antiquated Band-aids by slapping up In God We Trust on school walls, and in Iowa, banning LGBT books in school libraries.

With the chilling 'conversation' and Q & As with weasels like Trump, Rubio and Florida Governor Scott offering nothing in the way of change, it's going to be a hard road. But the outspoken kids of these town halls may have finally found a breaking point.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Love, Longing and Loss; catching up too late



The mark of a good writer is prolificity, that is, the ability to get it all written. Fortunately, I've been doing that, elsewhere, leaving the obligatory blogging to wait.

A single theme escapes me, other than the toll of author departures. With so many tumultuous events and lossesand I'm not talking about the Dow it's time to roll on after a brief review. I have to write something to get the December Christmas tree off my front page.

When discussing literature, it's pretty much turned into a toll of loss. Well, one could do that by consulting a list of all recent writer deaths, but let's not. There is hope.