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.
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
Try them all!

Launch party, reading, 
signing and music of Queen performed by Peter Fogel 
Dog Eared Books Castro  489 Castro St.  7pm.

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.

Literary Speakeasy
7pm. 4 Valencia St. at Market 

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
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

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

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.

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