Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Finding Tulsa, my seventh novel and advance fundraiser

My seventh novel, Finding Tulsa, will be published in September 2020 with Palm Drive Publishing.  Check out the rave advance quotes from some of my favorite authors and filmmakers, and check out the IndieGogo fundraiser!

The story

Stan Grozniak, director of a ’90s cult action trilogy and gay art films, almost self-sabotages a prestigious directing gig with his writer-producer ex-boyfriend, after casting his rediscovered teenage summer stock crush. His tale of cinematic success and failure captures the passion and heartache of making love, making movies, and the occasional riot.

Read the first four chapters free at

Advance praise for Finding Tulsa

“Everything’s coming up roses in Finding Tulsa, Jim Provenzano’s intoxicating portrait of an artist as young to middle-aged man, from a high school musical techie in torn shorts to a semi jaded independent gay filmmaker. It’s a well-told yarn, full of humor and panache about a Hollywood player torn between his boyhood crush and a porn star. Spin the bottle, ride the Rolodex, and fasten your seat belt for Provenzano’s sweet roller coaster ride.”

Marc Huestis, film director (Sex Is …) and author of Impresario of Castro Street: an Intimate Showbiz Memoir

“Finding Tulsa reminds you what a good friend a novel can be.  It’s about friendship, about “losing men and then finding them,” about brotherly love and conflict, and the possibility of resolution.  It’s sexy, funny, astute, panoramic – it knows about suburban Ohio basement rec rooms and glam parties in the Hollywood hills.  I felt like I had met a charming guy at a cocktail party who seemed to get me, understood my past, confided his own, and then disappeared to another better party before I was ready for him to leave.  And it’s wrapped around a fearless, wrenching narrative about facing your childhood demons, raising the question of whether or not one of the demons might have been you. There’s so much to savor, to argue with, reflect upon, learn from, enjoy.”­

John Weir, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket

“Jim Provenzano must have been spying on me from my adolescence (making short films with my brother) to my adulthood (making gay movies and TV series). I identified with every twist, turn, and blow by blow of this sexy show biz saga!” 

Sam Irvin, Director of Dante’s Cove; Co-Producer of Gods And Monsters and The Broken Hearts Club

Finding Tulsa is sexy, romantic, witty, engaging, both cleverly current yet sweetly retrospective. It's Jim Provenzano's most complex and accomplished novel. He gets so much right and so evocatively about show business, from those school plays we all remember to Hollywood made-for-television movies, with delicious stops at boyhood Super-8 movies and out of town gay porn shoots.”
Felice Picano, author of Justify My Sins: A Hollywood Novel in Three Acts,
and the New York Times best-seller Like People in History

“Jim Provenzano's sexy, funny and soulful new novel Finding Tulsa is a beautiful deep-end dive into the memory of desire, the thumping bass note that drives life and art. The novel gorgeously explores how our hearts and cocks are woven with our theatre and films as we figure out how to be the star of our own queer story.” 
Tim Miller, Performer and author of A Body in the O 

“Lights! Camera! Action! Finding Tulsa is a show-biz comedy told by a witty industry insider divulging how plays and movies and characters like “Tulsa” help gay boys survive adolescence, create identity, and worship beauty. What better icons could Provenzano have picked than Sondheim and Gypsy on which to fly his vivid characters, backstage intrigues, and dialogue sure to thrill the theater and movie queen in all of us. Writing at the top of his powers, with his striped tie and hopes high, he’s got rhythm. All he needs is you to go with ’im. A splendid romp! Let him entertain you!”

Jack Fritscher, author of Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera and the Lammy Finalist, Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel of San Francisco 1970-1982

“Jim Provenzano always keeps in mind what the original ‘Tulsa’ said in Gypsy: ‘This step is good for the costume.’ Provenzano never misses a step as he suavely combines aesthetics and homoerotics in a work that is throughout deeply touching.”

David Ehrenstein, author of Open Secret: Gay Hollywood–1928-2000

 Donate to get your copy, ebook or paperback. Donate more and get copies of my previous books in paperback, ebook, and audiobook!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Destroyed on the Fourth of July

The author at Ashland Balloonfest 2004
As Americans endure the strangest July weekend in years, I'm reminded of another holiday weekend years ago, in my hometown, where celebrations and destruction occurred within blocks of each other, and how these clashing events became a pivotal part of my most recent novel, but it took years for the anticipated story to finally happen.

With July 4 celebrations on hold due to COVID-19 –except for the multiple illegal noise and sparks that have been going on for weeks in cities across the U.S.– it is a strange time to be celebrating our 'freedom' and 'liberty' when so many centuries of oppression, racism, and capitalist cruelty are being exposed, sadly with little immediate consequence. Our utterly, blatantly corrupt administration and its deranged president continue the neo-fascist insanity at a dizzying pace.

Ashland BalloonFest 2004
Sixteen years ago, I made a rare summer visit to my parents' home in Ashland, Ohio. I'd enjoy a week of humid bucolic semi-rural pleasure with Mom, Dad, and their adorable cats, and the nearby BalloonFest, which had at the time become an annual event, set in a large field near my childhood home.

But the real reason stemmed from a phone conversation with my mother, who mentioned that an entire block of homes near ours was set for demolition to make way for a large parking lot that Ashland University claimed was 'necessary.' I had to witness this massive destruction and displacement.

I immediately knew these events would become part of my then-in-progress novel, Now I'm Here. Why? Because I predicted them. I'd already considered some form of urban 'improvement' as part of a late chapter in the story. But instead of making it up completely, I presciently knew that this would happen.

Although the smaller, more southern fictional Ohio town of Serene would undergo changes through the story. I hadn't anticipated such a stunning example of municipal mendacity and idiocy.

First, the pleasant part of my 2004 visit. The Children's Home Field, as it was informally known, spread across acres behind a street of homes near ours. At the opposite end of the open area, where as kids we played in summers and winters, was bordered by a small strip of woods that divided the more wealthy Country Club homes.

Sound familiar? That setting was used in my fourth and fifth novels, Every Time I Think of You and in its sequel, Message of Love. The field served as a literal and metaphorical distance between Reid and Everett.

But in 2004, those novels hadn't even begun. I was still considering Now I'm Here as my next book (or another one, which will be out in September 2020-stay tuned for that!).

So, while I enjoyed the colorful balloons with my parents over that July 4 holiday, a mere stroll from our nearby home, less than three blocks away, the housing carnage had begun.