Wednesday, August 24, 2011

2011 Long Island Book Festival

I will be reading at this year's Long Island Book Festival International during the weekend of September. It should be an exciting event. In addition to reading from my debut Shades of Luz, I am considering sharing some excerpts from my forthcoming Disposable Heroes. More to follow.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Shades of Luz Available on Nook

So you want to stick it to Kindle then go and pick up the nutty Benny Fluke caper on Nook. It's still packed with humor, heart, and a bunch of other stuff I'd rather not get into at the moment. Nobody will hold it against you if you decided to pick it up in paperback form.

Cheers Mates!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Barnes and Noble Stamp of Approval

So I was at the Barnes and Noble on Fifth Avenue a few blocks from Rockefellar Center the other day, the very Barnes and Noble that minted me a Benjamin. Well, not literally, but I found it splat on the floor by the checkout roughyl this time last year. Not a bad reason to go bookstore hopping.

Anyway, I was lollygagging through the second floor fiction section when I stumbled upon-- Shades of Luz of all things. Now, I know my book has almost been in print for a year and I know it is available through obscure locations like Amazon UK, Amazon India, St. Marks Bookshop, the stacks of Strand and a few other nifty spots.

If it sticks out of the bookcase it must be legitimate.

I guess my immediate reaction was surprise. It's been almost a year since it's been in print and I have walked into independent bookshops and have seen it loafing on a shelf. But it's a horse of a different color seeing your book in a Barnes and Noble. No, I don't think I've arrived. Still, not to get the word about my writing, but it was a nice moment. Let's leave it at that.

For now, Girma Dali is taking up much of my time.I'd love that to be my follow-up, but we will have to see.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Shades of Luz Goes Kindle

If you can't bea'mt then join'm. Words to live by. I guess it's perfect that Shades of Luz Kindle is born on the Fourth of July. It's like revolutionary idea meets revolutionary idea. That's a kind of mimesis for you Greek-o-philes.

The truth is I'm happy that folks will get a chance to read my book on the cheap. So you must realzie I didn't get into this writing racket to make mad mullah. It's kind of a grueling, arduous pursuit with the fringe benefit of being able to smell my ink in print. That last line is kind of pilfered from Steve Almond's short story "My Life in heavy Metal" but it hammers home the key point of one of the big benefits of getting the printed word out there, the hope that somebody will read it.

Indeed, technology is making it possible to read much more stuff, cheaper, and in all kinds of ways. Readaholics should be nust about it and they are. Let me be the first to send you to my Shades of Luz Kindle page. You don't have to pick up a copy of the book. Just browse, window shop whatever floats your boat, but don't tell my publisher All Things That Matter Press that I said that. I still would like them to take a look at my future type-written diatribes.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Treasure of the Salvation Army

Who says you can't find interesting things at the Salvation Army? I'm not major frequenter, but I enjoy the hodgepodge, the hope of finding a small lost treasure. Mainly, I like to see if there is anything utilitarian that might enhance the ambiance of my apartment.

Usually, I ransack the book section. It's amazing what gets tossed for junk. Some of it is clearly sub-junk.

While I was debating whether or not to appropriate a second edition Robert Bly book of poems for 79 cents I came across what seemed to be an uncorrected proof of Elizabeth George's new novel "The Body of Death" which is slated for release this Spring. Seven hundred Xerox-copied pages topped with a flimsy mimeographed cover. It had the contact info for the editor associated with the book. Now I'm not dumb enough to think this was some lone copy. Obviously, a pre-publicity campaign had been launched. Copies sent out to all the usual suspects: newspapers, radio stations, C-SPAN, Oprah, Charlie Rose, The View, etc.

What did strike me as interesting though was the 6 city tour marked on the inside of the book. Six cities. Hmmm. I considered all the top cities recently touted as the cultural meccas of the universe: Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne. But no, there were only 6 American cities listed: New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.

To be sure, this was a pretty decent start, but what Portland, Minneapolis, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Providence. And what about Canada? I was shocked to see such a small book tour for such an established best seller. I mean, all by mysef I pieced together 8 and half cities. On my dime of course, but still this sort of frightened me.

I recently read that the Beatles in the latter part of the sixties did little touring. One year in fact the Beatles capitalized on a rumor that Paul McCartney died in a car crash. Everybody was stoned those years so the brains behind the band cooked up psychedelic messages on the records when played backwards.

Now in this globalized mobile home-office world of infinite hours PR people have been paid to cut corners. I imagine this is why Elizabeth George, as big as she is, doesn't need to globetrot unless for her own self-needy peregrinations. I actually called up the PR person. Why the hell not? I wouldn't mind a bit of help on my own Shades of Luz campaign. She never called me back, but she did respond to my email and said that if I was so inclined I could keep the uncorrected proof of the book. I never actually bought it.

I picked up a copy of Robert Bly instead.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Gorman Set to Read at KGB Bar

Set to read at the Trumpet Fiction Series tomorrow night at KGB Bar. Haven't decided what part of Shades of Luz to read from but I am leaning towards a part I've not yet shared in public. Should be oodles of fun.

Some of the Peanut Gallery have been encouraging me to read "Dog Day Afternoon" or the All in The Family" chapter. I've been loading up on too many "All in the Family" shows recently- the repeats they play on TVland on weeknights. I want to keep the surprise as long as possible, but I would have to say that both of those chapters are not high on my list. Sorry. And I am not going to read the chapter that is currently up on my website.

Catch you in the Village.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Power Outage

It’s quarter to nine and it’s still pitch black along the Pacific Northwest coastline. Part of this has to do with the landscape’s position in relation to the rising sun and part of it has to do waterlogged clouds that hog the sky. The wind whips my face. This isn’t rain but some sordid combo of hail and wet BBs. Oregon rain blows sideways hitting me off the cheeks and chin. The beach sand skitters by thick as desert sidewinders. Sometimes it wafts off the ground as if smoke or the healing spirit dust shaman blow out of conch shells.

I pass the aquarium and wave to Monsieur Bones, the dead whale suspended from its ceiling cables, and the Coke machine guarding the building’s fa├žade. The Martian glow of the Coke machine is the only nearby light. The rest of the promenade is veiled in midnight shadow. Not a flicker within the bed and breakfasts, Shilohs, or any of the other shops. The Lewis and Clarke statue peers off ambivalent to morning’s tardiness. The general store, the gourmet coffee house, and the rows of kitsch shops fade into one long blur. The door to Pig and Pancake is set ajar and I see a few lone pokes perusing menus in flashlight. I truck on. Cross the street to Dundee’s Donuts where I hope to grab a fresh one and a cup of joe. Their sign says open daily from 7 to 7. My watch reads 9:01AM. So I pull open the door and as if I put my head into a giant beluga. Somebody mumbles. Sounds like the Wizard of Oz slowspeed.

“Donut.” It’s the only thing I can think of and he throws me a donut back, but his sounds more like a question. My eyes begin to adjust. I can make the feint traces of a booth. Chipped corners betray the once unmarred wood. I can now smell the barista’s breath, redolent of clam chowder and Ricola. He flicks on his lighter. The wisping flame reveals a naked lady in red cowboy boots. The barista’s thumbnail has a thin gash and he points to cellophane-wrapped paper plates sporting day old glazed. I’m desperate. I’d eat through cellophane if I couldn’t shear it off, but this barista is chummy and hellbent on sharing his humblest apologies why he cannot offer me fresh-made frosties and Boston cremes. I nod not knowing what else to do. Can’t this guy hear my stomach growling? He knows I don’t come from around here. I lie and say I’m from Kansas City.

“Funny you don’t like you’re from Kansas City,” he says.

“I move around a lot,”

As I close in on the coffee pot he invites me to the other shop’s side. Dundees is also a bar and connects to the donut shop and I admit this makes me snicker in a puerile way. I’m craving my first lick of caffeine. My eyes have adjusted again and now I can see that there are ketchup packets and crayons in each little basket on each table booth. The Best Western I’m staying at also serves baskets of crayons, but no bread. I’m dying for a chocoholic bite of readymade frosting. And just then my barista’s cell phone goes off— “I’ve got two tickets to paradise.” I’ll take just one. The barista walks to the bar side leaving me to fend for myself and course there are no cups. He is gone for two minutes too long and I test drip the coffee. It’s really not that hot— a paltry few degrees above lukewarm— so I decide, against better judgment, to bend my head under the spout. The first spritz smarts my tongue. All these hot showers I’ve been taking haven’t prepped me for this moment nor have the super-nuked hot pockets I’ve scarfed down. It’s not that I’ve never burnt my tongue or the roof of my mouth. Everything tastes like a potato for days, but this is different. I am strangely drawn to this ungodly scalding as if to kill all the nips of bacteria glommed to the bumps of my tongue. Not my brightest hour. Big fat watermelon-sized coffee beans shoot off. My synapses go from zero to seventy in eight seconds flat.

I don’t hang around for the barista, but I leave behind two dollars for less than a Dixie’s cup worth of java juice.

Nine-fifteen and the first crack of light stirs in the sky.