Sad news this week as the Philadelphia Gay News reports that Giovanni’s Room, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the country, will close for good in May.
Owner Ed Hermance, who has operated the store since the dark early days of the gay-rights movement in the 1970s, tried to find a buyer for the store so he could retire, but an apparent deal fell through. According to the PGN, Hermance blames Amazon and similar retailers for making business difficult for indie booksellers, and says he’s lost between $10,000 and $15,000 keeping Giovanni’s Room open so far in 2014.
I’ve shopped at Giovanni’s Room many times in the last twelve years or so, and lived for two years at Juniper and Pine Streets, less than two blocks away. It’s always been a dream to one day see a book I’d written on their shelves, one of those fantasies young writers have about how we know when we’ve “made it.” Giovanni’s Room was a terrific, welcoming space where the shelves were always well-stocked and well-maintained. It felt like a place where people loved books. Continue Reading
That right there is a finished first draft. I hit my five-month target, starting in November and wrapping up on the last day of March.
If you’re wondering what the process is now, the next step is six weeks in a drawer. That gives the manuscript time to season, and me enough distance so when I next pick it up I’ll have [somewhat] objective eyes.
This version is nowhere near ready for beta-readers. It’s the cleanest first draft I’ve ever written, but there are still some very rough sections I know have to be completely rewritten, and I’m not sure the plot or story make sense in this version. Hopefully the second or third draft might be ready for some reader feedback. I’m aiming for June or July for that.
So the question of the moment is: What to do for the next six weeks?
I mean, besides drinking.
My glamorous apartment wall and perfectly coifed hair and I are here to remind you that Collective Fallout’s Futuristic Edition (July 2011) is available, and that it features my short story Toll Road, as well as art and fiction from a bunch of other really talented people. I got my first shipment of copies today, and I can attest that they do in fact exist. They feature words printed on paper. By reading those words as you advance the pages, you can experience short fiction in the comfort of your very own home, city bus, or prison bunk.
Of course, if you prefer a bunch of ones and zeroes which may be translated by the device of your choice into readable text, the good folks at Collective Fallout have a product to suit your needs, and at the affordable price of only ninety nine cents, a mere 16% of the price of an ink-and-paper edition!
These are the people who were kind enough to give me my first commercial publication, and so you should support them. I make no profit whatsoever from your purchase, but then don’t we all profit from the availability of quality speculative fiction with an LGBT interest?
The holidays are right around the corner, and nothing shows your love like the story of a man compelled to walk the post-apocalyptic remains of the Pennsylvania Turnpike to atone for his guilt over his dead lover.
Ack! I haven’t updated in almost a month! Sorry, there’s been a lot going on in my personal life recently, and I’ve been a bit distracted. On the good side, I have applied a dose of discipline and commitment to my writing, and I have been getting some work done.
I’ve put the current novel-in-progress on hold for a few weeks and worked instead on short stories. I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the epic scope of the novel, and it’s been a relief to focus on the short form. I finished one short story late last month and submitted it for publication with a sizable electronic market that would pay pretty well. I don’t expect success, but I figured I’d try for the home run first. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to keep approaching markets until someone somewhere picks up the story. Continue Reading