Coming home

It’s official. I’m taking part in the Decatur (Ga.) Book Festival, which will be held Aug. 31-Sept. 2 on and around the town square. I’ll participate in a panel discussion from 1:15 p.m-2 p.m. on Sept. 2 and sign copies of Beneath the Neon immediately afterward.

If you’re in the Atlanta area that weekend, drop by the festival and say hello. Also, please spread the word to anyone else who may be interested in attending. (Sandwiches on me at Sensational Subs – or has it closed, too?)

For more info on the Decatur Book Festival, visit www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Summer reading

Local glossy 944 included Beneath the Neon in its summer reading list. Very cool and very much appreciated.

But the most interesting thing about the list, in my opinion, was the photo that accompanied it: a model in a bikini and Jackie O. shades tanning by a pool, reading Beneath the Neon. It’s a jarring image, really, and wet with irony. I couldn’t help but wonder if this seemingly oblivious beauty was at the Hard Rock pool, above its triple-barrel storm drain – one of the meanest skid rows in town. Or at the MGM Grand pool, above madmen roaming in the dark with no light sources.

Unfortunately, 944’s website is somewhat sparse and doesn’t appear to include the summer reading list and photo. But if you live in Las Vegas, pick up a copy. The photo alone will be worth it, I think.

Thanks!

The last two weeks have been insane, with the book-launch party and all. I finally have a few minutes to blog about the party. Yes, a few minutes.

The party went really, really well. A lot of close friends and family members showed up. Deke Castleman, who edited Beneath the Neon, flew in from the Reno area and the designer Kat Topaz flew in from Portland, Ore., with her baby girl Odessa. Very cool.

Also, a lot of local writers attended: John L. Smith, Joshua Ellis, Brian Rouff, Cathy Scott, Bill Branon, H. Lee Barnes, Chip Mosher, Andrew Kiraly and others. Yes, very cool.

I want to thank Becki Davis of Huntington Press, Evette Jensen of the Arts Factory and Paymon Raouf of Paymon’s Mediterranean Café for helping make the party happen. Thanks, y’all!

Finally, some of Danny Mollohan’s black-and-white prints are left over from the party. If anyone wants a print, contact Danny at 702-807-9386 or killerbeard@priest.com. He can make prints of any photos from the book or from his Flickr.com page, www.flickr.com/photos/dannymollohanphotography.

Check ’em out!

Book-launch party

We’ve finalized the details of my book-launch party. The party will be held from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. June 1 at the Arts Factory in Suite 202. About 20 close friends and family members are flying in to celebrate the book and to hang out. I’ve also invited a few local friends.

Suite 202 of the Arts Factory is relatively small, about 20 feet by 15 feet. But there’s a neighboring common area, where people can hang out. I’ll sign copies of the book in the suite, and hors d’oeuvres from Paymon’s Mediterranean Cafe and refreshments will be served in the common area.

I’m encouraging friends and family to arrive early. The Arts Factory gets slammed on First Friday after 7 p.m. and the hordes are sure to smell the free food.

See you there!

All apologies

What the world needs now is not another blog. Nonetheless, here it is. All apologies.

But don’t worry. I do not plan to pontificate about current events, pop culture, politics, homelessness and the environment. We do enough of that at CityLife. (See for yourself at www.lasvegascitylife.com.)

This blog — and I want you to hold me to this — will focus on my first book, Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas, and things related to the book and my career. In other words, it will be more professional than personal. I’ll post articles here. (If I can figure out how to do that.) I’ll reflect on book signings, festivals and the publishing world, which from early indications seems every bit as dark and nasty and vicious as the storm drains. And I’ll make announcements. For example:

Beneath the Neon: Life and Death in the Tunnels of Las Vegas is now available through Stephens Press at 702-387-5260 or www.stephenspress.com. It’s also available at www.amazon.com.

Anyway, I’ll probably post on a semi-regular basis (about once a week) and try to avoid shameless self-promotions. I’ll also try to keep the posts short.

So there you have it. Just what the world does not need. Another blog. Another lunatic screaming in an empty alley. Another voice that will probably never escape this black hole in cyberspace.