LOOK AT THEM NOW. I’m very excited about some of the new books that are available from Apar Books/Guardian Publications. Top of the list is Look at Them Now, which features short fiction by my longtime friends Tom Sinclair, Alan Saly, and Christian Doherty, and me. We wrote the 40 stories in this volume between 1968 and 1975, and most of them have gone unseen since their first appearance. To prepare the volume, I went through many stories, some great, others not so good, before I came up with ten tales per author. I then had to digitize them (and clean up the scanning artifacts), and lay them out with appropriate art from the magazines in which they initially appeared (mostly by Corky Miller, but also illustrations by Pierre Vaz and Doug Picirillo). There are some really terrific stories in here – even though they were written by teenagers – and I urge you to pick up a copy today.
DRIVING ME CRAZY. Available now is my third (or fourth, see below) collection of personal essays in the ongoing “Tom Soter does anyone really care?” memoir project. Actually, I know many people care because of the favorable remarks I’ve gotten concerning my first two volumes, Overheard on a Bus and Disappearing Act. This one is a little different: although it features many (what I believe are) amusing anecdotes about my life and family (I’m particularly pleased with my story about online dating), it also includes my interview with James Bond screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz (Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die) and my conversation with Carol Schindler about improv comedy. Check it out!
A DOCTOR AND A PLUMBER IN A ROWBOAT. And speaking of improv, this volume, which came out late last year and which my co-author Carol Schindler and I modestly dubbed “The Essential Guide to Improvisation,” has received some nice remarks from some people who know something about the art of improv: actors Mark Ruffalo (“I highly recommend this book”) and Hal Linden (Barney Miller, “I wish I had this book when I was first starting out”), and master teacher Rob McCaskill (“This is a great teaching tool for anyone who wants to improvise well”). It’s available now from Amazon.
BED BUGS, BIONDI & ME. This could be called my third book of memoirs, although it’s a little different from the other books in the series. It features pieces I wrote for Habitat magazine over the past five years for my monthly “From the Editor” column (there are also three stories that didn’t appear there: a report of my talk with actor Charles Grodin about a play he wrote about prejudice in co-ops and two stories about ex-boxer Nick Biondi, who was accused of racism and paid out thousands of dollars in penalties and legal fees). I had a number of people come up to me and say, “You know, I don’t have much interest in real estate, but I found this book fascinating.” See for yourself!
MEMOIRS OF A WANDERING WARTHOG. You should also check out another volume, Memoirs of a Wandering Warthog. The Warthog is the creation of Tom Sinclair and he appeared in roughly two dozen stories between 1970 and 1975. A sort of combination Sherlock Holmes and Doc Savage, the wart is an erudite adventurer who travels to and from Phobos (where he encounters the horrifying Giant Bees of Phobos), returns to battle poachers on earth, solves “The Mystery of the Peridot Emerald,” and meets the magical and mysterious Fabulous Twins from another dimension. Sinclair, who started writing these stories when he was barely 14, is putting them out in this collection from Apar Books. It has great illustrations by E.C. “Corky” Miller, and some introductory remarks by yours truly. I highly recommend this book.
Christmas will be here before you know it, so it’s a good time to stock up on gifts for your family and friends. Also, join us for a book-signing event on Friday, December 2, at 6:30! Click here for the details.