Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Reading & Signing @Milkie's On Elmwood This Sunday With Diane Meholick & Justin Karcher!

     My Fall/Winter slate of book readings and signings kicks of this Sunday at Milkie’s On Elmwood from 4-8 p.m.  Admission is free and I’ll be offering discounts on bundled book purchases!  I thought it would be fun to team up with some other local artists and musicians this year, so I’ll be doing a Round-Around-Robin with science fiction author Diane Meholick (Buffalo Stories, Painting Katherine, A Switch In Time) as well as young upstart Justin Karcher (Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell).  I’m firming up some other readings in November, December and beyond, but this one should be a real blast!  A poet, an essayist and a science fiction writer walk into a bar…there’s a good joke in there somewhere.  We’ll get ot the bottom of it this Sunday!

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Reading & Signing Announced April 12th @Milkie's On Elmwood!

     In the midst of implementing my overall plan for 2015, I've spent a few weeks working with Ed Becher, the booking agent for Milkie's On Elmwood.  After a volley of emails and phone calls, we finally scheduled, booked and confirmed a date and time for my first reading and signing of the year.  Here are the details: 

Book Reading & Signing w/local humor author Tom Waters 
Sunday, April 12th 2 p.m.-4 p.m. 
Milkie's On Elmwood 522 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo 
(716)882-5881 Admission is free.  
Signed first edition books available from $15.  
     I've been hearing a lot of great things about Milkie's lately.  It's refreshing to discover so many new businesses in the city who are open to 'out of the box' promotions as well as supporting local artists.  This is an event that I'm really looking forward to.  With a four month lead time, I hope you all have time to join me! 
     As far as Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive goes, I am over the tipping point on the limited print run of special edition hardcovers sold.  There are now less than 25 copies available for sale.  Hopefully I will still have some copies on hand for the Milkie's reading.  If you are interested in a signed hardcover and would like one beforehand, I can be reached at: 

     That's all for today.  I'm sure I'll be booking some other readings this year, but Milkie's may be the only reading I commit to before autumn arrives.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Deal

New Year, New Deal

2015 is going to be an exciting year for me as well as my company, Doubt It Publishing.  For the first time in my life I have a solid battle plan as well as the means to implement it.  My vision for the next year in a nutshell is this: Expanding the legacy I have and preserving it at the same time.  While some of you may argue that 'legacy' is too strong a word, let me proactively counter by saying that every one of us leaves a legacy in our wake either intentionally or unintentionally.  If I'm being optimistic, I've still got half of a lifetime left.  I'd like to make it count.  What follows is a specific outline of my plans for the radio show, the video show, my own bibliography and a possible catalog for Doubt It Publishing in the coming year:
I don't want to lose what I've already accomplished.  Discovering that The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour had gone offline and off the grid on iTunes (as a direct result of the website Mevio closing their doors) really stung.  To date, I've ported the 100+ episodes of Big Words Radio twice to two different websites.  The process is arduous and time intensive.  I really didn't want to see the show disappear forever from public view.  Thankfully (as a result of my renewed passion for reading), I stumbled onto a website that will hopefully never go away.  It's a non-profit project to preserve the best of the internet for generations to come encompassing audio, text and video.  Think of it as a PBS for the information age.
The website I'm referring to is the Internet Archive.  I've been secretly and quietly uploading episodes of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour chronologically and placing them there in what I hope is their final resting place.  They've been uploaded under a Public Domain license, which means that anyone who reaches my shows can listen if they like, share with whomever they like or download the shows for free.  Episode V was just uploaded yesterday, and I'll continue to post the entire catalog as the year plays out.  You can view, listen and download the current shows available here: The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  If you listen or download, please take the time to write a brief review of the episodes you peruse.
As for Big Words Video, there are some amazing shows in store for you all and they are all confirmed and booked through to the very end of 2015.  Filmmaker and comic book proprietor Emil Novak (Queen City Bookstore) will be my guest in two weeks.  Who else is coming on?  'Dr. Dirty' himself John Valby, Graham Nolan (the comic creator of Batman's Bane), Public publisher Geoff Kelly and possibly Tom Sartori, to name just a few.  I've learned from producing four years of the radio show that it's a smart move to plan ahead, always have a backup plan and always be prepared.  Filming the show (as opposed to interviewing guests over the phone or via Skype) has forced me to give the content more of a local focus.  There is a wellspring of talented writers, comedians, musicians and other entertainers with no sign of drying out, and I will continue to help celebrate the homegrown talent we have on hand locally and regionally until further notice.
  Big Words Video Episode I: 'Hang In There, Baby!' has already passed the 400 view mark on YouTube and from what I'm seeing, it looks like the show keeps picking up new viewers with every episode.  Not only that, but the people who watch appear to be cycling back through the other shows as well.  Later this month I'll be exclusively filming on location at the 2014 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards, and with more equipment and a looser leash on Youtube just around the corner, you can expect to see a marked increase in show production in late August when Big Words Video kicks off Season Two.  In the meantime, you can support the show by 'Liking' and 'Sharing' it on Youtube as well as Subscribing to my YouTube Videos (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) for the Bonus Episodes as well as my producer's (Richard Wicka).  It's been a great deal of fun so far and it's just going to get better.
As for my books, I own all publishing rights to the last 8 out of the 12 books that I've penned since 2002.  There's a larger plan for that too, but I don't know if I'll have the time or the resources to get around to that particular wrinkle.  As a reluctant and late adopter to the digital revolution, I am hard at work designing multi-format ebooks for my entire catalog.  I can't give you an exact date because I want to make sure that it's done right (and some editing may be applied to each individual title before they go live), but I can promise you that by year's end, Mockery and no less than one other title from the Doubt It Publishing roster will be available on iBooks, Kindle format and all other ebook devices.
As far as BuffaloComedy.com, my alliance with editor Kristy Rock will continue until at least October of this year.  The freedom I've been allowed on the site to write, do and say as I please has been much-needed, and it's a comfort to know that my sense of humor is still intact after weathering one of the most tumultuous times in my life.  Her only request was one for positivity, and that single instruction has helped to drastically change my writing, which is directly coloring the content to Travesty, my next book.
Where Travesty is concerned, there is less than a third of the book left to pen.  That being said, I am in no hurry, and it will not be released until it is near-perfect.  After writing 12 books and releasing 15 in the short span of 11 years, I sincerely feel that I don't have anything to prove anymore, and should subsequently relax and take my time with any future endeavors.  Travesty may come out later this year or early next year.  Unfortunately I can't be any more specific than that.  It will come out when it's ready.
As for Doubt It Publishing, I'm reminded of the near-inescapable fate that many independent music and book publishers eventually reach.  If history is any indicator, I may be doomed to a catalog that largely shares my last name.  I wish this wasn't so, and will try to do what I can to combat it.  The doors are still wide open for local or regional authors looking to find a home for their work.  I am going to put on my thinking cap this year and try to find some viable writing talents with fresh and subversive voices fighting for the chance to be heard.  If you or someone you know has written a great manuscript that has a fighting chance in a competitive marketplace, queries and sample chapters can be sent to my attention at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  More on this as the year unfolds.
Where readings and signings are concerned there will be more, plain and simple.  The last two readings were very successful financially, so it would be foolish not to continue.  Once the winter months recede, you can count on me hitting the road with a PA system, a few boxes full of books and a bicycle horn.  Now that I'm older I don't see the benefit of booking three and four appearances a week for three month campaigns anymore, but I'll be picking and choosing some select venues and peppering them throughout the summer and fall.
This is a remarkable time in my life and I'm grateful for the cornucopia of opportunities (and mediums) I have to channel all of my creative needs.  As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the trip with me.

Starting 2015 with a bang,

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Striking Gold At The Western New York Book & Arts Center

     The Book Reading & Signing today at the WNY Book & Arts Center was something of a fourth quarter Hail Mary.  Is that an appropriate sports metaphor?  I certainly don't know.  At any rate, attendance wasn't looking too good from the outset, but a really nice crowd showed up from Amherst, Depew, Lancaster and Buffalo proper, and not only that, they showed up with money!  I'm very grateful to have readers who know that the best way to support local, living authors is with their wallets.  I'm a happy camper after this particular reading, and I certainly wouldn't mind circling back to WNYBAC again some day.  After two readings in two months, though, this old dog is tired.  That's it for the live promotions for a little while, at least.  Maybe I'll see you all on the front lines sometime in the spring.  In the meantime, here's a clip from today's 2 hour marathon reading:

Thanks are in order to Rosemarie Williams at WNYBAC as well as all of you who came near and far to see me.  As far as the YouTubes go, you'll see me (not the other way around) in less than two weeks!

Sharing the Buffalove (ugh...),
Tom Waters

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Travesty Back On Track, Icarus In A Holding Pattern

It's astonishing how much effort goes into maintaining an existing bibliography.

Even if I never wrote another word, there's still always work to do.  Updating bios, links & the book list itself, porting galleys over to new devices, selling from my current inventory when I'm not even expecting it and overhauling or editing from my database of essays.  It's not a full time job, but to do it properly it probably could be.
Last week I said that it would only be a matter of time before I started writing again.  Well, that time has come.  I dusted off the current manuscript for Travesty (the follow up book for Mockery) and started quietly adding to it.  Working on any project (like the new video show) sparks a certain momentum in the creative part of my brain, so everything else is falling into place.  A third of the Travesty  book is already complete, which leaves roughly a hundred more pages.  Piece of cake.
It occurred to me a few days ago that I've had a book published (under the Doubt It Publishing imprint or through other publishers) every other year for the past twelve years.  That doesn't even seem real to me.  I just plug along and write one essay at a time.  They pile up into a book, the book gets put together, proof read, designed and packaged, released and then promoted.
Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive was a much different project than anything I'd worked on up to that point (2010-2012).  It took a lot out of me, and I wanted to take a break after writing it.  Due to personal problems, the limited print run hardcover was never effectively promoted in clubs, stores or libraries.  I'm not done with it yet, but I'm certainly not going to promote it at present.
The idea for Travesty was largely inspired by working with Mark McElligott on publishing and promoting his book, Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.  He reminded me that essays (rants, whatever you'd like to call them in this day and age) don't HAVE to be sixteen pages long and that often, they're funnier and punchier when they're short.  I went back to basics when I started writing Travesty.  When I first started writing consistently for a deadline (for the Clarence High School Advocate, which I was also the Editor In Chief on), I punched out essays on a Brother electric typewriter and wrote each one in one sitting.  Essays (at heart) are designed by nature to be written (or read) in one sitting.  They shouldn't be an ordeal that's digested piecemeal.  There's a real joy in returning to the roots of how I got started in this messy business to begin with.
If time (and routine, and my track record) is any indicator, Travesty will be in readers' hands by the fall of 2015.  I have no timetable for the mass market two volume trade paperback launch of Icarus On The Mend.  When all 50 copies of the limited run hardcovers have found a home, Icarus will fly again, so to speak.
And I've been mulling over sharing some of the new writing on my official web site: Big Words I Know By Heart.  I don't want to give the entire book away, but I'll drop a morsel this Friday just to give you a taste of what's going into the pot.  This Friday I'll post 'Your Great American Novel', an essay about the aggravations of being approached when people find out that you're a writer.  After seven days online, it's going back into the vault.  Sound fair?

See you all in three days time,
Tom Waters