Del Shores is a liar. He just can’t help it. It’s his mother’s fault. In fact, it was her whole side of the family that began encouraging him as an adolescent to lie, whenever he had to, in creating an entertaining or strange or funny or bizarre (or dare, we say, “sordid”) tale. He grew up to be the observer who tell stories that inspire more stories. In his one-man show, “Del Shores: My Sordid Life,” he’s candid with the audience: “By the end of the evening, you’ll find out that I’m not really a writer. I’m a thief.” Liar, thief, storyteller, Shores is a born performer.
Steven Gellman, aka The Hidden Poet, http://www.hiddenpoet.com/ has been playing live for a couple of solid decades now and is showing no signs of slowing down. Having broken out on his own after the demise of folk darlings Diamond Rose, Steven consistently reinvents himself. While his early career as a single artist had him putting his heartbreak on display after a bad breakup with the “Love Loss Longing” EP, these days, Steven is likelier to be found begging Highlanders in local pubs to have traditional Scottish ballads sing-alongs than he is to be sobbing into his pint.
A project of the Chicago Tribune, in conjunction with Agate Publishing, Ask Amy: Advice For Better Living (Midway, 2014), compiles several columns featured in the “Ask Amy” column by advice columnist Amy Dickinson. In the book, Dickinson, who also authored the recent memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville, provides insightful and intelligent guidance on a variety of themes, including family, dating, work, boundaries, and life online. There are even questions and answers pertaining to LGBT issues within the book. Dickinson’s embrace of the LGBT community, which differs greatly from her late-to-the-table predecessor, Ann Landers, recently made headlines when she set a parent straight, so to speak, regarding their homophobic treatment of a gay son. I spoke with Amy in January 2014 about the book and her column.
Facing Fear is a gay-themed Oscar-nominated documentary short about fear and forgiveness. Director Jason Cohen, who is straight, presents the true story of Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal, and the fateful night they met in the 1980s. Matthew, who had been thrown out of his house for being gay, was living on the street with other homeless teens, hustling to survive. Tim ran with a skinhead crowd, espousing their neo-Nazi doctrine. Tim and his gang nearly beat Matthew to death (Tim thought they had) one night in an L.A. alley. Years later, after Matthew survived his life-threatening injuries, and Tim had left his homophobic and racist ways behind to become a family man, the two met again in an unlikely setting and formed one of the most unusual friendships to ever occur. I spoke with Cohen in February 2014, shortly before the Academy Awards.
Gay writer Tim Federle knows that readers come in all ages. For his two Young Adult novels, Better Nate Than Ever and its sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate (both from Simon & Schuster), Federle has created one of the more endearing fictional characters in recent memory. Titular character Nate will keep you in stitches as he navigates his way out of his dull, dead end hometown, onto a Broadway stage and towards his first kiss. For somewhat older readers, Federle serves up Tequila Mockingbird (Running Press), consisting of cocktails with literary themes. I spoke with Tim about his books in early 2014.
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