Tag Archives: gay

Book Tour News

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I am excited to announce the first stops in my book tour. The tour information is subject to change.

April 30: Oakland – The Knocturnal Project Presents Victor Yates at Qulture Collective
Address: 1714 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Time: 6pm-9pm
Cost: $5

May 6: Palm Springs – Welcome Reception for Blatino Oasis with Johnnell Lyric Terrell at The Hyatt Regency
Address: 285 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Time: 4pm-7pm
Cost: Free

May 24: West Hollywood – Lambda Literary Finalists Reading at West Hollywood Library
Address: Council Chambers – Lower Level 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Time: 7pm
Cost: Free

June TBA: Playa Vista – Playa Vista Library/Friends of the Public Library Present Victor Yates at Playa Vista Public Library
Address: Community Room – 6400 Playa Vista Drive, Playa Vista, CA 90094
Time: TBA
Cost: Free

June 5: Brooklyn – Victor Yates Reading
Address: Private Residence – Invite Only
Time: TBA
Cost: Free

June 24: Chicago – Ubuntu Center of Chicago Presents Victor Yates
Address: 1525 East 55th Street Suite 205 Chicago, IL 60615
Time: TBA
Cost: Free

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Author Marketing: A how to guide (sort of)

2016-01-06 17.28.33

Google author marketing and a rabbit hole will magically appear that Alice wouldn’t want to dissappear into. Nothing prepared me for the world after my novel was published and one article won’t either. Fortunately, I have read several and I am working my way out of Wonderland to meet my marketing goals.

What I have learned thus far:

– My pricing was wrong (Anything over $10 is a luxury to potential readers, yet the same potential readers will buy $100 Adele tickets. Yes, that was shade.)

– I need a publicist  (Because news organizations are bombarded by press releases, events, and various emails. An email from a long standing contact or a professional  is easier to get through to a news organization)

– I need an assistant and a street team and a stylist (For obvious reasons)

– I need a strong social media presence on every platform  (Even Periscope. Why, I still have not figured that part out)

 

– I need a generous benefactor so I can quit my full-time job and part time jobs  (So I can devout the next few months to falling down the rabbit hole)

 

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Debut Novel News/Tour 2016

PicMonkey Collage

Writing is isolation and the death of relationships. That is what I have learned since I began writing my first book, A Love Like Blood. I moved from my hometown, Jacksonville to Los Angeles to pursue my writing career and last month my novel was finally published.

I thought publishing was the most complicated part of the writing equation. Since getting the book in my hands, I have realized that publicity is a different beast altogether. Everyday I check my emails checking for interview, profile, review, social media, award, and reading notifications. And, because of my current full-time job I have not been able to develop the book tour. However, a tour is in the works. I will post more information when everything is finalized. Until then, the book is available on Amazon, Kindle (Kindle Unlimited users can download it for free), and CreateSpace. Tip: if you purchase through Amazon Prime, you get it in two days. Just cancel Prime afterwards.

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You Are Not Alone: A must see documentary on black gay men and depression

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

The L.I.F.E Center in Inglewood attracted a record number of its congregation to attend a Friday night screening of a documentary on sex. Well not exactly sex but at the end of the 65-minute documentary the audience was up on their feet, standing, applauding the project’s ferocity and portrayal of black gay men dealing with depression. You Are Not Alone interweaves a single narrative on a man’s path to destruction with piercing interviews of over 20 gay men, mental health professionals, and religious leaders as well as a mother whose son committed suicide after being bullied because of his sexuality. The mother’s story is the most difficult to watch because her pain is visceral and present. The stories are blunt, brutal, and dark, but important and necessary to be heard by young gay men of color.

“A Black gay man dealing with depression should know that his mental illness is treatable and he need not suffer in silence; he is not alone,” said Antoine Craigwell. The interviews were conducted by Craigwell and Stanley Bennett Clay wrote and directed the project.

Craigwell has screened the movie in New York City, New Jersey, Oakland, and Washington, D.C. to raise awareness surrounding homosexuality, stigma, and depression. Mental health is often neglected in the black community. Sufferers are often looked down upon for seeking treatment and those who seek treatment often don’t continue.

The documentary traces the life of Cedric, a young professional whose early expressions of his sexuality were stomped on by his father. His father beat him mercilessly in an effort to eradicate any perceived traces of homosexuality and to force him to conform to his expectations. In a world that has become homophobically rabid, Cedric’s father’s violence lends itself to a segment of society that condemns and ostracizes anyone who demonstrates a departure from what is considered the norm. This father typifies many parents, whose reactions to their sons, are born out of fear of  homosexuality or how society will view their child. Cedric struggles to understand and accept himself, and is forced to live two lives: a hardworking businessman and a drug abuser, both collide and he doesn’t feel he has any reason to live.

You Are Not Alone started out as a book project. Craigwell interviewed a number of black gay men who experienced depression. The project changed shaped and Craigwell recorded some of the men who he had previously sat with. The film features Rob Smith, DJ Baker, Ty Martin, Jamaal Stone, Taylor Siluwe’, Rev. Kevin Taylor, and others.

“During many of the interviews, while the camera was over my shoulder, and as I was asking questions, I was also wiping tears from my eyes as I listened to the stories,” said Craigwell.

I had the pleasure of moderating the panel after the screening. The panel included: Antonie B. Craigwell, Stanley Bennett Clay (who wrote and directed the re-enactments), Lester Greene (who plays in the documentary), and Rev. Russell Thornhill of the L.I.F.E Center.

Check out the discussion below:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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A Writer’s Year in Review

English: Hollywood Boulevard from the top of t...

Hollywood Blvd. from top of Kodak. (Credit: Wiki)

At the start of 2012, I experienced two major transitions: being accepted into a fiction writing program and moving from Long Beach to Inglewood. I knew the writing program would help me advance within writing, however I didn’t know what to expect. I had a publishing deal with a small publishing company, but I thought, why not workshop my book to get more eyes on the book. Their suggestions took the story from surface to being able to exist above the page. The story itself did not changed; I brought more of the contrast between race, immigrant life, religion, and identity out in front of the reader.

Beyond having breath breathed into my book, in 2012, I:

  • Read at the West Hollywood Library on 12/8/12
  • Was invited to read at the City of West Hollywood’s Pride Festival, “One City, One Pride” taking place in June 2013
  • Was invited to White House Briefing for Black LGBT Emerging Leaders 2, 24, 2012
  • Was invited to read at Soulful Salon, for In The Meantime, a LGBT community organization
  • Started writing for Campus Circle Magazine
  • Started writing for Qulture
  • Started writing for GBM News
  • Interviewed Frenchie Davis, DJ Danjazone (LMFAO’s Tour DJ), Diana King, DDm, and Orikl
  • Wrote my first poetry review for a literary journal
  • Submitted a fiction piece to one of my favorite literary journals
  • Read at my first book fair, West Hollywood Book Fair
  • Was published in the anthology, For Colored Boys
  • Started working as an Editorial Assistant for a academic publisher
  • Went to 10 author readings

On New Years Eve 2013, with a group of friends, I wrote down on paper what I did not like about 2012 and I burned it. With each new piece I completed, part of me was afraid to branch out and take my writing career to the next level (writing for a major magazine and be able to freelance write/edit for other publications). The paper turned from white, to egg-colored, to ashes in the fire pit in East L.A. While watching it burn, I reflected back on other details of 2012: I learned that I would be working for LAist.com (for the Spring term) and I made it to the Semifinalist round for the Point Foundation Graduate Scholarship. Also that I got the courage to submit new poetry to four literary magazines and I pitched an article idea to Essence magazine. No New Year’s Resolution to lose fat or be a better person, I want to reserve all my energy into writing. And whether or not all of those opportunities fall into place, I will keep striving to become a better writer and be part of the writing community.

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Reading at West Hollywood Library

West Hollywood Library Grand Opening & Dedication

West Hollywood Library (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood)

Recently I read from For Colored Boys at the West Hollywood Library with Antonio Brown and Jonathan Kidd (contributors to the anthology), and actor Jorge Ortiz. I edited and posted the reading on YouTube; please watch the videos and comment. I will be reading again at the West Hollywood Library during  the City of West Hollywood’s ‘One City/One Pride’ Festival in June.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Question and Answer Session

Stay tuned for more information on the West Hollywood Library reading in June.

US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

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Frenchie Davis, The Voice, The Courage

Check out the teaser video to my interview with Frenchie Davis for GBM News. She talks about everything from her new single and the video for, Love’s Got A Hold On Me, to the Voice vs. American Idol, to questions about sexuality. Stay tuned for the interview.

English: Frenchie Davis at 12th annual GLAAD T...

Frenchie at 12th annual GLAAD Tidings Event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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