I rather unexpectedly went away for a week, but I'm back and posting will resume soon.
Have a great weekend.
An online journal of the nightly (and daily) nonsense endured by a (former) bouncer at two of New York's most popular nightclubs.
I rather unexpectedly went away for a week, but I'm back and posting will resume soon.
Writing a book won’t change your life nearly as much as you think it will. Sure, you’ll see a bit of money as a result, and, if you’re good, you’ll develop something of a fan base, but getting published doesn’t automatically make you any kind of “celebrity.” Trust me on that one.
Not that I thought it would, mind you. The “celebrity” card was one I’d play with my friends when they needed rides to the airport or sofabeds carried up flights of stairs.
I did think some things would change, though. I figured I’d be well out of the bouncing game once the book was released. I had August 14, 2007 marked on my calendar for a long, long time, and I was sure there’d be no way in hell I’d still be standing in a bar, lounge or club checking IDs and throwing people out for spitting on cocktail waitresses by the time my release date rolled around.
The spitting incident happened on Saturday, believe it or not. Seventy-two hours after I stood at a podium in front of a room of lovely people at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan, I had my hands in some dude’s armpits, walking him to the front door after he’d suffered from a bout of uncontrollable expectoration in the VIP. Un-fucking-believable, but there you go. My life.
When I had him outside, he handed me a ten dollar bill, mumbled something about his brother, demanded I shake hands with him, then staggered down the sidewalk on his way to God-knows-where. I don’t think he’ll read my book, although you never know with people. They’ll surprise you.
In any event, I thought the signing went well. People actually showed up with books they’d purchased, and I signed them. I cracked jokes. I made some innocuous opening remarks, took questions, read a passage from the book, did a Guido imitation, then sat around for a while and gave people my autograph.
Fucking bizarre. Fun, though. Everyone should get to do something like that at least once.
I want to thank everyone for coming down to the signing on Wednesday night. I was nervous as fuck, but I thought it went pretty well - especially when you consider the fact that I was totally winging it with no idea what I'd say or do next. More on this next week.
1. The book is in stores today. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.
Book Signing: Once again, if you want to watch me be really, really uncomfortable for forty-five minutes, then stand in line for my autograph, come down to the Barnes & Noble on
This is pretty good, too…
Everyone keeps asking me if I’m having some sort of “after-party” following the signing, which is very funny to me because I have to work the next morning. This is because, even though everyone seems to think getting a book deal entitles one to a life of leisure and grape feedings, I still, from time to time, feel these uncontrollable urges to continue making a living.
So, I may or may not go out afterward. I have a funny feeling, however, that my big “book release party” might consist of me sitting on a LIRR train by myself sipping a Bud tallboy and reading the paper. Trust me, nobody's standing in line to throw me one.
In fairness, if I do end up going somewhere, it’ll be here, so if you’re in the neighborhood and want to stake it out, there’s a chance I’ll end up staggering in around ten or so.
I’m going to be cryptic for a while, but I don’t care much if it bothers anyone. Don’t be concerned with particulars here. Mind the generalities, think about what I’m saying, and ask yourself how it all pertains to the world around you on a larger scale.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about a newspaper article. This article wasn’t written about me. It was about some people I know, and some people with whom I’ve “done business.” Because I know these people, and know them well, I was privy to the “real” story of what happened – the one that wasn’t printed in the newspaper.
What was printed in the newspaper was a glowing account of one man’s good fortune.
What wasn’t printed in the newspaper was the negative effect of this man’s good fortune on dozens of others whose lives were made considerably more difficult as a result.
What was printed in the newspaper was a prediction, of sorts. The writer of the article told us something was going to happen, and that this something was going to be positive for everyone involved.
What hasn’t been printed in the newspaper is how absurdly far off the mark this prediction ended up being. What actually happened turned out to be the diametric opposite of what the writer had forecast.
What’s printed here is how fucking pathetic it is that nobody at said newspaper cares enough to get it right.
I’ll be doing a book signing on Wednesday, August 15th at at the Barnes & Noble on
I might end up saying some funny shit, though, so you should try to come.
As far as the book itself goes, I don’t really know what to make of it. To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how it’s going to be received. Some people will love it. Others will give me one star on Amazon and say it’s the worst piece of shit they’ve ever opened. I’d like to think it “is what it is” – a first literary effort by someone with no formal training who was given free reign to do whatever he wanted. The entire process was one long learning experience, from the process of getting a contract to the actual nuts-and-bolts writing of the book.
What you have to understand is that it’s very, very easy to know what could be better about a book written by someone else. It’s a tad harder when you’re the one doing the writing, because you often don’t have the time to distance yourself from the work and read it critically.
Now, I’m not saying the book isn’t good. I think it is. I’d read it, and that’s saying something. It’s just that I’ve noticed some things I’d like to have done differently now that I’ve had some time away from the manuscript, which I’m certain is a problem that’s plagued everyone who’s ever been published.
I don’t think it’s long enough. There was a lot more I could have said, and parts of it, instead of contributing to the “plot,” read like extended, self-indulgent bitch-fests. There’s occasionally too much dialogue. It moves in spots, though, and I suppose that’s what counts.
So, we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it’ll sell and lead to some good shit for me. Maybe it’ll nose dive and I’ll be back to square one. What I do know is that I’ve enjoyed this experience and have several more books in me if anyone’s still interested in buying them in the years to come.
Today, I’ll finish the book deal story (short version). Tomorrow I’ll write a review of the book and mention some appearances I’ll be making in the next few weeks. Here is the requisite Amazon link if you’re suddenly compelled to make a donation to the cause.
This was the Gawker post that started things rolling. I don’t know who told them I was “working (my) way through graduate school,” but I came home from work the day this appeared and found over a hundred emails in my inbox. Several of these were from literary agents, all of whom wanted to know if I’d ever considered writing a book. I honestly hadn’t, but that changed very quickly after reading what people in the business had to tell me. That was some fucking day.
After several meetings, lunches, dinners and nights of drinking with agents, I decided to roll with Eileen Cope of Trident Media Group. We pumped out a proposal – and I really mean pumped out – and three weeks later, I was talking contract details with Mauro DiPreta from HarperCollins.
The thing people need to realize here is that I didn’t get a huge advance. Like I’ve said, the extra money was nice, but it wasn’t enough of an amount to allow me to quit working. I’d hoped for something like that in my more delusional moments, of course, but it wasn’t realistic. It would’ve been ideal to quit my three jobs back then. I could’ve spent my days writing the book without life getting in the way, and the damned thing would have been in stores a year ago. Work, however - along with some other (fairly serious) life-related shit - kept me from getting things done as quickly as I would have liked.
I wish I could be clean, tidy internet character “Rob the Bouncer” twenty-four hours a day, but I can’t. He really only shows up here. The rest of my life isn’t quite so tightly wrapped.
I have to point out how extremely fortunate I was to have landed Mauro as an editor, because he understood the limitations of my decidedly non-literary lifestyle and was incredibly patient with me while the “real world” kept throwing itself in my path. Hopefully we’ve put out a decent product for your late summer and fall reading. I’ll cover that in detail tomorrow when I write up a scathing review of my own work…