Beatitude has just received another 5-star review—by Monika Vig on the World of Diversity Fiction site—and I have to say that to receive a review, let alone a 5-star review, more than a year after Beatitude’s publication, is truly inspiring and gratifying. Here’s an excerpt:
“I loved, loved, loved it! Beatitude has some sad moments that brought me to tears but it also had some very touching moments that made me smile. It’s definitely bittersweet, at the same time it’s a heartwarming story of what real friendship and love can be. Larry Closs has written a wonderful story that is multi-layered but he effortlessly interweaves those layers into something that is special… I found myself never wanting this story to end.”
You can read the full review here.
Looking back at the year that followed the publication of Beatitude, I was struck by how much my first novel had changed my life in ways I’d never imagined. Every author dreams of hitting the bestseller lists, seeing their characters on the big screen and winning all sorts of awards. And, in a way, all of those things happened. Beatitude has been No. 1 on the Rebel Satori Press fiction bestseller list since its debut. The book trailer I produced, featuring both Allen Ginsberg and Johnny Depp, who figure in Beatitude, is on both YouTube and Vimeo. And Beatitude won a major award in the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
But as I reflected on the impact that Beatitude has had, and continues to have, on my life, I realized that there was so much more to the story and, most importantly, how much I had to be thankful for. After writing notes to myself on my iPhone for several weeks, mostly in between sets at the gym, I finally decided to put it all together in an article, which the awesome Lori Hettler offered to publish on her awesome literary site, The Next Best Book Blog. Lori was one of the first and biggest supporters of Beatitude, not only publishing a wonderful review but organizing a week-long blog tour. She is the kind of friend that every author wishes for and so influential in the book world that she was the subject of a recent New York Times article.
You can read the article, Gratitude for Beatitude: A First-Time Author’s First Year, here.
Katie Jennings, founder of the fantastic I Love Book Trailers site, loves cats so it’s no wonder she loves the cover of Beatitude (by Anthony Freda) and the book trailer. “Make sure to keep watching till the end,” she says. See for yourself here.
Thanks to my Instagram feed (@larrycloss), I’ve been invited to participate in 1197, the annual conference devoted to mobile and iPhone photography.
Named for the date when the first photo was snapped with a cell phone—June 11, 1997—the conference features a week of juried exhibits, workshops, photo walks, panels and prizes and takes place this year at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art, 138 Sullivan Street, New York, February 17-23.
On a panel titled “Whistle While You Snap: Instagrammers Getting Paid” (Friday, February 22, 2 p.m.), I’ll join Brian DeFeo of The Mobile Media Lab, Tim Young of Tim Young Studio, and Adrian Salamunovic of CanvasPop in conversation with iPhoneographer, Instagrammer and travel blogger extraordinaire Kirsten Alana.
For my part, I am thrilled to be grilled by Kirsten on how my 15K following on Instagram helped to sell a few copies of my award-winning debut novel, Beatitude.
Photos to follow, of course! In the meantime, be sure to follow Kirsten on Instagram, @kirstenalana, and the awesome Johnny Manhattan, @artboy11211, who generously provided the photo of Kirsten and me at The W Hotel from his fantastic IG feed.
I was on Dictionary.com recently and this was on the homepage. Coincidence?
Have you ever fallen for a fictional character? Author Anthony R. Cardno has, and in an article titled “My Literary Crushes,” he reveals that Beatitude’s narrator, Harry Charity, is one of his latest fixations:
Harry is completely, totally, in every way, shape and form, average. And yet I still finished the book having the hugest crush on him and wishing I could do something to Read more
Elise McMullen, The Galavant Girl
Elise McMullen is one of the most beautiful and insightful writers I’ve had the pleasure to publish as editor of TrekWorld. Read no further than her articles “The Young Woman and the Sea” and “Thanking the Animals We Eat” and you will instantly know what I mean.
But before Elise ever contributed to TrekWorld, she established herself as The Galavant Girl, an extraordinary journalist and photographer devoted to Read more
A tip of the cup to composer, conductor, author, mentor and Beat legend David Amram on his 82nd birthday! Amram generously provided incredible support for Beatitude early on with an awesome testimonial.
I finally met him in September when Amram’s Quartet performed at the Cornelia Street Café in the West Village. Of course I asked him to sign a copy of Beatitude, which, of course, he did: “With joy to meet you and read your wonderful book. More, more,more!! Author, Author. David Amram.” Needless to say, that copy of Beatitude is now “the” copy of Beatitude for me.
One of the best things Beatitude has brought to my life is the connection with like-minded souls whom I might otherwise never have met. Most recent case in point: Loren Kantor, “a passionate, curious Woodcutter/Writer living in Hollywood with a love for movies, music and old Los Angeles.” Kantor discovered Beatitude through my author site and emailed to tell me about his most recent project: a woodcut of Jack Kerouac.
That alone was reason enough to visit his site but I was taken aback by what else I found there. Read more
David Amram signs Beatitude
Last night, at the Cornelia Street Café in the West Village, I finally got to meet David Amram, the composer, conductor, author and Beat legend who was not only one of the first to read Beatitude but provided a testimonial for the cover as well. “A daring, honest writer with a gritty urban flair,” wrote Amram, who added that he hoped Beatitude would not be “categorized (or imprisoned) by being considered a ‘Beat’ book. It stands on its own. And it transcends Beat.”
Playing to a near fire-hazardous crowd in the Cornelia’s cramped basement, Amram’s Quartet (featuring Kevin Twigg on drums and glockenspiel, John DeWitt on bass, Adam Amram on congas) burned through an incredible two-hour set, with Amram singing, scatting and switching between piano, flute, French horn, tin whistle, talking drum and tambourine. Standouts included the theme from Read more
Beatitude’s Harry, Jay and Zahra rub shoulders with Patti Smith, Tom Waits and Richie Ramone on Beatdom, the all-things-Beat literary journal. In a new review of Beatitude, Beatdom’s founder and editor David S. Wills (author of The Dog Farm) writes that he had been meaning to read the novel for a while and when he finally did he “read through it in a thoroughly enjoyable evening.” Wills describes Beatitude as “complex and artfully woven,” noting that narrator Harry reminded him of William S. Burroughs, “from constantly putting himself into relationships where he knows he’ll get hurt, to his fondness of cats.”
You can read the full review here.
Love, love and love! In the Greenwich Village Barnes & Noble, Beatitude is featured in the Staff Recommendations end-of-aisle display with a sign applauding the novel’s distinctive appeal as well as the, ahem, author:
“A love story in all definitions—true love, brotherly love, unrequited love, how love differs between two lovers, and a labor of love from a talented writer.”
To top it off, Beatitude is sitting right next to A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor, one of my favorite writers of all time. O’Connor inspired the name of my cat Flannery who, in turn, inspired the perceptive, loyal and loquacious cat named Flannery in Beatitude.
Many thanks, once again, to B&N’s Kyle-Steven Porter, who selected Beatitude for the display, wrote the recommendation and invited me to the store—twice!—to sign copies.