This old friend is about to become a collector’s item.
Miserable Love Stories drops into stores tomorrow – February 4th – just in time for Valentine’s Day! (Yes, it was rescheduled from its original January release date.) We already had one great event at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati a couple weeks ago. And we have a TON of events coming up soon in February, which you should absolutely come to – especially if you live in New Jersey!
Saturday, February 8, 2-4p – Meet and Greet and book signing at incredibly fabulous The Town Bookstore in Westfield, NJ. Stop by and share your most awful Valentine’s Day story, meet the author and get a book signed!
Wednesday, February 12, 7-8p – Reading and book signing at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ. This is a full-on reading – that means we read some pieces from the book – and book signing! Featuring laughs, tears, and possibly awkward audience participation! No doubt, there’ll probably be a blizzard that day.
Fri-Sat, February 14-15 – Miserable Love Stories! at the Rising Curtain Theatre in Bloomfield, NJ. (Three performances only! Fri at 8p; Sat at 6 and 8p) Director Ted Wrigley has done a phenomenal job with a truly brilliant cast of some of the funniest actors in NJ. (We’re talking deep, deep improv and stand-up experience for most of the cast.) So, it’s going to be a highly memorable evening. Please note – this is a small black box theatre (and a large cast) and seats are already selling out . If you’re interested in this show, please contact the theater asap! I’ll also be signing books at this event, too.
Click on the links above for more information on all the events. And how cool is this poster?
Miserable Love Stories will be available in bookstores across the nation. Click here to order the book directly from the publisher!
I’m incredibly excited to announce that my Miserable series has been picked up by Skyhorse Publishing! And the newest book Miserable Love Stories is scheduled for release in January, 2020, just in time for Valentine’s Day. This news has been bubbling up for most of the past year – but now that we have the cover and are moving to the final production stages, I’m thrilled to release the information. MLS will be part of Skyhorse’s Racehorse imprint and will have distribution through Simon & Schuster.
Subtitled 25 Romantic Disasters That are Worse Than Yours and featuring stories that have appeared in such eclectic journals as New Pop Lit, The Big Jewel, Gi60, Blue Skirt Productions, MidAmerican Fiction and The Legendary, Miserable Love Stories is now available for pre-order on Amazon and at fine bookstores pretty much everywhere.
After MLS, the next book in the series is scheduled for release later in the 2020. It’s a significant expansion of one of the current Miserable books and will render the previous version as a collector’s item! So, pick up the originals now while you still can!
And here’s the blurb copy for Miserable Love Stories:
Funny Short Stories for Heart-Breakers, the Broken-Hearted and the Completely Utterly Confused
Whether you’re headed to that exciting first date where you’ll inevitably spill Cabernet all over yourself or you and your significant other are celebrating Date Night #4,081 with an extra pint of Halo Top, everyone can agree on one thing: Love Stinks. How to escape the endless cycle of melancholy? Well, you probably can’t. What you can do is take comfort in humorist Alex Bernstein’s new collection of stories about miserable mad crushes, amorous infidelities and bittersweet romances.
Hear stories of horrific bridesmaids’ dresses, strange love at airports, awkward confessions, manic pixie dream girls, uncomfortable road trips, the bizarre state of future sex and, of course, true, everlasting love. So, curl up with your favorite valentine and enjoy such titles as:
Circle in the Square
The Qualified Apology
The Eight Hour Kiss
The Deli Chick
The Forrest Gump Question
Come Home Soon
My Annoying Mother
Commiserate lost love and painfully awkward first dates with Miserable Love Stories!
The Best Indie Book Award™ is an annual international literary award contest recognizing independent authors in twelve major genres. Entries are limited to independently (indie) published books, including those from small presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. #BestIndieBookAward
Featuring stories from New Pop Lit, The Big Jewel, Frontier Tales, Near to the Knuckle, Headstuff, and other literary journals with equally fancy names, Miserable Adventure Stories is a collection of tales calculated to take you to Victorian London, the Old West, alien worlds, Hamlet’s Denmark and other fantastic places that you would absolutely never want to visit!
Miserable Adventure Stories is available in paperback and as an e-book at Amazon.com and fine bookstores everywhere!
For more information on BIBA and the other 2018 award winners, click here.
Even Santa agrees – Miserable Holiday Stories is the perfect holiday gift for that very special someone you’d rather never hear from again!
Featuring the the infamous chapter-book parody “The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again!” and stories from such eclectic journals as The Big Jewel, Litro, Corvus, eFiction, Dysfunctional Family Story, The Legendary, Blue Print Review, and Hobo Pancakes!
This collection of quirky, bittersweet tales is a terrific stocking stuffer and cheaper than coal!
I was heartsick to hear of the passing of comedian Chili Challis last night. Chili was both a friend and hugely inspirational to me. When I was a teenager in Cincinnati in the late 70’s getting my comedy start at d.w. eye, Chili came in (along with John Riggi and Will Durst) with his extremely solid act, raising the bar for every comic that followed. I was in awe of Chili (he was Bert Challis back then). Sometimes he was so good I just got angry and jealous – but in retrospect, I realized that it was because of him, Riggi, and Durst that the eye got put on the map in the first place. While the rest of us were figuring the game out, and wearing training pants, Challis was giving real legitimacy to the club.
So, then about 10 years ago, when I started writing Plrknib – my book about d.w. eye – I found myself back in touch with Chili. He was hugely supportive of the book, and I discovered how much we had in common: we both loved comedy, comedy writing, nurturing and supporting new comics and talent. (He spent a tremendous amount of time running well-respected comedy Dojos for stand-up newbies across the country.) And a few years ago, he introduced me to ComedyWire – one of the nation’s fastest growing comedy writing hubs.
We also both had deep root feelings for Cincinnati and getting our comedy starts at d.w. eye. And of course friends and family were important to both of us.
So, I was thrilled last year, when Chili didn’t just agree to join me, Michael Flannery, and the other comics for the d.w. eye reunion – but also to bring along his brilliant son and comic, Thaddeus Challis, to join us and carry on the tradition. That’s what Chili was about.
So, I won’t say RIP Chili Challis – I’ll say what he said, everytime he ended one of his GREAT bits: Chili Challis – BAM!
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lot of pics at the reunion show, but here’s a phenomenal selfie Chili took of himself, Drew, and Marty Polio (who joined us at the last minute) back stage. 3 d.w. eye Legends.
And check out the video above for his performance last year at the eye reunion.
Exciting News! My screenplay, Prom on Mars, is an Official Selection at the upcoming Portland Comedy Film Festival.
Wait – what?! I hear you cry. Screenplay?
Yes, once upon a long, long time ago Prom on Mars was my retro-futuristic screenplay about a bunch of kids in the year 2053 taking a three-day shuttle ride to Mars for their senior prom. (Something of a cross between High School Musical (without the music), Star Trek, and Animal House.) In the 2000’s – back when I was Reviews Editor for PopImage.com – Prom became a long-running webcomic at that site, and this site was created to house the whole thing. Prom had a nice run for a few years at those two sites, told it’s story, sold a few indie copies of a print run of the first 50 strips, and then called it a day.
Later, when I started planning for a new website to house my writing, comedy, and publishing efforts, I decided to keep the promonmars url, because I kind of loved the name and the branding, and figured I’d also grab any leftover traffic. The current site has had almost exclusively all new content. Although I’ve occasionally re-posted some of the non-Prom strips – eg Total Losers, and Young Christo – but no Prom strips…yet.
In fact, for the past 10 years or so, in my brain, Prom was now a brand (and, technically, a publishing imprint), not a property of it’s own.
That is, until I re-read the original Prom script this past summer for the first time in a decade, and thought hey, that’s not so terrible. So, I cleaned it up and sent it off to a couple places, including the Portland Film Festival. And well, there you go.
Wish me luck! I may even post some of the script or the old webcomics up here, if there’s any interest…
Jim Gilliece was a d.w. eye favorite that I did not know during my tour of duty at the club back in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I knew Jim had been a part of Chip Chinery’s Comic Relief show in 1991, but I never met him until last summer’s d.w. eye Reunion show, that we assembled after my book, Plrknib came out. One of the great things about the reunion was that so many people – performers and fans – came out of the woodwork to celebrate the legacy of d.w. eye. It’s been more than a year now, and I can still barely describe what an extraordinary, funny, emotional evening that was.
One of the highlights was getting to meet Jim Gilliece for the first time. As you can see in the video, Jim was warmly called to the stage by an audience that knew and loved him. And not just from his stand-up, but from his years of running Chez Nora in Covington, KY. Jim, I learned later, came out of stand-up retirement to do that eye reunion show – and as you can see – when he performs he is totally in control of what he’s doing onstage. I vividly remember watching his act and being deeply impressed. I got to spend some time with him after the show, and he wasn’t just funny, but tremendously sweet and generous to boot.
Jim passed away this past Saturday from lung cancer. I feel honored that I got to share an evening with him. You can read more about him here.
Miserable Adventure Stories is a new collection of quirky sci-fi and adventure stories, including the award-winning “Raglan Oracle”. From Amazon:
“It’s a light, easy read and I resented it for making me want more.”
“This is a wonderful collection that had me howling while I was reading it on a plane in the dark.”
“A variegated collection of pop fiction by one of the best practitioners of the pop story…the stories aren’t miserable, they’re masterful.”
Plrknib is my memoir about doing stand-up in high school in the late 70’s at the d.w eye club in Cincinnati. (Last summer, the book was a hit in Cinti and prompted a sold-out reunion performance of the d.w. eye comics.)
“The Power of Jokes permeates this book in a way that’s rarely seen in fiction.
“High, hysterical, edge-of-your-seat drama.”
“I started reading PLRKNIB in an airport in DC and couldn’t put it down.”
Both books are available on Amazon and at finer bookstores everywhere.
It’s that time of year, once again, for Gi60! (Gone in 60 Seconds – the One Minute International Theatre Festival). Gi60 is an evening of 50 short plays in (approx) 50 minutes. I’ve gone international again, this year, with six pieces performed across three different shows – inc pieces in the Brooklyn and UK Leeds shows, and four in the Gi60 NextGen show (also in Brooklyn). Above is one of my pieces from last year’s NextGen show – Bupkis.
Tickets are still available for all of the shows this weekend. You can find links here. And if you can’t make it out to Brooklyn, the evening shows will also be live streamed.
I will be haunting both of the Saturday shows in Brooklyn, and will likely have a few copies of both Plrknib and Miserable Adventure Stories with me for signing.
Hope to see you there!