Page 187 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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Jack Fritscher              Chapter 7                        169

             “thumbs-down” dismissal of Mains’ progressive and California-inflected
             biochemistry, psychology, and vocabulary of leather spirituality as Hippie
             Woo Woo. Saylor thrust the short dagger of his pugio in his punch line: “As
             a down-to-earth New Yorker remarked to me after reading the book, ‘You
             West Coasters are too much.’” (Page 91)
                In the 180 degrees of separation between gay leather literature and gay
             vanilla literature, between East Coast and West Coast, I first contacted
             Michael Denneny at St. Martin’s Press in New York about my manuscript
             for my “San Francisco  Drummer  novel,”  Some Dance to Remember, on
             November 21, 1984.
                On January 16, 1986, I queried Denneny again and he graciously
             requested my manuscript and replied on August 11, 1986, that the novel
             “impressed” him, although at the time, as Denneny announced in a shocking
             revelation years later on the stage at the 1997 Key West Writers Conference,
             he was primarily pledged to publish young gay authors dying from AIDS. I
             was forty-seven and AIDS free.
                Letters continued to cross in the mail.
                Denneny in that August, 1986, generously suggested I contact Felice
             Picano whom I had already queried three months previously on May 14,
             1986. In his human dimension, Picano, whom I perceived seemed often
             short-sheeted by his more arch Violet Quill peers, had quickly responded on
             May 21, 1986. That was three months before Denneny’s recommendation
             to contact Picano who very kindly wrote to me:

                I am familiar with your writing. At this time, both my Seahorse
                line and the Gay Presses of New York imprints...are...for the next
                two years...currently behind in publishing our titles already under
                contract. In fact, I’m phasing out Seahorse Press as a separate entity.
                It has served its purpose, and has begun to seriously interfere with
                my own writing. Because of this overload, I have to decline even
                looking at new mss for at least a year. Good luck with your writing
                and your book. —Cordially, Felice Picano

                Publishing a book is notoriously difficult and not for the faint of heart as
             told by Ellen Brown and John Wiley, Jr. in their book about a world-famous
             novel’s complicated development: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind:
             A Bestseller’s Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood. By design, and out of respect
             for Margaret Mitchell’s embrace of her own culture and heritage, I purposely
             wrote Some Dance to Remember as a gay mid-century memetic jazz riff on
             the O’Hara clan of Miss Scarlett. Her “descendent” is Ryan O’Hara who,

               ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
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