SERIES TOUR – NACHO MAMA’S PATIO CAFE NOVELS
Friends, fags, & fun in a little college town
Any Summer Sunday
Boys in the Band meets Le Cage in an Indiana drag bar
Who Plugged the Dyke?
Elections are hard. This one is Murder
The two books stand alone and can be read in either order, although Any Summer Sunday was written first and contains more background information. It is a more character driven story. Who Plugged the Dyke is a mystery.
Overall Heat Rating: 2 flames. Tawdry, but not dirty. Sex is described as part of a story, but not in detail. No sex scenes. Not romance. Not erotica. Think of gay friends in a bar who might describe a conquest (but not the specifics).
INTERVIEW WITH STEVE SCHATZ
The film you can watch time and time again…
There are two that I watch on a regular basis – Were the World Mine, which is a gay retelling of Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Wristcutters: A Love Story. Both are pretty obscure, but are wonderful.
The poem that touches your soul…
Two by Maya Angelou – On the Pulse of Morning, which she wrote for and read during Clinton’s inauguration, which was a time of great hope … the end of (we thought) a dark, right wing chapter in US politics. Of course, we have since found that there was more darkness in the wings. But that day was a moment of light and hope.
The second poem is called Love Arrives. She wrote it for a really sappy TV show called Touched by an Angel. One wonderful phrase after another. “In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave.”
Finally, a contemporary writer – Andrea Gibson is amazing. She uses music and the music of her words and visuals to weave gasping loveliness. Go to youtube and watch Your Life (“you’re pronouns haven’t even been invented yet”) and Living Proof.
At my best, I hope to approach that level of reach right in and grab your heart and make you cry and laugh at the same time.
The event that altered the course of your life…
We were living in Hartford, CT and drove up to Western Massachusetts, where a friend of my husband was visiting. She was a well know Yaqui dreaming woman (if you remember the Carlos Castaneda books, his teacher was a Yaqui shaman. A dreaming woman is one who has lucid dreams) who read cards and did horoscopes. I was skeptical, but willing to indulge my husband. The reading was interesting, but no big changes. We headed home.
On the way home, I was struck by a vision, a very clear vision – like I was there. I had to pull over and let the scene play out. It involved a village in high mountains and the people had appointed someone to be in charge of “talking” to the spirits. They had given up their personal duty to create and celebrate the sacred. .
This person walked through the village, leading an assistant and they went to the top of high place – maybe a pyramid, maybe a mountain and were doing a service and something went wrong and the assistant was killed and the “priest” was frightened, so he declared it was the will of the god. Just because he made a mistake and was frightened.
And I knew that this was how divine sacrifice, an inexcusable act, came into this world.
I cried. It was so real.
And that image guided the creation of my first novel Adima Rising, published by a small publishing house in Texas. I started that trip as a college professor. I came home several hours later on the path to being an author.
The pet hate that makes your hackles rise…
People who feel entitled or, even worse, duty bound, to tell others how to live their life when their actions do not hurt others. I’m amazed that being gay is an issue in many places. A guy was recently beheaded in an “honor” killing by his family for being gay. What kind of twisted mind thinks there is greater honor in killing than in being gay? In the US, school systems are forbidden from mentioning gays as regular human beings. Dives me nuts.
The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…
I’d like to meet Mark Twain. I’d like to attend a Billie Holiday show and perhaps give her a hug. For a pie and a pint, I’d pick Douglas Adams. Anyone who can write with that combination of wit and imagination would be fun to chat with, although I suspect we would both be quiet.
The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…
Try not to hurt anyone, especially yourself. Look for what makes you happy, not what you think you ought to do. Each of us decides to come here for an adventure, to learn something from the experience. If it feels right, try it. You can nearly always change your mind.
The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…
We were tearing apart our kitchen. My husband is a designer – the difference between designer and decorator is that a design rips down walls. We had stripped the kitchen down to the studs – everything out and I was spending a lot of time working on it because living in a construction zone doesn’t really bother him, but it makes me all twitchy.
I’m also prone to demonstrate a skill for impressive clumsiness. I somehow banged my hand. Of course, I did what you have to do, even though it does no good. I held my hand up and shook it vigorously.
My wedding ring flew off and promptly disappeared. We pulled out the cabinets. We pulled up the floor. No ring. It was gone.
Thankfully, my husband did not take this as a sign. We are still together.
The philosophy that underpins your life…
We are here to experience, learn, and share. The best way to spend my time is intentional, creative, action. Be driven more by I want to than I ought to. And try not to be a dick.
The character you enjoyed writing the most…
Aunt May, a tiny, old Southern lady who looks ever so proper, drinks ever so much, and was moved out of Honeysuckle Springs when her public reminisces of past lovers became an embarrassment for now respectable and married men of the community, is an exception. I absolutely love her when she sets down her drink, pats her lips with a lace hanky, and lets loose a truly tawdry tale. She is not based on anyone. She popped into the story one day. I don’t know where she came from unless the spirits of Jessica Tandy and Divine happened to be floating by that day.
I love her because I get to channel a sweet, old lady who is absolutely filthy and has grabbed life by the lips and yanked. She’s seen and done it all and has deep knowledge of what lurks in the minds of men, but very little judgement. I have friends who are already insisting that they be the one to play her if the books ever go to film.
The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most…
Any Summer Sunday continues to be my favorite. It took nine years because I was doing lots of other things and I never even was sure it would come together. It is a series of vignettes and character studies loosely draped over a plot. I love the characters and how the story resolves. Most of all, I love how the words and music work together to compose an effect. When I’m feeling doubtful, I read chapter 17 and know I have done something good.
And the promo…
The Nacho Mama’s Patio Café series has two books, with a third on the way, featuring a group of middle-aged homos in a small, college town in Indiana. Many years ago when I was traveling the country doing software training, I would end up in small towns. I’d always go out to the gay bar, if I could find it. In these small towns, the bars were usually pretty well hidden – down an alley and plain fronts with little or no signage. Once inside, it would open up and be a much different place. I was coming from San Francisco and realized these people often had to hide their proclivities. The bar was their real home and the only place they could safely relax and be themselves. I wanted to capture that feeling of the bar being the social center, but turn the clock up, so the boys are now older and more settled and the world is a bit less hateful. The bar, Hoosier Daddy, is still the center of social life and the characters who inhabit the bar and the patio café come on a regular basis to bitch, lie, laugh, and enjoy the comfort of long-time friends.
Any Summer Sunday takes place over a single evening. TiaRa del Fuego, drag diva extraordinaire and dear friend has fallen for a thug and is going to run away to join him in Florida, a certain mistake. The friends must decide how far they will go to rescue a dear friend from her own desires.
The language dances with the music of the performances as the friends explore old loves, jobs, and the meaning of life with great dollops of funny and nasty.
Who Plugged the Dyke is a mystery with the same characters as Any Summer Sunday. It has the same mix of action and fun, actually a bit more action. There are 10 days before the first lesbian judge in Indiana will be elected, but someone is trying to kill her and the friends have to figure out who is spinning the web and how to stop him. I love the characters from Any Summer Sunday and wanted to try to put them into a new situation, to see if there was a potential for a series and if I had the writing chops to do it. It worked.
Thank you, Steve.
Book Title: Any Summer Sunday at Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe:
Drag, Songs, Friends, Laughs, Lies, Danger & Redemption
Author: Steve Schatz
Publisher: Any Summer Sunday Books
Cover Artist: James at GoOnWrite
Length: 75 000 words/ 234 Pages
Release Date: June 21, 2019
Genre: LGBT Humorous Fiction
Trope/s: Reluctant hero, power of friendship, metonymy (Drag – the entire life around performance in a gay bar & Nacho Mama’s represents a safe place where friends gather, gossip, and support each other)
Themes: Friends, Small town gay, Drag and Performance, Lookin’ for love
It is a standalone story
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Bookshop | Any Summer Sunday
How far should you go to save a friend from her own desires?
TiaRa del Fuego is in love and that means trouble for her friends. Every Sunday evening we meet in Hoosier Daddy, our small college town’s only gay bar gather to watch TiaRa del Fuego’s Parade of Gowns drag show. Performance, love, betrayal, spies, and friendship fight to the fore every Summer Sunday.
However, this Sunday, dear TiaRa, thin enough to hate, yet broken enough to love, announces she has found love…yet again…and is leaving after that evening’s show to be with her new man. We know she is making a huge mistake…again. What can we do?
Any Summer Sunday is a celebration of friends, drag, and life. Come and join in the fun.
Excerpt from Any Summer Sunday
With few exceptions, the same group of reprobates gathered every week. We are no longer young, but all have spent our years wisely or wildly enough to hold one’s place when the conversation turns a bit too bitchy. We enjoyed our youth, are enjoying the years beyond youth without regret, and occasionally enjoy youths—when the opportunity arises, as it were.
All societies celebrate the young, but in gay circles, this celebration borders on idolatry. Twenty-somethings and now even teeny-somethings who celebrate their coming out are welcomed into a glorious disco summer camp with every conceivable need provided. For those of us who are years past the realization and/or announcement, being out offers far fewer invitations. We often find ourselves between worlds—not certain of a welcome in either gay or straight society.
In “normal” society, it is tiresome to yet again face the “ . . . and your wife?” questions in every new group and to worry if it is going to be an issue. If I have an urge to explore square dancing, must I find a gay square—hmmm . . . Mr. Lynde springs to mind. Sometimes it’s easier not to bother. Then there are those moments when it suddenly pisses you off that you are supposed to feel gratitude merely for being accepted or endured by the dominant pairing paradigm.
In the gay community, the adulation of youth and horror of aging can make one feel diseased. Even previously enjoyable activities can be snatched away. Take window shopping. I enjoy looking at a pretty pair of pants when it walks by, even if I know it will never fit, I can’t afford it, and the style is all wrong for a man of my years and shape. I look because it is pretty, and I enjoy looking at pretty things. But, if every time I go looking, the trousers, upon noticing my gaze, gasp in horror, turn away with a look of sardonic pity, and begin to whisper with their fellow couture, I eventually will give up looking.
So, when we find a group and an enjoyable activity where we can simply be, without the need to prove or explain ourselves, then it is something to be cherished. Not misty-eyed, bosom clutching cherished, but those people and enjoyments are simply too dear to give up without a care. Sunday afternoons were like that. That is why, when one Sunday, TiaRa del Fuego—dear, sweet, damaged TiaRa—announced that she had found love, yet again—this time on a dating site and was leaving town to be with her new man who was driving up that very day to help her move—well, we knew something had to be done and quickly.
Book Title: Who Plugged the Dyke?
Author: Steve Schatz
Publisher: Any Summer Sunday Books
Cover Artist: James at GoOnWrite
Length: 218 pages 67,000 words
Release Date: July 2020
Genres: LBGT Mystery, LGBT Humor, LGBT Fiction
Trope: Reluctant hero
Themes: Friendship, small town gays, detection, politics
It is a standalone story.
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Bookshop | Any Summer Sunday
A gay mystery full to the tits with action and wit.
Some Elections are hard … This one is Murder!
Get ready for Excitement, Laughs, Thrills and Fun!
In 10 days she’ll be the 1st in your face lesbian judge elected in homo-hating Indiana. But someone wants to kill her and her little dog too.
The friends from Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe must put on their big boy panties, get out of Hoosier Daddy, the only gay bar in town, onto the streets and go hunting for the culprit.
Thrills, drag shows, danger, laughs and a kick line of drag queens in judicial robes as the anti-heroes dodge explosions, fire, guns, knives and terror, seek out the hidden mastermind and sashay to the rescue.
You loved Any Summer Sunday at Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe. Now, the merry band from the small Indiana college town’s drag bar return. It’s an Indiana Election Mystery. Who Plugged the Dyke?
Excerpt from Who Plugged the Dyke?
I noticed that the big, bearded Tooth Fairy had moved nearly in front of me. There is something wonderfully wrong about a big ol’ hunka hunka in a pink tutu. I grinned at him. He didn’t grin back. His attention was fixed on Deb. However, he was not smiling. He was just staring. Something in the back of my mind tickled. I started watching him more carefully. He was playing with his magic wand. It was about three feet long and trailed stars and strands of glitter. But he was pulling off the covering and it was looking less and less like a wand and more and more like a weapon. Recalling what I had been told, I looked for Roger or Petunia or one of Nacho’s Twinks. I couldn’t see Roger. Petunia was at the back of the stage, guarding the way in. I saw a couple of cute Twinks, but didn’t know if they were Nacho’s boys or not. I started to raise my hand and kind of gesture toward the Tooth Fairy. I was trying to be cool and not alert him that I had noticed anything untoward. He continued to pull away the spangles. He was looking down at the wand and then up at Deb, and I could see a look of menace grow across his features.
I waved my hands over my head and then pointed down at him. Some in the crowd saw what I was doing and waved, too. They thought it was a celebratory gesture. I began to wave my hands and point more emphatically. I nearly lost my balance, but no one seemed to get the message. No one was heading in that direction. I looked at he man, who was no longer looking fairy-like at all. He had finished pulling all the detritus off his wand and while I was not a weapons guy, even I could recognize that what was once a wand was now, very obviously, a weapon. A blow gun.
He reached into his bag and pulled out, not a handful of glitter, but a rather large dart with a very large and very sharp point. By this time, subtle was no longer on the table. I waved my hands wildly above my head, then pointed at the guy. I did not care if he saw. I had to stop him, and no one seemed to be coming to do anything about it. Deb was talking. The girls were dancing. And the Tooth Fairy dropped the dart into his blow gun.
About the Author
Steve Schatz writes with a crazy mashup of laughs and excitement and humor. Readers can’t stop reading, but don’t want the story to end. Each book is an adventure where endearing anti-heroes struggle against this crazy world and triumph using the twin forces of intentional, creative action and friends helping friends. Schatz draws on a lifetime of varied and fascinating experiences, from instructional designer and college prof to party clown and nightclub owner.
His series of adult fiction highlights a group of middle-aged gay friends who gather every week in a small, Indiana college town. Mixing drinks, snappy repartee, and the humor and joy of long-time friends, in one book they rescue the fair drag queen from an obvious miscreant. In another, they ride to the protection of a lesbian candidate for judge who is being targeted by mysterious evil-doers. The excitement reveals itself against a backdrop of drag performance and efforts by anti-heroes. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll beg for more. Steve Schatz offers a new voice and a smile for the LGBT community and their friends.
Blog/Website | Twitter: @AnySummerSunday
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