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New Critically Acclaimed Murder Mystery, Midland Club, Is Now Available at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham

new murder mystery/gay lit book by Mark Spano

Book reviewers compare it to “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and film noir classics.

Chapel Hill author Mark Spano is pleased to announce that his new, critically acclaimed mystery novel, Midland Club, is now available at The Regulator Bookshop on Ninth Street in Durham.

Since opening in December of 1976, The Regulator Bookshop has remained an independent store, selling “a little bit of everything,” as the owners state on the website. “Fiction, mysteries, poetry, cookbooks, kids’ books…You name it, we’ve got it.”

The Regulator is also an icon in downtown Durham that’s committed to serving the community by carrying books from lesser known authors, especially local authors and including self-published books; by buying and selling used books; and by hosting reading and author events.

“Having my book on the shelf at The Regulator Bookshop feels a bit like playing the Palace,” said Spano. “I’m a pretty lucky author.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Midland Club is a tale of corruption, lies, and murder in a Midwestern city in 1958. “Only one man is willing to reveal the truth – at the risk of his own life,” the synopsis teases.

Thus far, all of its reviewers have praised the 120-page book for reading “like a film noir classic.” One critic offered, “There’s a bit of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil amidst the melancholy and I highly recommend this book.” Another called it “a small jewel…flawlessly smooth and realistic…” And an appreciative reader posted, “Spano can be proud of his story as it perfectly captures that place and time to create an engaging work of noir fiction. It kept me reading non-stop until the end, meriting this hearty recommendation.”

For more insight into Midland Club, follow Thunderfoot Press’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThunderfootPress/.

The Regulator Bookshop is located at 720 Ninth Street, Durham, NC 27705. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.regulatorbookshop.com.

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Author Mark Spano

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.


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Chapel Hill Author/Filmmaker To Serve As Judge for 2017 Film Festival

NC Author, lNC Filmmaker

Author Mark Spano

Mark Spano joins the jury for “OUT at the Movies Int’l LGBT Film Fest” 

March 30, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Mark Spano, author of the critically acclaimed mystery novel Midland Club and producer/director of the new documentary “Reimagining Sicily,” will serve as a judge for OUT at the Movies Int’l l LGBT Film Fest ‘17 presented by BB&T.

The festival will take place in Winston-Salem, NC, October 5 – 8, 2017, in the Aperture Cinema, 311 W. Fourth St.; Wake Forest University Welcome Center, 1834 Wake Forest Road; and the UNC School of the Arts ACE Film Complex, 1533 S. Main Street.

“Being asked to be a judge for the OUT at The Movies Festival is such an honor,” Spano said “There is so much going on in film and the arts in general across North Carolina. I’m always pleased to contribute in any way I can.”

From the films submitted and screened, the invited jury will award Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Fest Short, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Mark Spano, owner/operator of Mark Spano Communications Inc. and Thunderfoot Press, has spent decades working in both film and television. He has produced numerous television series and programs, including “Models of Teaching,” a national television series on excellence in education funded by The Kenan Alliance for Partnerships in Education, and “Carolina Countryside,” a weekly public television series, among many others.

As a filmmaker, Spano’s work includes “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell.” In homage to his Sicilian heritage, he recently completed the definitive documentary “Reimagining Sicily.”

A resident of Orange County, NC, near Chapel Hill, Spano met key people involved with OUT at the Movies during a book reading/signing event for his new novel Midland Club hosted by the North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem. After the event, he was invited to be a judge at the 2017 Film Fest.

About “OUT at the Movies Int’l LGBT Film Fest” —  Rex Welton and Lee Mecum founded Winston-Salem’s OUT at the Movies LGBT Film Series in 2004, screening films monthly. The Film Fest began as a way to celebrate 10 years of making quality LGBT movies available to the Winston-Salem community. Filmmakers, documentary subjects, and actors travel from as far away as California to introduce their films and participate in Q&A and meet-and-greet sessions. For more information, go to outatthemovieswinstonsalem.org.

For more information on Mark Spano, visit blog.markspano.com.

 


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North Star LGBTQ Community Center Hosts Mark Spano, Author of the Critically Acclaimed Novel “Midland Club” for Book Reading, Signing

Author Mark Spano

North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem will host a book reading and signing event with Chapel Hill’s Mark Spano, author of the new, critically acclaimed mystery novel Midland Club, on Sunday, March 26, from 3-4 p.m. The Center is located at 930 Burke Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Admission is free and open to the public.

Released on Amazon in December 2016 where it has maintained a 4.2 rating among Customer Reviews, Midland Club is a knotted tale of corruption, lies, and murder in a Midwestern town in 1958 — the kind of town where the author grew up, and at a time in history when homosexuality was never mentioned, much less acknowledged, in high society. Only one man is willing to reveal the truth about a murder that everyone else considers a suicide. But he’ll risk his own life to do so.

One reviewer calls Midland Club “…a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic.” Another considers the 120-page novel “a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic… an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.” And an Amazon reader observed: “Spano is a very evocative writer. He re-creates a period of time, full of treachery and secrets. You can practically smell the cigar smoke and see the dark paneled walls and mahogany of the club. But this book is more than just a murder mystery: it speaks to the human condition.”

After introducing his book, reading a passage, and answering any questions, the author will sign books that will be available for purchase.

For more information on the book signing event, email Rayce Lamb, North Star LGBTQ Community Center’s Outreach Coordinator: outreach@northstarlgbtcc.com.

For more information on Midland Club, visit Thunderfoot Press’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ThunderfootPress/.

About North Star: North Star is Winston-Salem’s first LGBTQ Community Center. The Center opened on September 21, 2013, and offers many educational, social, and collaborative activities for the whole community in the Piedmont/Triad area. For more information: www.northstarlgbtcc.com.

About author Mark Spano: Mark Spano is a writer and filmmaker and the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. His films include “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell” and the definitive documentary on Sicily entitled “The Sicilians.” MHe holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C. He now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina. For more information: http://blog.markspano.com.


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Thunderfoot Press Hires Blueplate PR To Promote New Premiere Title, Midland Club

 

thund-press-logoThunderfoot Press, a small publishing house in Orange County, NC, has commissioned Blueplate PR of Raleigh to market and promote its premiere title, Midland Club, a new murder mystery by Mark Spano with particular social relevance.

“November 8, 2016, marked the beginning of a surge in hate crimes in this country, including crimes directed at our LGBT citizens,” said Blueplate PR owner Kim Weiss. “The first time I read Midland Club, which is set in 1958, the relevance jumped off the page at me.

mc-cover_sm“Fear of that heinous type of crime informs how the book’s main character, Rich St. Pierre, responds to the death of a friend – a gay black man. Everyone in the mid-western city believes it was suicide. Rich knows better. I’m deeply honored to work with Thunderfoot Press to promote this gripping and relevant page-turner, which will remind readers of the best in noir filmmaking.”

Blueplate PR is a boutique public relations firm Weiss founded 2004. Since then she has promoted a variety of book genres, including business, fiction, humor, young adult fantasy, and supernatural. An award-winning journalist and former magazine editor, Weiss also ghostwrote and edited The Bridge Builders, a memoir of master landscape architect Richard C. Bell’s life and work. For more information, visit www.blueplatepr.net.

Thunderfoot Press has published five works of fiction and a memoir by author and filmmaker Mark Spano.

Advance/review copies in paperback and digital editions are available by contacting Kim Weiss by phone (919.819.0064) or email: blueplatepr@gmail.com. The book is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.


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A Small Jewel…Flawlessly Smooth and Realistic…An Engaging Work of Noir Fiction

mc-cover_smCritics and readers alike praise Mark Spano’s Midland Club.

(Chapel Hill, NC) — Thunderfoot Press author Mark Spano’s new 120-page book, Midland Club, officially released just one month ago, is already receiving rave reviews from critics and readers and remains ranked at 4.3 stars out of five among Amazon Customer Reviews.

“I’m stunned and humbled by the favorable critical responses to Midland Club,” Spano said recently. “What, though, is of greater consequence is that the book has struck a chord with its readers. That is surely every writer’s ambition.”

Set in 1958 in a Midwestern town, Midland Club is a 120-page mystery novel about corruption, lies, and murder. The protagonist, Rich St. Pierre, is compelled to expose the truth about a friend’s death knowing he’s risking his own life in the process. The protagonist is a gay white man and a member of a highly respected family. The deceased is a gay black man.

The premise intrigued two reviewers with Gaybook Reviews.com. One described the book as “a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic… an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.”

The other reviewer called the book “a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” adding: “The beauty of Midland Club is the telling of the tale, rather than the answer to the mystery…There’s a bit of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil amidst the melancholy and I highly recommend this book.”

Mark Spano admits that he set Midland Club in his old neighborhood in his hometown, Kansas City, MO. But in his book, he refers to the location only as “a Midwestern city.” Yet one Amazon reader, also a Kansas City native, said he immediately recognized the city’s “repressive social strictures of decades ago, designed to prevent the intersections of ethnicity, class, and forbidden love at the heart of this tale of passion and loss.” Spano “can be proud of his story,” he wrote, “as it perfectly captures that place and time to create an engaging work of noir fiction. It kept me reading non-stop until the end, meriting this hearty recommendation.”

Another reader echoed that sentiment, adding, “This book is more than just a murder mystery. It speaks to the human condition.”

Midland Club is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. Review copies are available by emailing publicist Kim Weiss of Blueplate PR: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is a filmmaker and author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina. (Headshot available on request.) For more information: blog.markspano.com.


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Murder, Corruption, and The Unthinkable in The 1950s Heartland Suddenly Resonate Today…

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Thunderfoot Press announces its premier title, “Midland Club.”

December 12,  2016 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Since November 8th, LGBTQ citizens have come to fear a surge in hate crimes after reports of homophobic attacks, some verbal, some physical. Sadly, the potential is evident.

But in 1958, that potential was a frightening certainty, especially in Midwestern cities where homosexuals were considered “perverts” and “degenerates” and law officers ignored assaults on them – law officers not unlike the fictitious Sheriff Pat Brundy, who quickly pronounced the death of an old, gay, black man as suicide. No investigation. Case closed.

In Midland Club, a new murder mystery by Mark Spano, one man refuses to believe Puce Bordeaux’s death was suicide, despite Sheriff Brundy’s assertion. That man is Rich St. Pierre, a member of the wealthy, white First Family of the town who was locked up, along with Puce, after a raid on a dive where the town’s otherwise hidden homosexuals hung out. He’s certain that Puce, the quiet, genteel “Negro” who served as a waiter in the exclusive Midland Club for decades, was killed. He’s certain that the subsequent death of Puce’s priest, Monsignor Corliss, was murder.

Ostracized by his influential family, Rich St. Pierre also knows that his own life will be in grave danger if he attempts to prove his assumptions by unraveling the town’s secrets, lies, and corruption.

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Author Mark Spano

“I set this book in the neighborhood of my childhood,” said Spano, a gay man who knew life before the Stonewall riots of 1969. “I came of age in the era of gay liberation. My story is a glimpse back at how it used to be.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Spano’s 120-page book is a quick page-turner that suddenly stops the reader in his or her tracks with such moments as art dealer and self-described “queen” Luther Beaumont’s drunken rant on human instincts:

“We were taught that the only two instincts we humans have are self-preservation and species preservation.

“That is not so. There are more than those. The third instinct is just as primitive but has somehow been ignored by all these research people as being part of the human creature. It’s the preservation by the tribe of those things beautiful about the tribe. That’s why we’re decorators and designers and art dealers. While the rest of the world is cranking out babies like there’s no tomorrow, queers are at home saving what’s beautiful in the world so there’ll be something to look at or listen to tomorrow.”

Midland Club has all the elements of a good mystery: vibrant characters, a familiar setting, and a plot in which the solution to the mystery is ultimately revealed. Beyond a good mystery, it also addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him. And if the reader is paying attention, that pain foreshadows the conclusion.


Review copies of Midland Club are available by contacting

publicist Kim Weiss at Blueplate PR: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

Paperback and Kindle editions are available for purchase on Amazon.


About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

Media Contact:

Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR

919.819.0064; blueplatepr@gmail.com