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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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

NC’s Emerging Horror/Fantasy Author Featured at EyeCon Convention

 

T. Lyn Fletcher joins the cast and fans of “The Vampire Diaries” at Atlanta

"Twisted and Turned" author T. Lyn Fletcher

Convention.

March 31, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) —  EyeCon Celebrity Autograph Conventions, best known for conventions geared towards the shows “True Blood” and “Supernatural” and the “Twilight” movies, added a new show and location this year: EyeCon Vampire Diaries Convention in Atlanta March 25-27, spotlighting the stars of the CW Network’s TV series.

T. Lyn Fletcher, North Carolina native and author of the upcoming supernatural book series Twisted and Turned, was invited to participate in the convention to promote the series, which she insists will take fans of supernatural and occult literature on a journey “unlike any they’ve experienced before – including The Vampire Diaries,’ ‘True Blood,’ and ‘Twilight.’”

If comments she received during EyeCon are indicators, she’s right.

Twisted and Turned is “a true love story of supernatural proportions,” Fletcher says. It begins with an archangel in heaven who falls so deeply in love with a human soul that she arranges to be born on earth in the same place where this soul will be born. The soul actually becomes twins – stunningly handsome twin vampires. Yet the archangel is destined to find and fall in love with one of the twins – even though her natural instinct is to destroy demons. She even bears children from this unlikely union.

“The archangel/vampire connection fascinated everyone,” Fletcher said. “Many people told me it was a fresh twist for the genre. Several people even asked me if this was going to be a TV series. They seemed really excited!”

Fletcher’s display booth for Twisted and Turned featured promotional posters designed by Cary artist Darla Yanko. Yanko is also creating cover art for each book in the series.

“It was an incredible experience,” Fletcher said. “I met so many wonderful people, from the staff and volunteers to the stars from ‘The Vampire Diaries.’  The exposure for Twisted and Turned was invaluable, and it was great to meet people who are so deeply interested in the genre. I was thrilled to hear so many people say that they can’t wait for the books to come out.”

The EyeCon weekend included panel discussions, celebrity Q&A events, and photo op and autograph sessions with the cast of “The Vampire Diaries,” along with a Cocktail Carnival and Banquet with the stars, and a Masquerade Ball on Saturday Evening.

T. Lyn Fletcher, a member of the well-known, philanthropic Fletcher family of Raleigh, NC and a medical software designer in her “other life,” as she puts it, expects to have the entire Twisted and Turned series completed this year. Requests for review copies are already coming in.

The T. Lyn Fletcher website, www.tlynfletcher.com, will launch soon. In the meantime, she maintains a Facebook page (under T. Lyn Fletcher) and Twitter account to support the upcoming series and to connect with her future readers. For more information and to arrange interviews with the author, contact publicist Kim Weiss of Blueplate PR, at kim@blueplatenc.com or 919-272-8615.