The “most prolific writer of the year award” goes to Michael Luongo. In addition to the three books he published this year, he travels, writes about his travels and seems to be everywhere at once. Within weeks of moving to New York last year, I’d bumped into Mike at several events and he was kind enough to introduce me to professional organizations and people to help with my writing. With this blog entry, hopefully I can return the favor in a small way.
His novel, The Voyeur, is about Jason Green, a twenty-seven-year-old gay man doing sex research for the betterment of society. He teaches and lectures; he’s an educator. A new assignment will take him into the depths of New York’s seamy side, revealing the often shocking world of sex clubs, bath houses, and the dangers that await you in this dark world. It’s a great read and you wonder how much “research” Mike had to do in order to make it so realistic.
Looking for Love in Faraway Placesis an anthology of stories contributed by Mike and twelve other men describing their romantic encounters in exotic locales such as the Czech Republic, South Africa, Turkey Argentina, Thailand, etc. Mike’s own story about his experience in England is charming, but ultimately, well… I would say I don’t want to give away the ending, but there’s really only one way these faraway romances can end. Mike manages to end it well.
Finally, the most unusual – and enticing – book in this trilogy is Gay Travels in the Muslim World. It includes eighteen stories by different men. One is by the well-known Marine, Jeff Key, who all-too-briefly recounts an episode with an Iraqi. Another writer tells the sad story of a murder in Morocco. An Israeli soldier describes his sexual trysts with a Palestinian man. The best story of all, though, is Mike’s own account of his experience in Afghanistan. I read it on the plane to San Diego and loved it, and was thrilled to see Mike read it at the Authors’ Cafe that was part of the convention we were both attending. So, before I close this entry with the clip, I’ll just way WOW and thanks, Mike for all your help, and for writing, compiling, editing and giving your unique and extraordinary talents to the literary marketplace of ideas. Oh, and his websites (naturally, more than one) are: