Fun News: Reading at the Chilltown Literary Festival, INKED on Goodreads, & Wedding Plans

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Truly, this has been one amazing summer.

I signed books at Book Expo America (a dream!) and Wizard World Philly, I saw one of my essays published in an actual anthology, and the translated editions of The Geek’s Guide to Dating have been popping up all over Instagram and Twitter.

Things are lovely. And hey, they’re only getting better. <3

A bit of news! First off, I’m going to be reading at the inaugural Chilltown Literary Festival in Jersey City in July. It’ll be at the WORD Bookstore in Jersey City on Saturday, July 12th. All of my friends from Jersey City (hi Darlene!) and in Brooklyn (hi Preeti!) know that when I visit those areas, the WORD Bookstores in those neighborhoods are MUST VISIT PLACES for me. And I’m just so thrilled that I get to read at one.

Here’s a bit about the festival from WORD’s website.

We’re throwing a day of literary programming all around downtown Jersey City, culminating with an evening drinks mixer into nighttime panel featuring New Jersey authors and New Jersey stories. Current authors throughout the day include Emma Straub (The Vacationers), Eric Smith (The Geek’s Guide to Dating), Emily Croy Barker (The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic), Murray Carpenter (Caffeinated), Ed Lazellari (Awakenings, The Lost Prince), and John Gomez (Legendary Locals of Jersey City).

Okay. So I LOVE Emma Straub’s books, I absolutely adored Emily Croy Baker’s magical novel, and I recently picked up Ed Lazellari’s Awakenings.

Is it weird to bring a giant stack of books to an event you’re part of, you know, for autographs? Asking for a friend.

Anyhow, I hope to see a few of you there! You can RSVP for the event here on Facebook.

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Second bit of news, my YA novel, INKED, finally popped up on Goodreads! And I just love the short description my awesome editor (hi Meredith!) managed to put together for it. Because seriously, I am TERRIBLE with the elevator pitch for the book.

You can add it to your shelves here. It’ll be out in November. Keep an eye out for a cover reveal and some pre-order buttons soon! It’s almost here!


And in non-book news… the fiancee (check out her blog at Beauty and Britches) and I picked out our wedding venue for the Spring of next year. That’s her scoping out the view from the space.

Life is good, kids. <3

Prank Calls With My Nephew

Whenever I visit home, I always give my awesome and hilarious nephew, Jordan, my iPhone. He flips through it carelessly, and I let him call whoever he wants… well, within reason. If I spot him calling my boss or a media contact, I take it away. Let’s be real here.

I shot this over Thanksgiving and finally got around to piecing some of my favorite clips together. Thank you Allie (aka Alex Hack-cher), Jess, Mikey, Sarah, and Linzy for being such good sports about the whole thing.

Next installment… Christmas edition.

Sincerely Phil: A Basket Full of Poems

Love Felix: A Basket Full of Poems

It’s strange, the things you learn about your family members once they’re gone.

My grandmother passed away quite suddenly last week, following after my grandfather who left us just months ago. When my grandfather died, my family had no choice but to put my grandmother in a nursing home, as her mental condition was quickly deteriorating. She’d confuse us for strangers, other people, sometimes forget us completely…

What else can you do, except try and smile and poke fun at the situation? At least, that’s the way I try to deal with almost every serious happening in my life. Smile, make a joke, laugh it off, and just try to make the best of things, no matter how sad things are.

Love Felix: A Basket Full of Poems

My grandfather worked as a detective in Elizabeth, NJ for many many years and when he grew too old to walk the beat, became a security guard to keep himself busy. Despite his passion for the law, he adored mob stories, reading crime novellas by the bucketful. When he retired, his security guard job found him, ironically, running security for a gang of union workers that were most definitely in the mob, who would often let him in on poker games, letting him have a slice of that daydream of his.

Love Felix: A Basket Full of Poems

He worked long hours during his time as both a detective and a security guard, and didn’t get to see my grandmother as much as he wanted, occasionally missing birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and the like.

This past weekend, I learned how he made up for it. How he made the best of things.

Love Felix: A Basket Full of Poems

When I arrived home to NJ from Philadelphia, there was a mass stack of notes sitting on the kitchen table in my parents’ home. My mom had discovered them under my grandmother’s bed. A collection of poems, written on absolutely anything my grandfather could find, to my grandmother, spanning nearly sixty five years of marriage.

Sixty fives years! No one stays married that long anymore. People these days seem lucky they last sixty five DAYS.

Anniversary notes written on dry cleaning tickets. Birthday cards written on paper plates. Valentine’s Day letters scribbled across old parking violations. Needless to say, I was incredibly moved.

Love Felix: A Basket Full of Poems

I’ve uploaded a handful of these notes, most of which are from the 80′s, to my Flickr account since they can’t all be in the possession of my various family members. Unlike the love between my grandparents, paper doesn’t last forever, so I’m hoping to preserve these notes somewhere on the interweb and through photos. Maybe you’ll be inspired to tell someone how much you love them. My grandpop did, whenever he could, in the sweetest, simplest of ways.

I’ll be taking more when I go home next. I’ll miss them both terribly.

May Angels Lead You In

Belafonte: Scott Hasbrouck

On January 12th, 2008, at around 4AM, Scott Hasbrouck of the local New Jersey band, Belafonte, passed away in a car accident. I did some photo work with the Belafonte guys, the singer Zachary West being one of my close friends, and I can’t even imagine what they are going through right now.

Scott was a great guy who I had the pleasure of meeting during a photo shoot. We talked on AIM now and again, and the conversations were your usual bro-dude convos, lasting a few minutes, discussing music, girls, and how I had to get my ass to a Belafonte show / how they had to come play in Philadelphia.

When the away messages and text messages started flying around that something had happened to Scott, I IMed his screen name, which had been idle for a few hours. It breaks my heart to know that, at 20 years old, he’s gone, and far too young.

He was fortunate to have some amazing people in his life. The guys in Belafonte, Zach, Chris, Bobby, Kevin, and their old drummer Steve… I can’t even express how fun, genuine, and kind these guys are.

They’ll be playing a benefit show on January 18th, at a small venue in Red Bank, New Jersey. All proceeds are going towards Scott’s family. If you’re a scene kid (there is a huge chance you are if you’re visiting my website) and happen to be from New Jersey, make it out to the show, and show some support.

Stay strong Belafonte, and stay afloat like the ship you named your band after. You’re in my thoughts.