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Duane Simolke Wing
Simolke At Texas Book Festival Duane Simolke holds "Out In Writing"
Duane Simolke Releases 2nd Edition of "Acorn Stories" Duane Simolke Release Fourth Book, "Degranon"

Simolke at Texas Book Festival

Lubbock, Texas, author Duane Simolke will appear at the 2003 Texas Book Festival (  /) in Austin, Texas. Exhibitors will have booths in a book fair southwest of the Capitol; there is no admission charge for that part of the festival.

Simolke's publisher, iUniverse, will display various works in a booth there. Simolke will be at that booth to sign copies of his book The Acorn Stories: Second Edition, 9-10 am and 4-5 pm, on Saturday, November 8. The iUniverse booth is Booth #413, beside an information booth and near Colorado and 12th Street; it's across the street from the Westgate Building.

The Acorn Stories, a collection of tales set in a fictional West Texas town, is Simolke's best-known book, and iUniverse chose The Acorn Stories: Second Edition as part of its new “Editor's Choice” series. That series focuses on books that show strong marketability and should appeal to a large audience.

Shortly after returning to Lubbock, Simolke will lead a discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writers and books. That discussion, called “Out in Writing,” will take place November 18, 7 PM, at St. John's United Methodist Church, 1501 University Avenue, during a meeting of the local PFLAG (Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians and Gays).

Besides writing books, Simolke created Rainbow: Lubbock, the online guide for LGBTs in Lubbock. Visit http://DuaneSimolke.Com  to read that, or to learn more about Simolke, his books, and his appearances.


"The Acorn Stories" released in a second edition.

Secrets and Scandals in West Texas Just released in a second edition, Duane Simolke’s collection The Acorn Stories involves secrets and scandals in the fictional West Texas town of Acorn. With a tone that ranges from light-hearted humor to barbed satire to sweet romance to devastating tragedy, The Acorn Stories offers a frank and sometimes troubling view of West Texas life. From a brilliant artist who can’t stay focused on everyday tasks to a closeted gay mayor who strikes out against his one-night stand, these characters get under the skin of readers everywhere. Some people take exception to the sometimes scurrilous events Simolke chronicles in this collection of interrelated tales. However, Simolke points out that public scandals happen fairly often in West Texas (many of them involving elected officials), though they quickly find their way under the proverbial rug. In the book’s concluding story, “Acorn Pie,” the eccentric businesswoman Aragon Carson expresses that sentiment while discussing her family background: “Those are all very ordinary events: life, death, reproduction. You probably expect to hear about those, but not much else. Now there’s lots of things that you’d think only go on in big cities, but think again. Those things just happen more quietly here.” For the book’s second edition, Simolke found ways to polish up the language even more, adding more description and dialogue where needed. The other major differences are that the book is now available in hardcover—instead of just paperback—and that bookstores will receive a deeper discount that they can pass along to their readers. Bookstores and libraries can order The Acorn Stories through Ingram Books or Baker & Taylor, while readers can order it at most local or online bookstore. Simolke edited and co-wrote the spin-off The Acorn Gathering: Writers Uniting Against Cancer, donating royalties to the American Cancer Society, a charity he trusts and admires. That second Acorn collection starts with characters and settings from The Acorn Stories, then introduces new characters and settings, concluding by bringing one of Acorn’s characters across America, the country that Acorn encapsulates. With a major in English, Simolke graduated from Belmont University (B.A., 1989), Hardin-Simmons University (M.A., 1991), and Texas Tech University (Ph.D., 1996). Stein, Gender, Isolation, and Industrialism: New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio was his doctoral dissertation at Tech. He also wrote Holding Me Together: Essays and Poems and the science fiction epic Degranon. Readers can visit http://DuaneSimolke.Com to learn more about the author and his books, and to find related resources. Paperback ($13.95, ISBN 0595288642) or Hardcover ($23.95, ISBN 0595659144). Size: 6 x 9. Pages: 170. Published: Sept. 2003. Publisher: iUniverse. Contact: http://DuaneSimolke.Com   


(Lubbock, Texas) West Texas author Duane Simolke returns with a fourth book: Degranon. This unusual release marks Simolke's first novel, and his first book of science fiction.

Most scifi novels, movies, and TV shows ignore human diversity. Even among a wild variety of alien races, the human characters mostly stay within the usual frameworks of white and heterosexual. Aside from the occasional black man-who probably dies in an early scene or fades in and out with little consequence to the narrative- we rarely see people of color. And gay characters appear even less often.

In the alternate universe Simolke created for his science fiction adventure, we encounter characters that we might think of as Native American, African American, Latino, Asian, or gay. In fact, white characters receive only passing references, while gays seem idealized.

Simolke stops short of calling Degranon a "gay novel," since he wrote the book for a general audience, and since the main characters are heterosexual. However, he uses some of those non-gay characters to explore gay themes, as well as wider themes of diversity, freedom, and violence.

Though primarily a high-concept adventure, Degranon challenges every reader's views, perceptions, and prejudices. Everyone who reads it will find it disturbing at times, exciting at times, and ultimately optimistic. In fact, many people will interpret certain scenes, characters, and events in differing ways.

Readers wanting to learn more about Duane Simolke and his writing should visit his home page ( They'll find links or writings related to diversity, homophobia, cancer, writers, and many other topics. They'll also find Rainbow: Lubbock, Simolke's gay newsletter for Lubbock, Texas, which is where he lives, and where he received a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

He asks that readers support his work by ordering his new book at their favorite local or online bookstore or through Duane's own ArtMall book store here-

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