Books by Richard Balthazar
My authorial aspirations started rather early in life with a couple pubescent novels, manuscripts that I now keep under strict security. After my New Orleans period, I knew it should be a novel and made notes on it a few years later, actually starting the writing in the mid 80’s. That was when I also began a novel about my Arkansas period and my opus on Indian mounds. With these two fabulous projects, I started looking for a literary agent, a search that dragged out for more than a decade without a single response, even for courtesy. Need we ask why?
Displeased but undaunted, in 1992 I started FIVE FLOWER PRESS, my own small publishing company. (This enterprise didn’t come entirely out of the blue because I had already managed several book projects through my professional job.) Absolutely convinced of its historical importance, I published my first book, REMEMBER NATIVE AMERICA, The Earthworks of Ancient America. It was done very professionally with a talented designer, major printer and national distributor, and respectable advertising efforts to good reviews. I’ve now found that old file on the book, and posted it for fee download as a .pdf file.
Following up quickly in 1993, FIVE FLOWER PRESS published my second nonfiction book, CELEBRATE NATIVE AMERICA, An Aztec Book of Days, equally professionally done, including my own artwork—to virtually no critical or commercial response whatsoever. (By the way, Five Flower is the day-name the Aztec god of dance, games, and merriment.) Though the hard-copy book is long out of print, check it out and enjoy a free download as a pdf file.
While these two esoteric books were great fun to do, the commercial effort wound up deeply in the hole. After selling most of the too-large press runs to Barnes & Noble as remainders, it took me several years to pay off the bank loan. Other planned projects didn’t happen.
Stung by the fruitless agent search and disastrous personal publishing effort, when at last my New Orleans and Arkansas novels came to apparent fruition, I turned to the fantastic online publisher AuthorHouse.com to get them into print:
DIVINE DEBAUCH, Chronicles of a Dissolute Youth in the French Quarter (2003): A lusty autobiographical novel of a sexy young faerie named Tommy, who just happens to be a student at Tulane University.
GYMNOPEDIE (2004): This naïve autobiographical novel of a cute, clueless kid in Arkansas is now out of print and removed from the AuthorHouse list. Re-reading it after several years as a more experienced editor, I couldn’t stop myself from doing it all over again. I have now extensively rewritten it under the new title BAT IN A WHIRLWIND. (See below). I’m perhaps inordinately proud of my digital-art cover design for the first edition (shown on the left). It was my first attempt at digital art and taught me a huge amount about patience and meticulousness.
Two years later my third nonfiction book was also published through AuthorHouse.com:
GETTING GET, The Glossary of a Wild Verb (2006): This casually scholarly book defines the tiny colloquial verb ‘get’ in some 500 constructions and meanings that operate like a discrete sub-language within American English. (Modestly, I consider this book as perhaps my work of genius. I’d planned to cover some other wild verbs too, but never did.) Though the hard-copy book is still available through AuthorHouse.com, you can now download it here for free.
BAT IN A WHIRLWIND, A Backwoods Novella: The autobiographical novella of a cute, clueless kid named Ben caught between a rock (Annette Funicello) and a hard place (best friend Danny).
THERE WAS A SHIP, (A Memoir of Going Back In): This is the memoir of me as a young faerie from the French Quarter in New Orleans who in 1964 blithely sailed off to straight Seattle and fell from faerie grace.
MS. YVONNE, The Secret Life of My Mother, is a pictorial biography of Yvonne Trinité Tapp, who lived to the ancient age of 94 and at a mere 86 survived Hurricane Katrina.
LORD WIND, A Memoir of My Second Coming Out, covers two years (1970-72) during which I returned to the gay life and found it much different than before.
In addition, I’m pleased to make available on this website an open-access Public Library of some of my more successful, though still conventionally unpublished, literary efforts. You may peruse them as you will, and each has a link for free download.