“Vanya Says, ‘Go!'” Reading in San Francisco, January 9, 2017

vanya-front-cover-4I will be reading with two other authors from our books set in Russia or about people from Russia.
January 12, 2017, 7pm, at Dog Eared Books in San Francisco.

It’s official! “Vanya Says, ‘Go!'” launched

Last night, at Dog Eared Books Castro, we had the official launch of my latest book, “Vanya Says, ‘Go!’.”

 wbg2016In 1906, Mikhail Kuzmin published “Wings,” the first book in Russian to discuss same-sex relationships in a positive light. With “Vanya Says, ‘Go!,'” Wayne Goodman retells the story from the perspective of the young man at the heart of the tale. The original work contained only three sections, but a fourth has been added to round out the story and provide some closure.

“Vanya” final copy off to the printer


It took some effort (and sweat and swearing) to get the typesetting done. Sometimes Word just doesn’t want to make it easy. This time, it split a paragraph for no apparent reason when exporting to PDF, which threw off the pagination. Oh well, it’s all a learning experience. Right?

Now I just have to wait for the printer to generate a proof copy, approve it, and order. With luck, I’ll have print copies ready for the scheduled launch date on November 13.

Most authors take years to get to this point, but I have been able to go from concept to print in just six months. Even though 3/4 of the book had already been written. Well, it was originally in Russian, and there were some difficulties with translation here and there.

This was my first attempt at adapting another person’s work. In some ways it was easier: having a pre-written plot already populated with characters; but in other ways more difficult: I wanted to remain true to the original author’s intent and style. Mikhail Kuzmin was a well-respected poet in his time; however, he was not the best at prose. His work got praise for its ground-breaking subject matter (same-sex relationships), but many were unhappy with the weak plot that jumped about and the overabundance of characters. In retelling the story, I have attempted to address these issues and deliver a story that would be palatable to modern readers.


A Favorable Review from a Famous Author

When I attended San Francisco State University (sometime during the last century), I worked part-time for the San Francisco Library. One of my co-workers happened to be the partner of local author Daniel Curzon. Recently we connected through FaceBook, and I had dinner with them a while back. Knowing Dan also had an affinity for England, I brought him a copy of my book “Britain’s Glory: Charlotte, the People’s Princess.”

On his own, with no prompting from me, he wrote a very favorable review of the book, which I am reprinting here.

Britains Glory-CoverMost people, I suppose, think being royal must be a piece of cake. History is replete with people trying to get into the aristocracy any way they can. But this novelistic telling of the relatively unknown Princess Charlotte of nineteenth-century England shows quite a different picture, Sure, the crowds can’t have enough of her, but what if her gross father (ahead of her in the royal line to the throne) treats you like crap and most of your time is spent fending off unwanted suitors and unpleasant relatives and not being able to trust the intentions of anyone around you? You were born royal for this?!

The book alternates between a baby’s difficult birth and other scenes of the period’s political elite. Author Goodman keeps the pace moving right along with lively dialogue and dramatic situations.

It’s just long enough and is for those looking for an historical fact-based narrative that tells you something you may not have heard of before. I myself have fallen out of love with England after fifty years but can still find myself occasionally tempted by its storied past.


– Daniel Curzon

Thank you, Dan!