Welcome to the 'Freak Show'

You simply must go buy James St. James’ Freak Show.  That’s all you need to know. Go ahead.  I won’t hear another word.  You’re wasting valuable time arguing.  I’ll wait here till you get back.

Drum, drum, drum…

You’re back!  Wonderful!  Now take out your new purchase – isn’t he darling?  Now open the cover – but be warned.  You are about to be blasted with a LOT of glitter.

Billy Bloom is the energetic lead – the little gay boy we all wanted to be in high school.  He’s got style, wit and charm to spare – but the locals at his new high school are not impressed.  What’s a new kid to do?

Why get voted homecoming queen of course!

You won’t believe how much fun the book is!  Bloom, based on James’ own teenage years, is like the drag queen Harry Potter, stirring the school to new heights of acceptance and tolerance in his frantic race to be the Homecoming Queen of Eisenhower High.  And, okay, just maybe dance the night away with Flip, the dreamy football hero.

The oh-so-fabulous James St. James first gained notoriety in the New York City club scene of the '80s and early '90s.  He was known, along with his circle of fellow club kids, for his outrageous attire and hard-partying lifestyle. Then St. James' friend, party promoter Michael Alig, was convicted of the murder of drug dealer Angel Melendez. St. James wrote of those events in Disco Bloodbath, which was nominated for an Edgar Award for best true crime book of the year and was the source of the movie Party Monster, starring Macaulay Culkin as Alig and Seth Green as St. James.

Freak Show is a different point of view on the art of personal creativity.  “When Party Monster came out on DVD, I was slightly horrified to see teenagers reading the book.  It is such a dark book,” said St. James during a recent phone interview with O&AN.

“I wanted to write something that had some of the same themes of parties and the club kids and personal creative style, but wasn’t glorifying drugs and murder in any way.”  He succeeds in every way.  Freak Show is a celebration of the soul, with adorkable Billy fearlessly leading against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

From page one, it feels like your best friend is talking to you on the phone.  “I always try to go for immediacy – grabbing someone by the hand and leading them through a fabulous party – like I’m sitting here talking to my best friend.”  The exuberant flow is catchy, and by the end of the first chapter, you’re behind the underdog with a queer eye 100 percent.

St. James currently resides in Los Angeles, working for the production company World of Wonder Productions, makers of Party Monster. His new book, Freak Show, was released on May 17 and is available at Outloud, other local booksellers and online at www.Amazon.com.

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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