|Black Rose Writing|
KINGS OF 7th AVENUE (Black Rose Writing) is Jonathan Marcantoni's finest novel yet. It's riveting, multi-faceted and totally engrossing. The author boldly weaves fact and fiction that will draw readers in, and mesmerize them with realistic portraits of people looking for love, looking for success, looking for community. Some will win, some will lose, and some will pay with their lives.
SUMMARY: KINGS is set in the beautiful city of Tampa, where there is a dark side that preys on women, and nowhere is that more evident than at the Gasparilla Knight Parade, where the story reaches its climax. KINGS is the story of two couples, who are friends and partners in a new club in Tampa. Tony and Layla are two lonely people who become soul mates, and their love helps them deal with dysfunctional families and boosts them to success. Meanwhile, Lou and Ana are the perfect couple, a true picture of success, but underneath there is an abusive marriage that will destroy them and those around them.
Q&A WITH AUTHOR JONATHAN MARCANTONI
Q: A big theme in the book is the abuse towards women. There seems to be a war on women--from both sides. Boys/men are disrespecting, abusing, raping women and often getting away with it. And, unfortunately, women are allowing this behavior and contributing to it. Women are pulling up their tops for beads; walking around topless to claim their rights, etc. Where are boys and girls learning this behavior? How can we stop this war without casualties on both sides?
JONATHAN: The abusive treatment of women in America and in Puerto Rico has become more urgent to me as I am the father of not one, but three daughters. I see the trends toward devaluing and even criminalizing women, and I had to write a book about it, because the things we artists focus on should also be things that scare us, and nothing frightens me more than what a man might do to one of my girls. I witnessed firsthand the groups of young men prowling the streets, surrounding girls and hounding them to lift their shirts, and write about it in the book:
"7th Avenue was a maze of trash, bottles, and stumbling drunks looking for the nearest bar. Spotlights scanned the street, like a police helicopter looking for a fugitive, only these lights were looking for women. On the balconies, DJ’s ranted on microphones over techno beats: SHOW ME THEM TITTIES LADIES, I GOT SOME BEADS HERE AND THEY CAN BE YOURS BUT YOU GOTTA LIFT YOUR SHIRTS BITCHES. WHERE ARE THEY BITCHES? TITTY. TITTY. TITTY. SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT TAMPA. Groups of young men prowled the streets for drunk girls who hadn’t made it to clubs or their cars. They surrounded them, hounding them to lift their shirts, and if they didn’t, the men would spit on them and call them whores. —Come on baby, don’t you want some beads? Come on, it’s Gasparilla. Have some fun. Don’t be a stuck up bitch."
The war on women is perpetuated by men, and woman are complicit. When children are growing up they look to their parents and copy their actions. If their father is abusing the mother and she is not doing anything about it, that tells boys it's okay to be abusive and tells girls to accept it.
How can abuse toward women stop? It begins with women not accepting abuse by men. Women must take a stand, and they are. Change starts with the individual and then with society. It may take a generation, but it will happen.
Q: The club scene is alive and thriving, and very prominent in the book. Have clubs just become places for hook ups? Is there more to them then sex, drugs and merengue?
JONATHAN: Clubs represent refuge. They are places where people go to forget their troubles and have fun. The Kings Club in the book is also a refuge, a sanctuary for most of the characters. Lou is the only one who doesn't go to the club. Nothing bad happens in the club. In fact, Alberto describes the club's purpose best:
"Alberto also interviewed for staff, telling every applicant—We aren’t like any other club in Ybor. We want to bring something new to Tampa, and it starts with how we treat each and every one of you. There will be no grab-assing, no disrespect. You all have a say in how we run things. Don’t think of this as a club or a job, think of it as a community."
Q: What is next on his agenda, and how can fans connect with you?
JONATHAN: I am promoting my new book and working on my website, which should be live in October. Meanwhile, I am available on Facebook (Jonathan Marcantoni) and Twitter (@Marcantoni1984).###
WANT TO BE A WRITER? Watch Jonathan's video manifesto on why he writes. He wrote this as part of his YouNiversity project.
READ our review of Jonathan's FEAST OF SAN SEBASTIAN by clicking here.
READ our review of Jonathan's TRAVELER'S REST by clicking here.
AND, Please do leave a review at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Goodreads.
P.S. Many thanks to Jonathan for the plug on his cover. We love it and love the book!---mcf