Lifting off this October…

The much anticipated YA debut

Zero Gravity is The Hunger Games with twice the humor and heart as well as a mind-bending premise. It’s an adventure fantasy that lifts off with all cylinders blazing and never lets up.” –Timothy Hillmer, author of Ravenhill

From the book’s jacket: In a world where gravity is losing strength and “lightweights” suddenly vanish into the sky, it’s survival of the fattest for bulky Adam Weaver and his family. With Zero G seemingly imminent, the Weavers embark on a dangerous journey to reach and board NASA’s Ark, a massive space craft that represents the last hope for Earth’s survivors.

Is there really a spaceship? Will the Weavers gain passage? And can a kid who once got picked on for being overweight prove that heroes come in all sizes? With danger in every encounter, theirs is a quest like no other, taking readers to new heights of adventure and imagination. So hold on tight and get ready to experience Zero Gravity!  

 

Hailed by three separate publications as a “remarkable first novel,” Tom LaMarr’s October Revolution was praised by prominent authors including Joseph Heller. His other books have also been widely acclaimed. (See “Endorsements, Reviews, and 3 a.m. Blues” below.) Zero Gravity is Tom’s first YA novel.

Geezer Dad Is “Heartwarming and Hilarious”

geezer cover

 

A funny, heartfelt memoir on getting a late start at parenting, GEEZER DAD reached #4 on Amazon’s Hot New Books in Parenting and Adoption. ADOPTIVE FAMILIES MAGAZINE named it one of the “Best Adoption Books of 2015.”

 

“An engaging human journey, both heartwarming and hilarious.” —Karin Evans, author of The Lost Daughters of China

Listen to Tom’s interview for Colorado Public Radio. Other recent interviews are archived at Iowa Public Radio and Creating a Family. The author’s 2016 Tattered Cover reading can be accessed at Authors on Tour Live.

Excerpts from the book can be found here and here. A related essay, “We Got Here Too Late to Leave Early,” is waiting for you here.

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BEAR WRESTLING and other alleged pursuits

absolutely authentic bear wrestling photoHis daughter thinks he’s making it up, and he has yet to produce a single credible witness, but Tom loves to wrestle bears. He wrestles them while on family vacations in national parks. He wrestles them while camping in the mountains near his Colorado home. The bears typically win, but Tom derives a great deal of satisfaction from the contest itself.

Self Portrait #2His other interests are somewhat more predictable, and more easily verified. These include reading, travel, listening to music, creating his own music on a four-track analog recorder using a variety of instruments, two of which he actually knows how to play, hiking near tree line, and annoying his daughter with tales of menacing grizzlies.

Early Training

Self PortraitTom once hopped a freight train from Omaha to Los Angeles … with his boss. Close to abandoning their alcohol-nurtured plan in a Union Pacific rail yard as midnight approached on a brutally hot summer night, the pair received aid from a sympathetic brakeman. Tom soon had possession of an official forty-page route schedule, along with this piece of invaluable advice: “Ride in one of the extra engines. If anyone asks, you’re with Maintenance Way.” Four national parks, two mountain ranges, and one sprawling dessert later, the train trudged into the vast L.A. yards, at which point a voice blared from a speaker built into the control stand: “You have riders in Unit 3. You have riders in Unit 3.” A good minute passed before the engineer – who most likely had witnessed some very unprofessional behavior on the part of his passengers, from smoking a distinctly odiferous substance to hanging out windows to properly photograph the Wasatch Mountains – replied on that same speaker, “They’re with Maintenance Way.”

Apart from living a number of places – Tom grew up on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa, studied at the University of Iowa’s Fiction Writers Workshop, worked in Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Jacksonville, Florida, and the District of Columbia – he didn’t make much of his brief internship as a drifter. Witness his final move to Colorado… now more than two decades ago. But he still has his Union Pacific freight schedule, sealed away in a box somewhere, should that lonesome whistle call.

As with everything else in life, a Seinfeld connection

book store windowIn 2008, October Revolution came to the aid of Jerry Seinfeld. After Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures used the pun, “Give bees a chance,” to promote Seinfeld’s animated Bee Movie, a Florida-based pharmaceuticals firm sued, claiming to have filed for a trademark on the phrase one year earlier. Reading his morning paper, LaMarr took interest in the story, knowing the pun first appeared in October Revolution‘s Bee-In protest scene. He contacted Dreamworks, suggesting they make the satiric novel, copyrighted in 1998, part of their defense. Dreamworks, arguing the “Plaintiff’s claims are barred because Plaintiff was not the first to use the purported mark in commerce,” prevailed. Interestingly, the Florida firm also claims rights to “Bee In.”

Tattered CoverOctober Revolution, coincidentally, was optioned for movie rights shortly after publication. The project made it to script stage (bad news for one of the main characters, who doesn’t make it to the end of this version), but has yet to see the light of a theater projector.

Endorsements, Reviews, and 3 a.m. Blues

October RevolutionRead your novel with much ease, excitement, and pleasure. I found it “a lighthearted, dandy satire with a humorous plot and a variety of deft pops at many deserving targets.”

Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22

 

 

 

Humorous fiction is conspicuously absent from the bestseller lists.… Maybe the explanation for this lack is that truly funny books, those that understand the foibles of humans without falling into mean or sarcastic diatribe, are incredibly rare. Colorado is fortunate to have an author on the very short list of writers of good humorous fiction… October Revolution is an original and slyly funny book, and it is a remarkable first novel… [His] humor is based on true affection and understanding…

The Denver Post

Hallelujah City

Hallelujah City, like LaMarr’s debut novel, October Revolution, is a fast and funny read. Humor isn’t easy to pull off, but LaMarr does it effortlessly… Yet Hallelujah City is a melancholy novel, a meditation on mistakes that can never really be unmade. That tension, between laughter and tears, makes it deeper and more complex than many a New York Times bestseller.

Boulder Sunday Camera

 

LaMarr (October Revolution) has created a hectic, full-bodied account of a troubled young lady enmeshed in a bizarre religious cult… The plot is stocked with enough tension to hook readers until the chaotic, fiery climax.

Publishers Weekly

geezer cover

Dads, so often missing from adoption stories or portrayed as minor players, have author Tom LaMarr to thank for bringing to light the uniquely male perspective on building a family. Geezer Dad takes its readers on a journey that will delight them with its wit, surprise them with its wisdom, and touch them with its tenderness.

Jana Wolff, Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

 

This book is humorous and touching and full of insights into a problem faced by many, though the appeal is to all readers. It’s about hope and love winning out when the odds are tough.

Robert Garner McBrearty, author of The Lonesome Western Society

 

Zero Gravity is an intriguing tale, expertly told. Enjoy!

Rodman Philbrick, author of Freak the Mighty

 

 

 

octrevtop10Tom LaMarr is a writer who confirms his comic gifts in this wonderfully funny first novel… The turbulent past of the Vietnam generation sneaks up and bites us where it both hurts and tickles most. Readers who lived through that era will see themselves as in a funhouse mirror. But everyone should find in October Revolution an absurd and exhilarating carnival ride of comic imagination.

Douglas Unger, author of Leaving the Land

 

Funny stuff.

T. Coraghessan Boyle, author of Water Music

 

October RevolutionOctober Revolution is a light romp of a book that explores the identity issues of a leftover ’70s revolutionary… Considering that this is Tom LaMarr’s first novel, he weaves his tale with expertise and, along the way, provides the reader with enough adventurous humor and silly plot twists to keep October Revolution consistently interesting.

San Francisco Metropolitan

 

October Revolution comes out of left – pretty damn Left, at that – field at you, unexpected and quirky and full of wit and marinated anger and a sense of the clash of cultures, that of the Hippies and the Yuppies. It begins and ends with the FBI taking care of Huxley’s cats out in Colorado. But in between, Huxley – who describes himself as a former “weekend hippie communist” – is drawn back into the world of his youth by an old buddy who is holding hostages in a Washington, D.C., Burger King asking for him. It is a comic, nostalgic, sad and somehow hopeful novel about all the things we’ve lost and all the things we’ve become and all the things we discover we can never quite abandon. October Revolution is very much a revolution worth supporting.

Thomas Gifford, author of The Assassini

 

Huxley’s not the only person looking backward to the ’60s and ’70s. LaMarr has written a satirical novel in the black-comedic style of that period, reminiscent of the work of Terry Southern, Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller. The surprise is that this retro form fits so easily into the late ’90s. Huxley is a funny if imperfect and self-absorbed observer of the end of the 20th Century… [LaMarr has] created a wonderful voice in Rod Huxley, simultaneously quixotic, resigned and oddly optimistic. He’s great company, and if this small novel doesn’t save the world, it’s enormous fun for as long as it lasts.

The Rocky Mountain News

 

Boulder CameraTom LaMarr fulfills the early promise of his first book, October Revolution, with a daring second novel, Hallelujah City. One part Canterbury Tales, another part On the Road, it begins with a prodigal daughter arriving unannounced at her father’s door and ends thousands of miles later with an explosive confrontation at a doomsday commune. Take an unforgettable road trip to Hallelujah City. You won’t regret the ride.

Timothy Hillmer, author of Ravenhill

 

Quirky characters, an unlikely road trip, and a doomsday cult are the disparate threads that bind Hallelujah City. The journey takes more than a few odd and amusing turns, and author Tom LaMarr has fun with the trip while capturing the essence of a father trying to rescue his daughter… LaMarr’s sense of timing and setting are good, but what is most enjoyable are his lost-soul characters who are seeking nothing so much as redemption. And they find it, not in encountering the end of the world, but in encountering each other.

Denver Post

 

Tom LaMarr’s writing is both hilarious and deeply touching. I have laughed out loud while reading his novels, and have also been deeply moved by his compassion and understanding of the human condition. Here is a writer whom one reads with real pleasure.

Robert Garner McBrearty, author of  The Western Lonesome Society

 

October Revolution

LaMarr’s debut will invoke nostalgia in baby boomers no matter what their allegiances during the 1960s political wars. Well-executed flashbacks tell of [protagonist Huxley’s] youthful folly, his overzealous contemporaries.

Publishers Weekly

 

 

ADOPTIVE PARENTS

LaMarr’s memoir [Geezer Dad] delivers everything it promises in its subtitle: “How I Survived Infertility Clinics, Fatherhood Jitters, Adoption Wait Limbo, and Things That Go ‘Waaa’ in the Night,” with plenty of humor, as well as raw emotion. It’s refreshing to read about the infertility struggle and intense desire to be a parent from an older father’s perspective. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable, relatable read.

Adoptive Families magazine

 

Two Great Books About Adoption and Infertility: I have solved your holiday gift giving woes. I have read two good books about adoption and infertility that would make great gifts for Christmas, Hanukah, or whatever holiday you celebrate that requires a gift. You can thank me later for saving you from the torture of buying one more bottle of perfume or a tie. [The first book, Geezer Dad] follows one man from blissful ignorance to infertility and ultimately adoption, and manages to be honest, serious, and funny all at the same time…

Creating a Family

 

Tom LaMarr, author of two critically praised novels, returns with his first memoir… a story that features both Barry-esque humor and a helpfully pioneering attitude for older parents.

Boulder Sunday Camera

 

 

Zero Gravity is The Hunger Games with twice the humor and heart as well as a mind-bending premise. It’s an adventure fantasy that lifts off with all cylinders blazing and never lets up. Hang on for a wild read!

Timothy Hillmer, author of Ravenhill

 

 

I can see [Hallelujah City] as a movie, up on the big screen…

Mensa Bulletin: The Magazine of American Mensa

 

A thought-provoking examination of how families are affected when one of their own joins a cult… Moving beyond media sensationalism, LaMarr depicts the vulnerability of those who join cults and the family suffering involved… LaMarr subtly but successfully portrays the manipulations of a self-proclaimed Messiah.

Rocky Mountain News

 

The result is a very unusual road trip and an explosive ending. This is a tale of family – both its failings and triumphs.

The Arkansas Traveler

 

If the intriguing title and the conflagration on the book’s cover don’t ignite your curiosity… LaMarr’s story blazes with characters who provide the fuel: an end-time leader with stage experience, a single dad with parenting regrets, a pregnant daughter who believes she’s delayed Judgment Day, and an author with serious doubts about his abilities to write and to stay one step ahead of the repo man. And there’s a bonus: LaMarr’s descriptions of winter in northern Minnesota will cool the scorch of summer in Iowa.

The Iowan

 

ZERO GRAVITY AUTHOR PHOTOThis is a great little book I randomly picked up in the library. It is the story of an end-times cult and what happens the day after the world fails to end. It is really more about a man and his cult member daughter and their relationship. I really enjoyed this book.

Good Reads

 

October RevolutionA mature reflection on the period that turned everything around. LaMarr clearly has been through it all and views it with detached humor throughout this novel of experience.

The Whitehorse Review

 

 

 

Hilarious … The narration is consistently funny and insightful.

Labor Advocate

 

In this remarkable first novel, Tom LaMarr creates a loveable comic hero… It’s rare and refreshing to find humor infiltrating a literary work about the Vietnam War and the peace movement. But, in one hilarious event after another, LaMarr successfully summons the era’s clash of ideologies with both wit and insight.

Iowa Alumni Magazine

 

I hate to admit I don’t do much fiction reading, but October Revolution made me realize what I have been missing. This romp is enjoyable for the lineup of always interesting characters as well as the historical context in which LaMarr places them.

Front Ranger

Geezer Dad cover

The memoir Geezer Dad is a side-splitting look at handling infertility and adopting as an older parent.

Adoptive Families magazine

 

This is a very funny book.

Ryan Warner, Senior Host of Colorado Matters, Colorado Public Radio

October Revolution

 

A debut novel – half-comedy, half treatise on ’60s fallen dreams – that offers amusing insights.

Kirkus Reviews

 

A funny, sardonic debut from LaMarr … As comical as his present-day hijinks are, the hilarious rendering of Huxley’s political past is even funnier….

Boulder Sunday Camera

 

As a Geezer Dad, Tom LaMarr not only walks the walk, he shovels it too.A wonderfully funny book.

Rocky Ford Daily Gazette

 

It is a delight and, what’s more, it has a great opening sentence: “The FBI is watching my cats.”

Dubuque Telegraph-Herald (Rod Huxley’s hometown paper)

 

Hey, buddy. The sunset's over here.Still here? Then, thank you for visiting. If you have a question for Tom, or are closely related to Quentin Tarantino or Steven Spielberg, you are encouraged to contact tomlamarr at tomlamarr dot com.

 

 

Hidden bonus tracks:

“Pretending”

“Live at the Kings 2 am (audience bootleg recording)”

“A Little Something”

“Spies”

“Akumel Bay”

“Old Monastery Road (Bury the Needle)”

“Live at the Kings 3 am (audience bootleg recording)”

“When Buddy Holly Worked at Motown”

“Castles”

“Raga”

“Rain at the Beach”

“First Light”

“Rooster”

“Prairie Schooner”

 

Escher Museum, The Hague CenterA taste of homemade jam for guests who scrolled all the way to the bottom.  Beginning as improvisations, these tracks were layered and mixed on a four-track analog cassette recorder purchased on eBay for fifty dollars.  Guitars, backwards guitars, bass, simple keyboards, and even simpler violin were played by the world’s oldest eighteen-year-old guitarist.  Percussion was provided by a tiny drummer who lives inside a guitar effects box.

 

 

 

“Under Siege”

“Percolator”

“Walking You Home”

“Happy Sex Robot Parade”

“Logan Pass at Sunset”

“Sex Robot Rebellion”

“When the Jones Boys Come to Play”

“Open Road”

“Where the Wild Heather Blooms”

“Whitewater Canyon”

“Solstice Fire”

“Tennessee Mash”

“Little Rooster”

“Downstreaming”

“Swamp Thing”

“Mice at Midnight”

“Traffic Jamming”

“Carnivale”

“Cool Funk”

“Pretzel”

“Rockabilly Respite”

“Sailing the Night Sky”

“1, 2, Jump!”

“Velvet”

“Barn Raiser”

“Colored Glass Waltz”

“Funnel Cake Fairway”

“Last Leaf Falling”

“A Horn Riff in Search of Some Horns”

“Bonsai Garden”

“El Fuego”

“Canyons”

“Prolonged Funk (Improvication)”

“Spring Breeze”

“Extreme Separation”

“Snowshine”

“Caravan”

“Canyons #2”

“Good Show (Instrumental Backing)”

“Sunflower Sea (Parts 1 and 2)”

“Groove”

Self Portrait (2)Self Portrait (4)Self Portrait (3)