MY BOOKS

Crossroads:  The Life and Afterlife of Blues Legend Robert Johnson

ISBN-978-0988232204

This Second Edition of the award-winning Crossroads by Tom Graves is the author-approved new manuscript that contains updated information and new photographs related to blues legend Robert Johnson.  The book won the Blues Foundation's prestigious Keeping the Blues Alive award in 2010 and is considered the definitive word on its enigmatic subject.  The result of careful and meticulous research, this stylishly-written biography reveals the real story behind the mythical talent that made Robert Johnson a musical legend.  (Note:  Autographed copies of Crossroads can be purchased for $14.95 plus $3.00 shipping.  If you would like a personal inscription, please add this information to the purchase information.  To buy an autographed copy, click the yellow Paypal button on the right.  For normal purchases on amazon.com, please click the blue Buy It button on the left.)

My Afternoon With Louise Brooks

 

In 1982 Tom Graves in the beginning years of his career pursued the fanciful notion of writing a biography of the most reclusive star in the history of cinema, Louise Brooks.  The problem:  Louise Brooks admitted virtually no one into her life, much less an unknown writer from the South who had seen only a handful of her films.  Armed with his innocence, youth, and can-do spirit, Graves not only talked Brooks into letting him into her apartment, but spent an at times tense, at times heartwarming afternoon with her.  The book also includes the long-suppressed art nude photos of Louise that were taken during her heyday of the 1920s.  

 

Blonde Shadow:  The Brief Career & Mysterious Disappearance of Actress Linda Haynes

 

Blonde, beautiful, mysterious -- a female James Dean.  Linda Haynes, an actress who made only nine films in the 1970s disappeared from Hollywood in 1980, never to be heard from again.  Tom Graves spent years trying to find her.  It took the deep pockets and obsessive tracking of Quentin Tarantino to finally locate her, but only one of them was admitted to her Florida home to get the story.  Part mystery, part biography, and a total appreciation of an uncelebrated talent, Blonde Shadow attempts to get to the bottom of the enigma that was Linda Haynes.

Pullers:  A Novel

ISBN-0-8038-9424-4szS

Pullers is a masterpiece of high-testosterone American satire in the "grit lit" vein mined by such writers as Harry Crews, Charles Willeford, Carl Hiassen, Daniel Woodrell, and others.  Favorably compared by critics to the gonzo style of Hunter S. Thompson, Graves targets the ultra-weird world of ripped flesh and snapped wrists in the world of professional arm wrestling.  Yearning for name recognition, all the contenders have a weapon, a gimmick.  It might be a patented designer drug fresh from the labs of Stanford, a dietary "secret" like live cockroaches, or a robotic arm built by M.I.T.  It might be sending an enemy a bad case of crabs via a hired seductress, or securing the supernatural aid of a Louisiana conjure woman.  These men do whatever it takes to win and then ratchet it up a few more notches.

The Men With the Golden Ears

The Men With the Golden Ears is a time capsule of the golden age of digital remastering which took place in the mid-1980s until iTunes and MP3s swamped the CD market in the last decade.  Three names surfaced early in this special moment:  Steve Hoffman of MCA then DCC, Bill Inglot of Rhino Records, and Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs.  Tom Graves interviewed Hoffman and Inglot at length for Rock & Roll Disc magazine and for American Airlines' in-flight magazine flew to California to report on Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs.  This mini-book includes these articles and will delight both audiophiles and those who love popular music with this peek behind the veil of an all-too-unappreciated art form -- digital remastering.

In the Midnight Aisle:  The Story of the Blackwood Brothers Quartet

The Blackwood Brothers Quartet is the most successful group in the history of gospel music, selling millions of LPs throughout the world and influencing untold numbers of music artists such as a young Elvis Presley who openly adored the group. Outside the circumscribed world of Southern gospel music, few knew of the rise, tragedy, and huge marketing reach of this most businesslike and professional of gospel groups. In the Midnight Aisle tells the complete story, the beginnings in the poverty belt of the rural South, the first national exposure of a Southern gospel group, and a terrible plane crash that claimed the lives of two members. 

How To Publish Your Book

How To Publish Your Book is a simple but lively guide that tells you exactly what you need to know about preparing and publishing your book, in both hard copy and the exciting new ebook format. Author Tom Graves tells aspiring authors precisely what they need to do to get through the gauntlet of publishers, literary agents, print-on-demand services, and ebook providers to get their book in print. With humor and wit, Graves also provides anecdotes and personal experiences that will help nudge authors through what is ordinarily a perilous process.


By far the most readable and doable book publishing guide on the market from an author who has not only done it, but as he says is "still in it."

Natural Born Elvis

Natural Born Elvis:  The Story of Bill Haney, The First Elvis Impersonator is the remarkable story of the man who originated the cultural phenomenon of the Elvis impersonator.  Bill Haney was a disciple of the fire-breathing piano pounder, Jerry Lee Lewis, and as a gifted pianist himself had Jerry Lee down to a tee.  But when he decided to add a few Elvis songs to his repertoire it was as if a bomb had gone off in the clubs.  "It was them who associated me with Elvis.  I never once tried to imitate him," says Haney today.   From those first shows in the late 1950s Haney developed a rabid following that never stopped.  And Haney was doing this in Elvis' own hometown -- Memphis.  The night Elvis grew curious enough to go see Haney perform at the Ramada Inn is one of the great Elvis stories of all time.  Originally published in The Oxford American to worldwide critical acclaim, this is a book not to be missed by any fan of rock and roll.


 

Getting Naked With Harry Crews

​In 1979 Tom Graves flew to Gainesville, Florida to interview the writer of the grittiest fiction on Planet Earth -- Harry Crews.  Although Graves could not have known it at the time Crews was on a precipice staring down into a personal abyss that would last almost 10 years.  Crews was at a tipping point of "bad craziness" where he was consumed by drugs, bar fights, and above all, a flood of alcohol.  But for one long day Crews was dead sober and razor sharp, spinning a potent brew of stories and commentary that defined not only his writing career but himself.  Portions of the interview were published in both Southern Exposure and Chouteau Review and later combined in their original form for the acclaimed collection of Crews interviews edited by Erik Bledsoe, Getting Naked With Harry Crews.