Billy Jolie's The Lust Garden Book Release Party 7/24/2010

Author Billy Jolie celebrated the release of his debut novel The Lust Garden with an invitation-only book release and author signing party on the top floor of Bernini of Ybor in Tampa, Florida. The private event was exclusive only to 100 guests.

Square One and OMG! Magazine will host Billy Jolie's next book release and author signing party on Saturday, September 4, 2010 at Streetcar Charlie's Bar & Grille. The event runs from 7pm to 11pm and is open to the general public.

Here are some photos from Billy's July 24th Party:

Billy Jolie with Square One's Okesene Tilo & friends

The Dream Team with Mark de los Reyes, model Jessica Hurst & photographer Ryan Prado

with OMG! Magazine's Eric Liebman

with local musician Jeremy Gloff

The Lust Garden is NOW AVAILABLE nationwide.


SQUARE ONE Spotlights: Billy Jolie, author

SQUARE ONE Spotlights: Billy Jolie, author

Photo by Katina Franke

Every month, SQUARE ONE will spotlight a local creative individual and their artistic endeavors. This month, SQUARE ONE chose author and Tampa resident Billy Jolie who is set to release his debut novel, The Lust Garden on July 24, 2010. SQUARE ONE's Okesene Tilo recently sat down with the newly published author for OMG! Magazine's Q&A about his most recent accomplishment.

OKESENE TILO: First off, a huge congratulations to you for completing your very first novel. I clearly remember you first telling me about working on it nearly 4 years ago, so tell (us) readers a little about your book.

BILLY JOLIE: Thanks a lot Okie! At its heart, the book is a dramatic journey through the minds of two very extreme characters. We have Gianna Salvani, the ultimate Hollywood “It” girl, strutting her way through fame and dealing with its drawbacks. Her quest for love, acceptance, domination… and in the background of all this glitz, we get to experience the darkness of a serial killer who is obsessed with Gianna and the idea of physical metamorphosis. You’ll be dying to figure out his secret.

TILO: How did you come up with the storyline?

JOLIE: The core twist was in my head for years. The hard part was building a fantasy world around it where these characters could exist to allow the events to unfold. I’m obsessed with the idea of celebrity. Hollywood became the ideal environment. In a way, I lived vicariously through my characters. The easiest way to chase fame is to fake it till you make it.

TILO: I love the title. How did you come up with it?

JOLIE: Honestly, by mistake. I played around with a few titles in the beginning, but ultimately they didn’t work for the material. I was looking through some old photographs of a trip I took to Berlin and came across a shot I’d taken of a park sign called Lustgarten. I guess it was meant to be.

TILO: When did you start writing?

JOLIE: Ever since I can remember. It started with poems and then spiraled from there. Writing was always an escape for me, especially when I was young, gay and growing up in small town America. I actually have full-length novels buried in my closet from high school. I’d probably be scared to revisit them.

TILO: What was the hardest part to write in the book?

JOLIE: Deciding the fate of a character you’ve grown to love is always difficult. Knowing you can’t change it is even harder. Technical aspects are tricky as well. One of the characters, Zak, is British. It was challenging making his dialogue believable. Luckily, I have a wonderful friend who lives in London that I was able to draw from.

TILO: Tell us about your favorite part of the book.

JOLIE: Well… I don’t want to give too much away, but there’s an explosive interaction involving Gianna and her killer toward the end of the story. I spent the whole novel working toward this reunion of sorts, and having them together in the same room, was so artistically rewarding for me. It’s my best work.

Okesene Tilo with Billy Jolie

TILO: There’s always some truth in fiction. Does any part of the story reflect your own past?

JOLIE: Definitely. There are pieces of me in every character. I think the people closest to me will be surprised at just how much of me is laced within the story. I lost my father early in my childhood. I gave Gianna the same struggle. And Blair’s gay. I use everything around me for inspiration.

TILO: If your book was made into a movie, who would play the lead?

JOLIE: I debate this constantly. Gianna is an extreme character with alternating highs and lows. She’s a bit bipolar. And the actress would have to possess vocal talent. I’m going to say Scarlett Johansson.

TILO: Who are some of your favorite authors?

JOLIE: There are too many. I grew up reading trashy novels by Jackie Collins. I hate to admit it, but she taught me a lot about sex. Bret Easton Ellis is a favorite. Anne Rice. And I’ve recently discovered Martin Millar, a British writer. I wish I had half his talent. He’s brilliantly hilarious.

TILO: Which individual has had the single greatest influence on your life?

JOLIE: My grandmother. She’s an amazing woman and the book is dedicated to her. After I came out to her, to which she was completely accepting of, I really started to live freely.

TILO: Any advice for inspiring writers?

JOLIE: Don’t talk about wanting to write… Sit down and actually do it. Love it for the creative freedom. Don’t do it for the money. And never give up, even if you’re staring at a pile of rejection letters. It’s all part of the process. It happened to me. I had an agent tell me the material was too dark and the alternating storylines would never work in commercial publishing. I need to frame that letter.

TILO: So what’s next for Mr. Jolie?

JOLIE: The future appears to be unwritten. That’s what’s so great about the life of a writer. I have an outline for a sequel waiting for me to develop, but I think I want to try something different. I’d like to get out of my comfort zone a bit and see what happens.

Cover Photography by Ryan Prado

The Lust Garden is officially released this month. It is now available on and at major book retailers Barnes & Noble, Borders and Books-a-Million.


SQUARE ONE Call to Artists: November 13, 2010

SQUARE ONE will begin registering the first 40 artist spots for their 3rd Annual Fall 2010 Creative & Performing Arts Showcase that will take place between 7pm and midnight on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at The RITZ Ybor located in Tampa, Florida. This event will showcase over 80 local artists, various musicians, dance troupes, fashion designers and more. Square One Creative Events are the LARGEST creative events in the Tampa Bay Area, and won last year's Best of the Bay Award for Best Events (Critics' Pick).

All artistic mediums (photography, paintings, mixed-media, sculpture) are accepted. Artists are free to bring in as many pieces as they desire to fill up a 6x6 to 8x8 space. There are no commissions on any pieces sold, just a standard artist registration fee and a general request that each artist donate at least 10% of their sales to a preferred charity on their own time. This November event's preferred charity is the March of Dimes.

Artist Registration for the first 40 artists starts tomorrow morning (Sunday, 7/18) at 10am and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please e-mail to be e-mailed the direct URL link to register.

November 2010 Sneak Peek

SQUARE ONE's very own Jason Moriarty recently shot new photos in NYC to promote the November 13, 2010 SQUARE ONE Creative Event at The RITZ Ybor. While the event theme and name are still being kept under wraps, here's a SNEAK PEEK at just the teaser photos from that shoot.

The full photos will be unveiled this month. Stay tuned for more information about the November 13, 2010 SQUARE ONE Creative Event tentatively titled "Project: Purple."

In the meantime, here's another photo hint of the upcoming event's theme:

GO: MUG by Bluelucy

SQUARE ONE collaborators and friends, Bluelucy will be hosting the opening reception of their MUG show on Saturday, July 10, 2010 from 6pm to 9pm at Kahwa Coffee Roasters located at 204 2nd Ave S in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Bluelucy is the creative partnership of Chad Mize and Phillip Clark. They recently opened their Bluelucy Gallery & Studio which is conveniently located on the much-hyped 600 Block at 653 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida.

MUG, their new collection of 20 separate paintings (10" x 10") of coffee mugs are each painted on wood panel and created with various mediums such as pencil, acrylic, pastel, enamel and resin.

Their collection will be hanging and for sale at Kahwa Coffee Roasters the entire month of July 2010.

The inspiration for this collection was taking a simple sized wood panel and applying the same size mug shape to each and adding throwback imagery and designs of famous mugs to each. Here is a sample of some of Bluelucy's MUG paintings that will be on display:

a series of famous mugs
by Bluelucy
Saturday, July 10, 2010
6pm to 9pm
@ Kahwa Coffee Roasters