WILLIAM JACK SIBLEY - novelist, playwright, screenwriter, rancher
“What we ran away from so many years ago -- small towns, narrow minds, sexual repression, artistic suppression, suffocating families, unfulfilling jobs, busted marriages, lack of opportunity -- whatever it was, it does come back to bite you in the butt,” says William Jack Sibley. “What my first novel, Any Kind Of Luck (Kensington Publishing, NYC, August, 2001 -- paperback, August 2002, ISBN: 1575667665) ultimately conveys is that one should never be afraid to face those initial anxiety-provoking terrors -- going home, losing a relationship, career failure, death, illness, loneliness, apathy -- whatever. When difficult circumstances arise it helps to remember that all we’re really being offered is another brilliant opportunity for growth.” (Any Kind Of Luck was nominated for the 2001 Lambda Literary Awards - http://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/previous_winners/paw_2000_2003.html, runner-up for the Texas Institute of Letters, "Funniest Book of the Year", John Bloom Award, and the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award - http://www.forewordmagazine.com/ftw/ftwarchives.aspx?id=20020320.txt,, as well as chapter excerpted in "Southern Lights: PEN South, Literary Review, Vol II", Manya DeLeon Booksmith, ISBN: 0966460804; and Genre Magazine, chapter excerpt, August 2001 issue.) Any Kind Of Luck has remained the No. 1 seller in the Amazon.com Las Cruces, NM "Purchase Circle", outselling bestsellers on the list including works by Joyce Carol Oates, Tony Hillerman and "Harry Potter" Book 5. It was the sole August Book Review selection for the Las Cruces, Thomas Branigan Memorial Library Book Review Luncheon, moderated by Win Jacobs (8/12/03).
"ANY KIND OF LUCK" was recently added to the "Top 100 Gay Novels In American Literature" - http://www.elisarolle.com/ramblings/top_100_gay_novels_2.htm
and "READERS FAVORITE GAY BOOKS, 2012" -
Sibley based Any Kind Of Luck on his own experience of returning home to small town Texas after living a very urban existence in New York City for eight years. A versatile writer, Sibley’s work has spanned from writing dialogue for television’s “The Guiding Light” to serving as a contributing editor at Interview Magazine to seeing his work produced Off-Broadway and regionally. His first play "Governor's Mansion" won the Southwest Regional Playwright's Competition and was produced at Center Stage in Austin, TX. His play "Mortally Fine" was produced at The Actors Outlet Theater (W. 28th St.), NYC, in 1985 and at The Group Rep Theater in Burbank, CA, 1998. ("Mortally Fine" is excerpted in "100 Monologues; An Audition Sourcebook from New Dramatist," Laura Harrington, Editor, Mentor Books; ISBN: 04516268851.) "Mr. and Mrs. Coffee" (prod. Humboldt Univ., Arcata, CA, and excerpted in "Competition Monologues", University Press of America, Edited by Roger Ellis, ISBN: 0819168505), "If You Loved Me" (staged readings at The Tennessee Williams Playwright Festival, Key West, FL, New Dramatist, NY, and The Attic Theater, Los Angeles, CA.), "Lock The Doors!" (prod. 29th St. Rep. Co., NYC, 1990, New Voices In The American Theater Festival), "It Happened In Santa Fe" (Prod. Railyard Performance Center, Santa Fe, NM, 1994). "Kitten and Princess" and "Two Men, Two Women and a Bird," one-acts, have all had NYC productions. On September 24, 2004 the world premiere of, IF YOU LOVED ME, was held in San Antonio, Texas at The Cameo Theater, 1123 East Commerce Street. The play was produced by The Actor's Theatre of San Antonio, directed by Jerry Pilato, and awarded a "Globe" by the Alamo Theatre Arts Council in September 2005 for "Best Original Script" of the 2004-2005 season. In the spring of 2008 IF YOU LOVED ME was selected by the Texas Nonprofit Theatre Association as a winner of the "New Play Development Playwriting Project", http://www.texastheatres.org/conferences/Conf08Wrksps.html. In November of 2008 IF YOU LOVED ME opened at the Old Quarry Theatre in Brackettville, TX. A production of IF YOU LOVED ME was also presented at the Henderson County Performing Arts Center (Athens, TX) May 1, 2009. http://www.athensreview.com/homepage/local_story_119222058.html
Reviews: San Antonio Current, 9/30/04,
Graceful and surefooted -- good old-fashioned story -- it's excellent! Smooth and mature script -- experience and confidence in plot-driven work. Cast uniformly strong, remarkably polished. It's nice to be reminded why people used to go to the theater.
St. Mary's University, 'The Rattler', 10/06/2004,
A stunning performance! William Jack Sibley a profound Texas native playwright and novelist. IF YOU LOVED ME tackles many subjects of the universal human experience including love, wonder, humor, the desire to be a part of something important, and Texas! Everything about the play is wonderful. It is an excellent script and the way the actors handled each of their roles is absolutely unparalleled. -
ON JUNE 23, 2011 SIBLEY'S NEW COMEDY PLAY "MEAN" HAD A STAGED-READING AT THE NEW DRAMATISTS IN NYC. ACADEMY AWARD/TONY/GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER ELLEN BURSTYN, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" RACHEL DRATCH, AND "THE SCHOOL OF ROCK", CHRIS STACK ALL READ ROLES. http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/stage/article/S-A-playwright-scores-Oscar-winner-for-reading-1420013.php
November 4, 2011 Sibley emcee'd the inaugural evening of "DOBIE DICHOS" - The Words of Folklorist J. Frank Dobie Come to Life at 23rd Annual George West Storyfest - http://www.georgeweststoryfest.org/dobie_dichos.html
YOUTUBE video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pvpz4-Pzcc&feature=related
On November 2, 2012 the Second Annual DOBIE DICHOS was held in Oakville, TX. William Sibley once again was the Master of Ceremonies and the event was even mentioned in THE NEW YORK TIMES.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
By MICHAEL HOINSKI
Published: November 1, 2012
Write of Way
J. Frank Dobie, the writer and rancher from South Texas, was a scholar and a gentleman. He preserved a lot of important folklore passed down through oral tradition by writing them in his literary-nonfiction novels, including the 1941 classic “The Longhorns.”
He also transcended the conservative, good-old-boy prejudices of his upbringing to become a social and political radical, earning a Medal of Freedom for, among other things, promoting racial integration at the University of Texas.
“He is the patron saint of Austin liberals,” said Steven L. Davis, the author of “J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind” and a curator at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. On Friday night, Mr. Davis will join a cadre of oral storytellers and writers who will rhapsodize about Mr. Dobie and read from his works as part of Dobie Dichos.
Visitors can discover — or simply reinforce — the legacy of this pioneer of Texas literature, who is said to have influenced both Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove” and Cormac McCarthy’s “All the Pretty Horses,” when they sit around the campfire with a bowl of chili con carne and try to, as Mr. Davis said, “summon his spirit out of the smoke.”
Oakville Jailhouse, Nov. 2, 6 p.m., georgeweststoryfest.org
On February 14, 2006 he was guest lecturer at "The Friends of the Library" reception, downtown San Antonio Public Library. He has nine screenplays in various stages of Hollywood production, including the award winning "Where all the Rattlesnakes Are Born" (Silver Medal, Best Screenplay, WORLDFEST, Houston, 1992) and "White On Rice"(retitled from "Approximate Lives", Finalist, Best Screenplay, Charleston-Spoleto Festival, 1994). "December Story," "Amor," and "Dead Giveaway" are all presently under option.
To view a five minute YouTube "teaser" video of Sibley's screenplay AMOR, click below:
(Want more? Bill gets interviewed on a topic he knows nothing about!
Channel 5 News, San Antonio, TX - begins at 51 sec.)http://www.ksat.com/video/25977763/index.html
DECEMBER STORY was one of 12 Finalist for the 2008 KAIROS PRIZE for "Spiritually uplifting screenplays" - http://kairosprize.com/kp/release_archive/KP_Release_02.04.08.pdf. His screenplays have also been optioned by such esteemed directors as John Schlesinger (MIDNIGHT COWBOY), Arthur Hiller (LOVE STORY) and Pete Masterson (THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL). He's co-written three screenplays with actress Diane Ladd ("Hot Water Biscuits," "High Maintenance," and "The Last of the Bad Girls") and another ("The Big Hurt") for actor Tab Hunter.
A graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, BS in Communications (Radio, Television, Film), Sibley is a former member and boardmember of The New Dramatists and is a member of the Writers Guild of America/West, the Dramatist Guild, The Writer's League of Texas, Gemini Ink and PEN International. He has been the playwright-in-residence at Humboldt University (Arcata, CA), as well as a guest playwright at the Tennessee Williams Festival in Key West and The Texas Playwright's Festival, Stages Theater, Houston. A fellow at the Blue Mountain Writer’s Colony in Blue Mountain, New York, Sibley has also had residencies at the Saskatchewan Writers/Artist Colony (St. Peters) and The Colony at Dairy Hollow, Eureka Springs, AR. In the Spring of 2003 he was a visiting guest lecturer at the Pen Ethnic Conference, Bay Shore, Long Island, NY. In July of 2003 he was guest speaker at the Tenth Annual Agents Conference, sponsored by the Writer's League of Texas, Austin, TX. In August of 2003 Mr. Sibley was selected to attend The Julia and David White Artist Colony in Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica. In June of 2004 Mr. Sibley led a 3-day seminar for The Writer's League of Texas on creating and sustaining believable dialogue -- http://web.archive.org/web/20040821002021/www.writersleague.org/star_sibley.htm
(In the 6/9/04 Texas Writer's League Newsletter, workshop participants rated Sibley's class as, "Bill Sibley is a fabulous seminar leader and teacher. He's also extremely entertaining." "Sibley is so personable and helpful." "Bill was really prepared - felt he took the time and his responsibility seriously." On a scale of 1 to 10 many rated Bill a 20!)
A recent interview of Bill can be found in the VOICE OF ART MAGAZINE (VOL 15, Issue 2, 2008 - page 18)
A Biographical article on Sibley from CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS ONLINE can be found at :
His writing has appeared in Utne Reader, Hallmark Magazine, Brilliant Magazine, The San Antonio Current, The Orlando Weekly, The Dallas Times Herald, Heritage Magazine (summer 1996), Texas Co-op Power Magazine, The Dead Mule ("A Journal of Southern Literature"), Flying Colors Magazine, Southwest Airlines Magazine, Ford Times, The Texas State Reading Association ("Cookin' and Bookin'") and The New York Native.
(View recent articles -- http://www.texas-ec.org/publicatons/texascooppower/archive/1203contents.aspx -- http://www.texas-ec.org/publications/texascoopower/archive/603tx.aspx --
http://www.texas-ec.org/texascooppower/issues_archive/2004/December/tcp1204.pdf -- http://utne.com/pub/2004_121/cover_story/11037-1.html --
http://www.texas-ec.org/texascooppower/issues_archive/2005/September/tcp0905.pdf -- http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-45405:18 -- http://www.deadmule.com/content/word.of.mule.php?content_id=821--
http://www.sacurrent.com/news/story.asp?id=70857 --http://www.sacurrent.com/saimages/pdf/lastwords_08_08.pdf --
He's recently been commissioned to write a continuing Column for THE SAN ANTONIO CURRENT called "The Great Eccentrics of San Antonio" (2nd Wednesday of every month).
While he has lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Santa Fe, Sibley is a sixth-generation Texan and resides part-time on his great-grandfather's ranch south of San Antonio. In addition to helping restore a 100-year old train depot, he writes, raises cattle and (formerly) ostriches, grows olive trees and is a past president of the Christine Historical Society and former board member of the Texas Historical Foundation and the Atascosa County Historical Commission. Sibley currently serves on the Board of the San Antonio River Road Neighborhood Association, The Texas Historical Foundation and is Vice President of the Christine City Cemetery Association.
WINNER 2013 NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE BOOK AWARD!
SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS - FINALIST, 2013 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARDS, "GAY GENERAL FICTION" - http://www.lambdaliterary.org/foundation-updates/03/06/llf-announces-finalists-of-the-25th-annual-lambda-literary-awards/
SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS - FINALIST, 2012 FOREWORD REVIEWS, BOOK OF THE YEAR - https://botya.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2012/gay-lesbian/
SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS - FINALIST, 2013 BALCONES FICTION PRIZE - http://www.facebook.com/balcones.fictionprize
SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS was published in October, 2012. Now available on Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Sighs-Too-Deep-For-Words/dp/1477664173/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353777478&sr=8-1&keywords=sighs+too+deep+for+words
or 15% discounted copies at --
SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS is the story of a man in prison who falls in love, through lengthy correspondence, with a woman he's never met. Getting out, he goes to find her and discovers that the love letters he's received were written not by a woman but by a closeted gay man -- a small town minister. Not only did the minister deceive the prisoner, but he sent a photograph of his sister (who lives with him) as a picture representing himself. And not only is the sister unaware of the ruse, but she herself happens to be a lesbian. The ex-prisoner has fallen in love physically with a woman who doesn't know he exists, and mentally with a man he doesn't know how to love. Set in the scenic Texas Gulf Coast fishing village of Rockport, SIGHS TOO DEEP FOR WORDS is a darkly humorous and contemplative examination of the parameters of love, sex, sexuality and cultural perspective.
KIRKUS REVIEW -
"Sibley (Any Kind of Luck, 2002) blends skillful storytelling with a sharp insight into human nature in this darkly humorous, intricately plotted tale of a prison inmate who, through years of correspondence, falls in love with a woman he has never met—a woman who turns out not only to be a gay man, but a closeted gay minister.
Lester Briggs is serving a five-year prison term for stealing—of all things—a church. Out of prison early for good behavior, Lester leaves behind his cellmate and lover of convenience, “Little Ray,” and heads for the small town of Rockport, Texas, where he hopes to find Laurel Jeanette Yancey, the love of his life. He finds instead the closeted gay minister who has been writing to him; the minister’s lesbian sister; a kindly, old gas station manager who offers him advice and later a job; and a whole host of other colorful characters (most of whom end up having some bearing on the plot, however minor). Plotlines reach levels of mistaken identity, confusion and startling coincidence not often seen outside of farce or soap opera, but this infuses the events of the story with a genuine humor and insight that keeps the material fresh. Sibley deftly handles his characters’ emotions, from the brief connection between a distant father and son, to the emotional roller coaster Lester Briggs finds himself on—in love with the mind of a man and the body of that man’s lesbian sister, all while struggling to adjust to the realities of life outside of prison. It’s to Sibley’s credit that the emotional reality of the characters never suffers for the sometimes outlandish convolutions of the plot. Readers looking for an entertaining book with surprising touches of depth and emotion are sure to enjoy this fresh, dramatic tale. Funny, touching, heartbreaking and insightful."
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW -
"Novelist and playwright Sibley (Any Kind of Luck) returns with a melodramatic, spunky tale of good intentions, mistaken identity, and mixed signals. For Lester Briggs, a softhearted man serving a half-decade prison sentence for felonious theft, prison life can get stagnant and restless, and passionate sex with cellmate "Little Ray” only goes so far. So Briggs takes to the personal ads and begins a long-distance correspondence with Laurel Jeanette Yancey, with whom he soon falls in love. Freed on good behavior and filled with anticipation, he heads to Rockport, Tex., to meet his long-distance love face to face, only to discover that "Jeanette” is actually closeted Rev. Philip Yancey, who lives with his lesbian sister, Luz. A forgiving soul, Briggs gels with the Yanceys and becomes enriched (and titillated) by them both. A whirlwind of colorful characters populates Sibley's well-crafted novel including kooky locals Melanie and Daniel, who initially drive Briggs into Rockport and befriend him. While these folks add flavor to Sibley's crisply written narrative, it's very much Briggs's story about burgeoning emotions and living a true life. Sibley demonstrates dexterity in prose, deft characterization, and command of a fresh, contemporary plot line about redemption and starting over that entertains with feel-good appeal."
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
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