7 Minutes in Book Heaven with Loren A. Olson, MD and No More Neckties: A Memoir in Essays

Welcome to our LGBT podcast 7 Minutes in Book Heaven – presented to you by This Queer Book Saved My Life! In this short podcast, we spend 7 minutes in our virtual studio interviewing LGBTQ authors about their new and upcoming books for us to love and cuddle up with.

Today, we meet Loren A. Olson, MD and his new book No More Neckties: A Memoir in Essays. Loren is the award-winning author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight and in this new memoir he flings open the doors on the hard stuff in this candid and inspiring new memoir. A practicing psychiatrist and a proud husband and grandfather, Dr. Olson writes about intensely personal events such as tragedy and loss; love and heartbreak; infidelity and betrayal; fear of aging; and never feeling good enough.

Order Today!

Buy No More Neckties at thisqueerbook.com/bookshop.

Literary Lights

Join me on 2/7, as I’m in conversation with Taleen Voskuni about her novel Sorry, Bro.

More info at armenianliterary.org and register here.

Connect with Dr. Olson!

Facebook: facebook.com/LorenAOlsonMD
Twitter: @LorenAOlsonMD
Website: www.lorenaolson.com

Become an Associate Producer!

Become an Associate Producer of our podcast through a $20/month sponsorship on Patreon! A professionally recognized credit, you can gain access to Associate Producer meetings to help guide our podcast into the future! Get started today: patreon.com/thisqueerbook

Credits

Host/Founder: J.P. Der Boghossian
Executive Producer: Jim Pounds
Associate Producers: Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Sean Smith
Patreon Subscribers: Awen Briem, Stephen D., Thomas Michna, and Gary Nygaard.

Transcript

J.P.: On February 7th, the International Armenian Literary Alliance, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center bring you Literary Lights: featuring conversations with new works of literature by Armenian authors.

The inaugural event will feature Taleen Voskuni, author of Sorry, Bro. Voskuni will be in conversation with the founder of the Queer Armenian Library, J.P. Der Boghossian. Oh hey, that’s me! And listeners of our podcasts will remember Taleen from an earlier episode this season. Join us on Zoom on February 7, 2023 at 8:00 PM Eastern. Please register at Armenian literary.org Links in the show notes and on our website.

We also want to say hello to our friend on AM950: Gregory Rich. His show, Drink in the Style, is an hour of interior design and small business conversation all while enjoying cocktails created by their expert cocktologist Dan Newkirk. Listen every Saturday evening at 7pm and Sundays at 5pm or anytime on AM950.com.

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Why, hello everybody! My name is J.P. Der Boghossian and for our new listeners to this podcast, we have a new episode of This Queer Book Saved My Life! that drops next week. But today, This Queer Book presents to you 7 Minutes in Book Heaven where I interview Queer authors about the new books they have coming out for us to love and to cuddle up with. With me today, is Dr. Loren A Olson. Hello!

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Loren: Good morning JP. Glad to have you here with me today.

J.P.: Very good to have you here! So, per the rules of the game, Loren and I are going to spend exactly 7 minutes in this virtual studio talking about his new book No More Neckties: A Memoir in Essays while also getting to know more about the amazing doctor, human, and writer that is Loren Olson. So, Loren, are you ready?

Loren: I’m ready. Let’s go for it.

J.P.: I’ll set the timer and here…we…are…Question #1 Would you please describe No More Neckties: A Memoir in Essays as if you’re sharing it with your celebrity crush (and telling us who the celebrity is, of course).

Loren:  I’ll start with a crush but my current crush. Although there have been many, there is Jonathan Groff who played King George in Hamilton. When he sang  “Saying You’ll be Back” I knew he was singing it to me!

J.P.: Oh yes, yes.

Loren: If I were talking to him, I’d just tell him that No More Neckties is a memoir and it’s about  liberating ourselves from what’s expected. It was my story of how I liberated myself from the expectations that I had placed upon Me.  How I tried to fit in as a kid but that never means you belong and so it’s about my coming out journey and my life as I’ve gotten older.

J.P.: Jonathan Groff, you heard it here first. Okay question number 2 What’s a sentence from a novel, essay, poem or other book that every time you read it. It gives you all the feels?

Loren: This is actually from a movie line and it’s from the movie Florence Foster Jenkins. In that movie Hugh Grant played St Clair Bayfield and he said in that movie,” I was always a good actor but I was never a great actor.” Then his sentence, the one that I like is” … but once I had admitted that, I felt free from a tyranny of ambition.” I love that thought because you know the idea that we climb as high as we can and then we’re liberated in a sense. We are free from all the things that we go along with to try and climb higher and higher and it sets us free. It gives us time to do the things that really are more meaningful in many ways and I wrote about that in the last chapter  of the book which is called Aging. It allows us to say fuck off! The idea is we’re finally free to be able to say no to the things we don’t want to do. That’s where the title comes from. No More Neckties is a kind of metaphor for that liberating feeling.

J.P.: Wow, that’s great to see how those tied in together. Thank you for that. Okay question number 3 What do you feel is the best sentence you’ve ever written?

Loren: There were so many to choose from but I began to focus on the thoughts about suicide because that comes up so often in the work that I do and we talk a lot about suicide for young people. But we don’t talk about it much for people like myself who came out in the middle of our lives and may have had families and other relationships and there just isn’t much about that. I began to think about it. I work with a lot of men who are engaged or married. They feel hopeless. I describe it as if they’re in a jail cell standing at the gate screaming Let Me Out! But they can’t figure it out and the sentence I wrote is after struggling at the gate for a long time. “You look to your left and then to your right and there are no walls there, only the ones you imagined.

J.P.: Oh Wow! Wow.

Loren: For most of us when we consider coming out, no matter what age, we tend to magnify the negative consequences of that and we minimize the positives. We awfulize the outcome and that’s where we get stuck. We can only imagine the awful things that are going to happen if we come out. When you’re confronted with a situation like this, there are only three options: fix it, put up with it or get out and for most of us who are Gay,we know we’re not going to fix it. So that leaves us with two options and that is to put up with it or get out and that’s kind of a personal choice. We can’t really tell people what the solution is for them. But for many of us the idea was we had to get out which meant leaving a lot of the things that we loved.

J.P.: I want to talk more about that but we’ve got just over two minutes left! Question number 4 What’s the best romantic scene you’ve ever read?

Loren: The best romantic scene was from the book Cleanness by Garth Greenwell. The first part of the book is a very seedy sexual description and it goes into great detail. Then he talks about falling in love with a man that he calls R and he said it pour to cleanness over everything we did and that was kind of my experience I wrote in my first book. The first sentence is “ A kiss made me Gay. It was like suddenly all the stuff that I had experienced before which seemed dirty and shameful was clean.

J.P.: Wow! Question number 5, what are your favorite sense or smells to write about?

Loren: Two thoughts came to me about this. One is Grandma Olson’s Christmas cookies! they’re spice cookies and they take me right back but the other thought was kind of a negative thought and that was that my mother always had this fear of smelling Gladiolas because when my father died, she was just 28 and people brought gladiolas. It was a really traumatic smell for her but smells take us right into the heart of our brain and really stir up a lot of emotion as well as memory.

J.P.: 45 seconds left. Question number 6. What’s the worst writing advice you ever got?

Loren: Outline. You know that the creative process is not linear. We need to capture all those thoughts and so I use a bubble diagram instead.

J.P.: That’s interesting. I like that. 20 seconds left to promote yourself. How do we order your book? How do we follow you on social?

Loren: You can order of course right here on this site This Queer Book dot com It’s available through Amazon and all the other online retailers and can be ordered through bookstores as well. I’m on social media mostly on Facebook because the majority of the people I work with are over 40 and that’s where they tend to hang out but I’m also on Linkedin and Twitter as long as it survives.

J.P.: That’s all the time we have. Thank you so much Loren!

Loren: Thank you J.P. this has been really fun.

J.P. Der Boghossian Oh, this is always so much fun to get to meet writer’s like you! Well, this has been another episode of 7 Minutes in Book Heaven, which is presented to you by This Queer Book Saved My Life! Our podcasts are Executive Produced by Jim Pounds. Our Associate Producers are Archie Arnold, Natalie Cruz, Paul Kaefer, Nicole Olila, Joe Perazzo, Bill Shay, and Sean Smith. You can be an Associate Producer and welcome you to join us! All the details are at patreon.com/thisqueerbook. Transcripts of all of our episodes are available on thisqueerbook.com. You can buy the books featured on our podcasts on our Bookshop page: thisqueerbook.com/bookshop.  We are on Facebook, plus we’re @thisqueerbook Instagram and Twitter, and soon to be on Spoutible.

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My name is J.P. Der Boghossian and stay tuned to this space every Tuesday for new episodes of 7 Minutes in Book Heaven or This Queer Book Saved My Life! Until then, see you Queers and Allies in the bookstores.