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BOOKS Carlos Mock: Blazing a Trail
by Ross Forman
2007-09-01

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When Carlos Mock wanted to publish his first book, he went to the Internet for help. He searched Google for 'gay,' 'Latino' and 'publisher.' Floricanto Press was the first hit.

So Mock sent his manuscript to Floricanto Press 'and they loved it,' he said.

In 2003, Floricanto published Borrowing Time: A Latino Sexual Odyssey, Mock's memoirs, which dealt with his struggles with coming out in a Latino culture ruled by machismo, religion and close family ties. It also detailed his battle with AIDS.

Mock's book became Floricanto's best seller.

Mock also has written Mosaic Virus, a fictitious high-profile pedophile tale about a cardinal and the church cover-up that follows. On Sept. 30, Mock's third novel, Papi Chulo: A Legend, a Novel, and the Puerto Rican Identity will be released at the West Hollywood ( Calif. ) Book Fair.

'All I do is write; I don't really have any hobbies. And I'm very active in the community, too,' said Mock, who has homes in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood and Three Oaks, Mich. 'My husband [ Bill Rattan ] is responsible for me ever writing anything because I was driving him crazy.' [ Mock's community involvement includes working with the groups Equality Illinois and Orgullo en Accion, with the latter being a Latino LGBTQ organization. ]

Mock is a board-certified obstetrician, but has not practiced since 1996; he is disabled because of HIV.

Mock and Rattan, who also is HIV-positive, met on Jan. 1, 2000.

Mock, who was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in the San Francisco area, did his medical residency at the Cook County Hospital. He then went into private practice in the Chicago suburbs.

Now, he is an editor of Floricanto Press for its LGBT Latino literature division. The company publishes about 10 titles per year from Latino writers.

'I'm enjoying this [ new position ] . What we want to form is a network of Latinos … and help each other sell books,' said Mock, 51. 'When I was asked if I would be interested in [ being an editor ] , I said, 'Sure; why not?''

In an effort to reach its goal, Floricanto will see its books considered for honors such as the LAMBDA Literary Foundation Awards ( Lammies ) , The Publishing Triangle Awards and the American Library Association Roundtable Stonewall Awards.

In addition to Mock's Papi Chulo, Floricanto will release Leo Cabranes-Grant's The Chat Room and Other Plays—A Puerto Rican Anthology this summer. And next summer, Floricanto will release the First Anthology of Latino GLBT Poetry—Mariposas.

Floricanto Press is primarily heterosexual. The first gay book it did was Mock's. The publisher saw that it sold well and realized that there is a market for this genre, and proposed to Mock to edit the LGBT section of the company.

No one in the company is gay other than Mock.

'I want to bring an outlet [ to Floricanto ] ,' Mock said. 'There are a lot of voices that need an outlet ... because it's becoming very difficult to become published, especially if you're Latino and gay.'

Carlos Mock will be at the Lambda Legal booth at Northalsted Market Days on Aug. 11-12. A portion of the sales of his books will benefit Lambda Legal.


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