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Invite an Author

Every month, we highlight an author in an initiative called "BCCLS Invite an Author". Many of these authors are happy to visit BCCLS libraries to chat with your book clubs or present programs either in person or via Skype. You can email them directly for more information or to schedule a library visit.

Previous Authors

December 2015

Tom Austin

Photo © The Record.


Tom Austin


    tmaustin @

Web Sites:


Letter of Introduction:

Dear Colleagues:

Whenever possible, I like to promote local authors, especially when they have a relevant and interesting story to share.

This month’s author has just that. A new novel about a time and place that are gone but remain fascinating to many.

I am very pleased to present Tom Austin as BCCLS Invite an Author for December 2015.

Tom Austin’s first book, Bill Miller’s Riviera, America’s Showplace, which he co-authored with Ron Kase started Tom on his way to writing his novel, Bridge to the Riviera. As a songwriter he has written several popular music favorites with Bob Gaudio. His two most famous are “Short Shorts” and “Believe Me”. Recently, Tom Received a platinum album for his musical contribution to the Broadway mega-hit show Jersey Boys. Tom’s personal memorabilia has been on display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. In 2015, he was inducted into the New Jersey Doo Wop Hall of Fame. Besides writing music he is also an accomplished drummer and still plays with his own band The Royal Teens. Tom is currently the resident artist at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York.

Tom’s new historical novel, Bridge to the Riviera, is about a world famous nightclub named The Riviera that once stood on the edge of the cliff just a hundred yards north of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee. This club sat 1,200 for dinner and a show. It had a revolving bandstand with two bands, a revolving dance floor and a hidden gambling casino in the roof that was run by the most famous mobsters of the day. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr. and every other star of the day found their way to perform at The Riviera.

For an idea of what it was like, take a look at this article:

On Bridge to the Riviera:

"When I was a teenager just beginning my singing career, Al Martino - my friend and a wonderful singer - took me to the Riviera for dinner and a show. I'll never forget how this Fort Lee, New Jersey nightclub knocked me out. Perched at the edge of the Palisades over-looking the George Washington Bridge, it was the ultimate in style, class, and excitement. High Scoiety, the Mob, and the greatest entertainers in America all rubbed elbows. Tom Austin's new novel takes me back to that time and place of leggy chorus girls and revolving bandstands and hidden casinos. I wish it had lasted longer, so that I could have performed there."

Frankie Avalon, star of stage, screen, and television

You may visit Tom’s websites: and and contact him directly to schedule a library visit at tmaustin @ There will be no fee for Tom’s visits to BCCLS libraries but he doe ask to sell books at his visits.

I have a couple of copies of Tom's book - first come, first served!

Imagine the great conversations that will take place at your library between Tom and your audience? His history with The Riviera is personal; his Dad worked there as a special police officer. Between his research and the stories his Dad must have told, Tom Austin has a lot he can dish.

Warmest regards,





What are you reading these days? What's on your nightstand?

I am reading a new book called Cent’ Anni the Sinatra Legend by Richard Muti.


Where do you go to get inspired?

I get inspired by works of Art.


What's something that surprised you recently (in a good way)?

The boat I was trying to sell for the past three years finally was sold.


Where do you write?

At 6:00 am in the morning every day I go to my office in town and write.


What/who makes you laugh? Why?

I watch the Seinfeld show and laugh myself silly.


Favorite fictional character ever?

My favorite fictional characters are the “Dead End Kids”


What are you working on?

I am writing a new book on the life of Charles Calello a music arranger and conductor who has 38 top ten musical hits to his credit.