Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This week she published a short post about e-books that I loved. The post provides some great links to help understand the controversy that continues to surround e-books.
On a smaller level, I've been affected as a writer. There are books I'm in, where I contributed short stories, that have been released in digital form and I never knew they would be released in digital form (I recently contacted an anthology editor and he didn't even know his books had been released in digital form until I sent him links to amazon...lol). When I signed the contracts, before digital publishing became an option, I was paid a flat rate to be in print books. And now I'll never see royalties from these newly released e-books. But I did sign non-exclusive contracts, and I still own the copyrights to my own work, so I'm not totally screwed. It might even help. So I'm not complaining; it's all good.
But I am re-thinking where, and to whom, I submit my work from now on. And I'll be reading the contracts in detail, to see if they pay royalties on e-books.
Here's the link to The Rejecter: http://rejecter.blogspot.com/2009/12/vacation-and-oh-yeah-industrys.html
Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Agent Nathan Bransford is doing a great thing today for Charity. If you leave a comment on his thread, he's donating 1.00 for each comment, to a very worthy cause. It only takes a minute. Just leave a name, where you live, and a wish...http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.nathanbransford.com%2F2009%2F12%2Fmaking-spirits-bright-with-heifer.html&h=bd2349e7b178a11b6a717fa860bc5fdb
Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent: Making Spirits Bright With Heifer International
I'm a literary agent with the San Francisco office of Curtis Brown Ltd. and the author of JACOB WONDERBAR AND THE COSMIC SPACE KAPOW, which will be published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2011.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I also receive a lot of e-mails from readers and fans who want to get into publishing with their own writing, and I'm always offering links to my favorite blogs, where I think they can get the best advice. This advice is free; you don't have to pay for it.
The blogs I always advise potential writers to stay away from are the blogs that focus more on rejection than publication, with snarky blog posts about the awful queries they receive on a daily basis. They can be funny at first, but it gets tired. And, they are usually anonymous bloggers, which makes them pointless and insignificant. I'm also not a huge fan of the "best friend" agent bloggers. These are the agent bloggers who have an agenda they are trying to push with blogging; they aren't doing it just for fun and to help writers. They are usually younger agents, without many big books, and they tend to create more hype than writers need to know. They also attract a huge, almost cult-like following, of people who don't have the slightest clue about what the publishing industry is all about. And I find that the comments on "best friend" agents blogs can often be harmful to new writers.
Below is a short list of my daily publishing blog habits. I don't link to them on my sidebar, but I do read them daily to keep informed. And if you are seeking publication, or plan to seek publication in the future, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these blogs. And I'm not listing them in any specific order: I think they all do equally well in keeping writers informed.
http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/ This one covers it all. It's never snarky and there's always something to learn.
http://pubrants.blogspot.com/ This one is practical, with industry news that is always objective and informative. And, it gets into some of the more technical areas of publishing, with regards to contracts and other important things writers should know. I learned what "in perpetuity" was from this blog. And, she's a nicest person on the Internet.
http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/ You'll find a great deal about querying agents and what to avoid while querying agents on this blog. And, you'll get a good laugh, too. Though she can be a bit abrasive at times, she balances it out, always, with posts about how much she loves her work. And I never feel as if I'm being treated poorly there, and I always feel as if she's the best writers' advocate on the web.
http://lyonsliterary.blogspot.com/ This is a smart blog, written by a brilliant man. He hasn't posted anything in a while, but it's worth checking out to see what he'll post next, and also to read previous posts. I've been his fan for a long time and I don't think he knows how many fans he really has, which makes his blog even nicer to read.
http://agentinthemiddle.blogspot.com/ This is blog is simple, to the point, and if you're interested in horror, erotic romance, or anything along the lines of erotica, it's probably one of the few agents blogs where you can get information about the genre. She also is a huge fan of lgbt books, and she has over twenty years of agenting experience under her belt.
http://askaliteraryagent.blogspot.com/ He doesn't post daily. But he is, to me, the God of literary agents. Every single post is worth reading if you are serious about getting published. His own published book "The First Five Pages," helped me more than any publishing book out there.
http://dglm.blogspot.com/ I like these guys because there's no BS. It's real, it's informative, and there are no bells and whistles. And, the books they've sold speak for themselves. They don't have to have bells and whistles, their professional track record is all they need.
http://arcaedia.livejournal.com/ This one is a *must* for new writers. You'll learn more about querying agents here than anywhere else on the web. And it's done very well.
There are a few others that I didn't mention, but that's only because I don't have time to read them all on a daily basis. So check out the blogs above and see what you think. And try to avoid the "best friend" agent blogs if you can. Over a period of time, if you are a new writer, they can do more harm than good.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Second, Ravenousromance.com will be on The Home Shopping Network again this Friday, selling the Escape to Romance Collection, at 8 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. This is exciting for everyone associated with ravenous. Even though none of my books are part of the collection, I'm supporting RR as much as I can. I've read the books in the collection, and I'm a huge fan of all the writers. So if you need any last minute Christmas gifts, check it out. This is the last day that HSN will guarantee shipping by Christmas Day.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:"Fight eBook Piracy" http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/fightebookpiracy?e I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time.Thanks!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
PASS IT ALONG TO OTHERS!!!
Support the only HIV vaccine candidate with the potential of protecting against the multitude of HIV strains found across the globe.
IF YOU CAN DO ONE THING THIS YEAR - AND DONATE - YOU CAN BE PART OF THIS
The first link will take you to the web site where you can donate and watch the videos and read about this possible cure.
YouTube - Possible HIV Cure?#at=147
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
This post is more for readers than it is for authors or publishers. Frankly, I'm emotionally flattered when readers go to pirate sites and download my books for free. At least they are reading them and talking about them, even if my hard work is being completely ignored. I do file abuse forms all the time, but it's virtually impossible to keep up with book pirates. They are making a lot of money by doing this, and a lot of people are supporting them. But I don't think the people who are supporting them fully understand the magnitude of what they are doing.
One fact about book pirating is clear. No matter how much anyone wants to justify downloading e-books for free from pirates, it's still illegal. I don't make the laws; I don't decide what's legal or not. And when someone goes to a book pirate site, signs up, and pays a fee to join, their information is permanently recorded forever. People think they are getting away with something by using fake names and fake identities on these sites. And on the surface, they are correct. If you sign up with a pirate site and download books for free, and discuss those books and leave comments and reviews under the name "Chantw0968," or something like that, you are protecting your identity on the surface. (Chantw0968 is an actual person with a profile who downloads books for free; click the link on Chantw0968 to see how it operates. If you've never done this, it's interesting to see how dark and furtive and creepy this whole underground world really is. I actually feel bad for people like Chantw0968)
However, your information is still there. Whenever there is a crime, especially when it comes to things like sexual child abuse, the first thing the authorities do is confiscate the computer. They do this for a reason. Anything you do on your computer is recorded. Anything you download can be traced back to you and the computer you used. A while back, there was a well known cigarette web site. They sold cigarettes cheaper than anyone in the world. Millions of people ordered from them and they made tons of money. But they were doing this illegally. And the government caught up with them, confiscated all their merchandise, and then went after the people who purchased illegal cigarettes from them. These customers (most didn't know how illegal this was) paid hefty fines and back taxes. And they never even received their cigarettes.
In the world of technology, even if you think you're doing something anonymously, you're not, Chantw0968. If someone with the right power and knowledge wants to find out who you are and go after you, they can. Personally, I wouldn't want to take that chance. The laws between what is legal and what is not are clearly defined. And they are becoming clearer each day.This isn't an emotional issue up for debate; it's not even a moral or ethical issue. Downloading books from pirate sites is illegal and you are infringing on the author's copyright.
Update: As of today, Dec. 6th, the user, Chantwo968 that I linked to on the pirate site has hidden his/her profile from public viewing. Interesting, and most likely not a coincidence. So if anyone is interested in checking out another profile, here's a fresh one:
pmac_xer 595 ♠ 1076 ♣
Be interesting to see if this one disappears, too. By checking this link, you can see the books they've released and the books they are requesting as free downloads, which infringes on the author's copyright and is highly illegal.
Monday, November 30, 2009
And RR seemed like a great way to start. First, I'd been a longtime fan of Lori Perkins' agent blog, http://www.agentinthemiddle.blogspot.com/, and I'd always enjoyed her blog posts. I respected her reputation within the publishing industry and I soon found out that we had similar tastes and backgrounds. Lori and I also share a journalism background, so I know how to dig for information. I did some basic research about Holly Schmidt and was just as impressed with her credentials as I was with Lori's. And, it turned out that Holly once worked for Rodale Press, which is not far from where I live in Bucks County, PA. Basically, it all felt good right from the start.
Everyone who is associated with RR has worked hard in the past year to put out the best books we can possibly deliver to readers. I enjoy this faster pace; I enjoy working on hard deadlines and having pressure. When I don't have pressure, I'm bored to death.
But when I look back over this past year, even though all of my experiences with RR have been positive, I think the single most important reason why I've been so pleased with RR is the voice they gave me. I've been writing gay fiction for over seventeen years. Five years ago I wouldn't have been able to write the LGBT books I've been writing this past year. The gay/lesbian market has always been very small. And publishers have always been cautious about what they acquire. But with RR the process was different, and refreshing. Lori and Holly have trusted me to take their basic concepts and turn them into actual m/m romance novels. And for a fiction writer, it doesn't get any better than that. And every step of the process, from the initial concept to the final product, has been enjoyable.
I've also built friendships with other RR writers that become stronger each day. I've read their work and I'm always impressed by the quality of their writing. I only wish I had more time to read everyone's work.
I could rave on and on about RR. But no one likes blog posts that are too long. So I'll end this by saying Happy Anniversary to ravenousromance.com, and congratulations to Holly Schmidt, Lori Perkins, and Allan Penn (I still haven't met Allan, but I hear he's a great guy) for achieving this accomplishment. It wasn't easy. There have been times I've wondered how Lori and Holly have done all that they've done in the past year. But everyone has worked hard, including all the writers and editors (Jen Safrey, the best copy editor on the planet). So here's to the next exciting year to come, which will be filled with a few surprises and a lot more great books.
But more than that, as a thanks to all the ravenous customers who have been so supportive, RR is offering a one day only special on all e-books:
For TODAY ONLY, ALL e-books are just $.99, in celebration of Ravenous Romance's one-year anniversary! It's our way of saying thank you to all of our readers. Stock up and enjoy!
"One Halloween night during my senior year in college, I went to a costume party in a broken-down frat house, dressed as a character I'd been inventing for months--years, if you really want to get technical. I looked like any normal guy in college by then: short, sandy blond hair, blue eyes, white polo shirts, and khaki slacks . . Most people would never have guessed that I was gay or that I had a secret passion for lipstick, earrings and very high heels."
The narrator is invited to descend literally into an underworld of drunken frat boys who all seem to think he is a sexually-available girl. He worries about what they will do if and when they discover the truth, but one of them already knows.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wow! Bonnie. PORN?
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of Levi Johnston. I think he could have played his cards differently. If I had been him, I would have. But this post isn't about Levi or Palin or what's been going on between them. This post is about Bonnie Goldstein referring to Playgirl Magazine as "porn."
Last time I checked, Playgirl, according to wikipedia, is described as, "The magazine was founded in 1973 during the height of the feminist movement as a response to erotic men's magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse that featured similar photos of women." I see the word "erotic" all over the web when I google Playgirl. But I've never seen it referred to as porn, on a professional level. Amateurs can think what they want. But there are rules within the industry that define these things. Bonnie Goldstein knows this.
And as far as I know, Levi didn't even pose for full frontal nudity. So what makes his photos porn? And, Bonnie didn't forget to put in links show Levi's Playgirl photos. If she was so against the "porn" photos, you'd think she would have left out the links so she wouldn't offend her readers.
I'm sensitive about this issue because I write erotica and erotic romance. And there is a difference between porn and erotica. Porn is just sex for the sake of sex. There's no story and there are no layers of emotion. And erotica is an actual story, where the sex moves the story and the romance forward, and there should be many layers of emotion. And if you remove the sex from erotica, the story should be able to stand on its own.
I also know there is such a thing as "journalistic porn." And that's what Bonnie Goldstein's piece is: absolute journalistic porn. If she didn't like what Levi Johnston did in Playgirl, she could have written the piece differently to get her point across without calling Playgirl Magazine porn. But then she wouldn't have gotten anyone riled up over it. And this, I am certain, was her intention. It's very transparent. Writers like Bonnie Goldstein are only interested in getting attention. They write misinformed pieces for innocent people who don't know the difference. And they get away with it.
Friday, November 27, 2009
It's being sold as a stand alone e-book. And you can purchase it at loveyoudivine.com or here at ARE: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-downthebasement-386939-144.html It's also very inexpensive, and I love that it's been priced right, especially in this economy.
But I want to emphasize that this isn't a breezy romance. I love writing breezy romances; I love the LOVE that's associated with breezy romances. This should be evident from books I've written like "When Harry Met Sal." However, DOWN THE BASEMENT is, as the sub-title implies, without mincing words, classic gay erotic romance, written by a gay man (Me...lol :) who isn't trying to fool anyone with a pen name or a gimmick. I've been learning to make these things very clear to readers, and to not assume anything. I like people to know that they are getting what they paid for, without any doubts.
Next week I'll post about a new book I'm in from STARbookspress.com. It's a printed Christmas Collection of Short Stories and I don't think STARbooks has done many of them. I could be wrong, but this might even be the first. I'll check it out before I post.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
At the end of the third chime, a soft, gentle voice spoke out. It came from the foot of his bed and caused Carl’s feet to jump. “It’s time to get up now, Mr. Smite,” the voice said. “We have work to do and I don’t like wasting time.”
Carl remained still for a moment. The voice he heard was not familiar and the accent sounded British. He slowly lowered the covers to his waist and sat up. He rubbed his eyes and went forward, blinking a few times. In the shadows of the streetlight, there was a thin, older man standing at the foot of his bed. He was wearing a deep purple velvet suit; a fluffy white, ruffled shirt; and a gold lame scarf that had been fastened together at his neck with a thick gold ring. The gold ring was studded with flashy rhinestones; the ends of the scarf trailed to his waistline in two narrow points. And as if that wasn’t enough, his white hair was piled up and haphazardly arranged beneath a large picture hat that matched the purple velvet suit. The hat was tilted to the side for a dramatic effect. He wore campy violet eye makeup, purple sparkled blush, and bright red lipstick.
When Carl dropped the cover to his waist, the older man in the purple suit looked down at Carl’s half-naked body and raised an eyebrow. He pressed his fingertips to his lips and said, “Not bad, Mr. Smite. Not bad at all, from what I can see. You have exceptional chest muscles, indeed.”
Carl’s eyes bugged and he pointed. “I know you,” he said. “You’re that famous gay guy who wrote the book they made into a documentary.” He was so stunned he couldn’t think of a name or a title. “And they made a movie about you.”
The man smiled and waved his wrist. “Tonight I’m only the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Mr. Smite. I’m just a guide, and nothing more. There is no fame where I come from. I’ve come to show you what will become of you.” He smoothed out his scarf and fluffed the ruffles on his shirt. “But I am impressed that you know who I am. I was before your time, and sadly, there’s an entire generation of gay men who don’t know who I am.”
Carl thought hard for a moment, then said, “You’re Quentin Crisp.”
“I was when I was alive,” he said, rolling his eyes as if he didn’t want to be bothered. “And if it makes things easier for you, Mr. Smite, by all means feel free to call me Mr. Crisp.” Then he clapped his hands together fast and said, “Now stop wasting time, young man, and get out of bed.”
“This is ridiculous,” Carl said. “How can you be the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come? You’re nothing like the other ghosts.”The Ghost smiled. “Stop being such a bore, Mr. Smite. I was, after all, born on December 25th. That alone should give me a certain amount of credibility. I may not be Father Christmas, but I assure you I’m quite capable of handling this task.”
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wealthy Carl Smite, owner of a high-end antiques store in Greenwich Village, hates Christmas so much he takes the last dollar bill from a sick delivery boy with one leg on Christmas Eve. Carl despises everything that is good and pure about Christmas, including the fact that his employee devotes his time to handing out free dinners at a homeless shelter.
But when Carl goes to sleep on Christmas Eve, he never expects to receive a visit from the ghost of his former business partner, Marty Keller. Marty explains that Carl will have a visit from three Christmas ghosts that night.
The solemn Ghost of Christmas Past takes Carl back to a Christmas when he was in love with the most wonderful man in the world. The lighter, beautiful Ghost of Christmas Present shows Carl what happened to the love of his life and introduces him to the son he never knew he had. And the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who is actually the flamboyant ghost of gay icon Quentin Crisp, shows Carl the horrible things that will happen to him, and all the people he loves, if he doesn't start loving again.
And while Carl is working through a Christmas Eve he'll never forget, the romance moves toward a joyful climax of enlightenment and transition as he searches for the true meaning of life and hope. By the time Carl wakes up on Christmas morning, will he be ready to reclaim his lost love and give back what he's taken from the world?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
And I'm not even looking at it from a political POV. I love it because there is this nasty, vicious queen I know right here in New Hope that I'd like to send it to. And there's nothing worse than a nasty New Hope queen, trust me. He's one of those awful gay men who make all other gay men look bad. He's a back-stabber and liar, and every negative cliche that was ever invented about gay men. He's been setting me up for years, and I never see it coming.
But I'm much too polite to actually send the song link to him. And blogging is supposed to be about fun and personal things sometimes, so I'm posting about it here.
I wrote about this nasty queen in THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE, and I rarely ever base characters on people I know. And I never get even with anyone in fiction, but this was cathartic for me. He's the jerk-character in the story who is trying to ruin the traditional town event and take money away from an important fundraiser to boost his own ego.
And frankly, I don't think there is a gay man alive who doesn't know a nasty, self-loathing queen like this. So if you haven't heard this song yet, I hope you have as much fun as I've had listening to it.
Here's the link to the song again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03PnU27cWDs
Friday, November 13, 2009
These are the things I normally just take for granted. And I'm finding that by re-posting some of them, it keeps people aware without getting too heavily into politics. For me it's particularly interesting because I happen to love RI. It's a beautiful state and I've met many wonderful, interesting men from RI on trips to P'town.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'm positing an amazon link because I've been getting a lot of e-mails asking why the books aren't offered in print. Evidently, there are still many people out there who have not switched to reading books in digital print, as e-books. And I guess that's going to take some time.
I personally took a long time switching to e-books. I love the feel and smell of a print book. I enjoy reading print books as a luxury. But once I made the switch to e-books, I was amazed at how much I loved reading them either on the computer or on my phone. I know someone who has their lap top hooked up to their flat screen TV and that's how they read all their books now.
But like I said, it's going to take some time. So here's the link where you can purchase any one of my books as a paperback. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ryan+field
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
The story was first published in an anthology edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, which got some great reviews. and then it was selected for BEST GAY EROTICA 2009 anthology by Richard Labonte. And the BGE 2009 anthology went on to win a Lambda award this year in the best gay erotica category.
Recently, I decided to retire the story for good and have it published, for the last time ever, with loveyoudivine.com as an e-book. I made a few changes to the original story, so it's not exactly the same as the one published in the first two print books. I added more dimension to the main character and one supporting character, and I added a happy ending that expresses hope and promise for the future of these two characters.
When it's officially released, I'll post again and give a few samples and a more detailed explanation so readers know exactly what they are buying. But make no mistake, there's no "coitus" in this story (lol) It is classic gay erotica.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
So here's a link that I think sends a strong message. http://aguyinlove.blogspot.com/
The link is from my friend Ryan's blog. His partner, Kadin, wrote a smart post that I wish everyone would take very seriously.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Ryan Field (Author)
Brody Johnston, bad boy naval officer on extended leave from his post in Europe, can't take his eyes off innocent Chance's round butt and smooth legs. He is determined to get to know him better, and Brody is used to getting what he wants. Though they are complete opposites, Chance is ready to submit to all of Brody's sexual kinks and desires. And it never occurs to either one of them that they might actually fall in love with each other.
Ryan Field is the author of ten books published by Ravenous Romance, including the best-selling e-books Pretty Man and Take Me Always. His short story "Down the Basement" is included in the Lambda Award–winning Best Gay Erotica 2009.
And here it is. Hold on. While reading a popular book review blog, I noticed a review about a collection of m/m short stories. I'm not going into details; I'm not a book reviewer and I didn't read the book. But the reviewer was a woman, and she basically trashed one short story because it sounded, to her, like a romance written by a man (I swear she said this, in writing, in the review). The review was brutal in every sense that a book review can be brutal. And the author of the story is a man. I'm not sure, but he's probably a gay man...unless there's a new trend out there and straight dudes are now writing m/m fiction, too.
But more than that, this same reviewer gave an absolutely spectacular review to another story in the book. This other story was also m/m fiction and it was written by a woman instead of a gay man. Everyone who reads this blog and knows me, knows that I support women who write good m/m fiction. My former blog posts prove it. To name a few, EM Lynley, Bryn Colvin, GA Hauser. These writers know what they are doing. I offer advice all the time to women who are interested in writing m/m fiction.
However, when I read the review yesterday and saw an except from this particular woman's story, I had to step back and take a few quick breaths. There was nothing in that one excerpt that would appeal to a gay man, and there was nothing in that excerpt that was authentic to gay men in general. As a gay man, I found both the review and the excerpt insulting, politically incorrect, and so annoying that I'm writing about it today.
I could have overlooked most of the things in review and the story excerpt, except for one. The author, who was repeatedly praised by this book reviewer, used the word "coitus" in a m/m love scene. I looked the word up and found more than one definition that said "coitus" was, basically, the act of procreation between a man and a woman. Aside from the fact that it's just a creepy word, WTF would "coitus" be doing in m/m fiction? Speaking as a gay man, you can't get any more off base. Even if you try to use this word loosely, I'm sure that most gay men would agree there's nothing even remotely sexy or romantic about the word "coitus."
I didn't leave a comment on the thread. Another gay man had already done that for me, and he did a great job of explaining how I was feeling.
However, to be sure I wasn't over-reacting to "coitus", I e-mailed a very good friend who is a long time literary agent, one of my best friends, in New York. He agreed with me, and offered a few snide comments of his own about "coitus." After that, to be sure I still wasn't over-reacting, I posted a question on facebook that went like this:
I'm wondering how other LGBT romance writers and readers feel about the word "coitus" in m/m love scenes. Just curious, is all.
This is how one gay man, a friend, replied:
Just make sure, when you describe any kind of coitus, you take care to cook it thoroughly to avoid ingesting nasty bacteria. And, for a nice effect, you may want to serve it covered in a nice Browned Butter Sauce.
I swear this is true.
And sad, because the story and the woman writer received a rave review while the gay author suffered the torture of one of the worst book reviews I've ever read. And I have a strong feeling that his review was not deserved. I think I just might buy the book and read his story for myself.
This is one of those times when I'm more than willing to stand up for what I believe in. So, c'mon women writing, reading and reviewing m/m fiction. We love you all, but get it right. Gay men have had to suffer the pains and hassles of discrimination all their lives. What happened in Maine the other day is proof of that. Do they now have to suffer the audacity (and stupidity) of being totally misrepresented in fiction, too? To me, this is the equivalent of emotional gay bashing. And my apologies to all the women out there right now who are writing m/m fiction and are doing a damn good job of it. But I couldn't help getting this one off my chest.
I can only hope that talent, hard work, and a keener understanding of gay men will win out in the end. And, that words like "coitus" will disappear from everyone's vocabulary forever.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I also don't have to go around the Internet today posting about how disappointed I am in Maine and leaving heartfelt comments on blog threads about how I wish the characters in my books weren't so far away from realizing their dream of obtaining the same equal rights every American citizen has. I live the for the dream every single day of my life, and it is a given that I have always fought for, and always will fight for, the civil rights of gay Americans.
And while I'm extremely disappointed in Maine today. I'm not giving up hope yet, because I truly believe that there are just as many people who disagree with Maine as there are who agree with them. We just have to fight a little harder next time.
Ravenous Romance is supporting the writers who enter NaNoWriMo this year and I'm helping to spread the word. You can read all about it here: http://ravenousromance.blogspot.com/
This is a huge thing for new writers. So often they are discouraged and laughed at for entering NaNoWriMo, and for once someone is supporting them. Especially m/m writers. I love to see this happening.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
When Carol first mentioned she had cancer, I told her to e-mail me privately if she needed any support. I've been through cancer with family and friends, and I've seen enough to know how to offer basic support. I was hoping she'd pull through, even though I hadn't heard anything for a while. I thought she had a good chance. Evidently, I was wrong.
Here's an excerpt from an e-mail sent out by the publisher of Loveyoudivine.com:
Carol is, and I suspect will remain, one of the most successful ebook authors of all time.
Monday, October 26, 2009
If you've ever been frustrated about writing or getting published, please take the time to read this. I guarantee it will make you feel better.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I just saw that THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE was released on ravenousromance.com today. I did a preview post for the book, and today I'm linking and adding the back cover copy. As I said in the preview post, there are a couple of interesting Halloween scenes in this one that take place in Provincetown, MA. And Halloween in P'town is a lot of fun, trust me.
When a famous child actor, Dexter Moore, leaves Hollywood and moves to Provincetown, MA, with his daughter and his longtime housekeeper, he doesn't expect to find that his new house is haunted. And especially not with the ghost of a strong, virile young sea captain who looks like Hugh Jackman and makes love like no other living man Dexter has known.
But Dexter must deal with more important things than ghosts. He soon discovers that his ex-partner lost all his money in a bad investment and Dexter is forced to go back to work. So he reluctantly agrees to do an intrusive TV show, where he is followed with cameras for three months. If he doesn't, he'll have to sell his magnificent new home and move back to Hollywood.
In order to make the TV show more interesting, Dexter's new best friend gets him involved in a heated town dispute. The new president of the chamber of commerce wants to cancel a town tradition and start something new, and half the town is against him. But Dexter doesn't get involved with this for the TV show or ratings. He's only interested in helping people and saving an important fundraiser from being canceled.
While all this is happening, Dexter slowly gets to know the ghost of handsome Captain Lang. He's the only one who can see and hear Lang. They make passionate love together, they spend long hours talking about Dexter's strong feelings, and they start working on a series of books about Captain Lang's notorious adventures at sea that will ensure Dexter's financial future. But when the books are finished and the two men finally admit they are in love, how will they reconcile their feelings with reality?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
off-campus, man 169
Harlan LaRochelle was an attractive young man with a plan
of his own. He didn’t want to go to Morehouse College in
Atlanta like his father and two older brothers. He’d applied to
Morehouse to appease them, but then he’d secretly applied to a
large university in Washington, DC.
A few months later, his father smiled and patted his back
when he’d been accepted to Morehouse; his mother hugged him
and cooked his favorite dinner. But when Harlan announced
during that same dinner that he was going to the large university
in Washington instead, his father dropped his fork so fast
he chipped a dinner plate. The mother clutched her napkin and
gave him a look.
Harlan looked his father in the eye without blinking. “I’m
going to college in Washington, DC,” he said. “I’ve been accepted
already. They have an excellent journalism program there.”
All this was true. They did have an excellent journalism
department at the Washington school. But the real reason he
didn’t want to go to Morehouse College was because the thought
of spending four more years without knowing what it was like
to kiss another man caused his stomach to turn and his knees to
twitch. He needed distance from his prominent Atlanta family.
And he needed to explore his sexuality as much as he needed
to study. He was a smart young man, with soft brown skin, a
nice firm, round ass, and square, firm chest muscles. He already
knew that women were attracted to him, but he wanted to find
out if men were interested in him, too.
A few months after that, at the end of August, when the
shouting and mean stares finally subsided, he kissed both
parents good-bye, started his black SUV, and drove north to
The first few weeks he concentrated on getting settled in the
dorms and focusing on his school work. His roommate was a
tall, thin techie type who spent most of his time with his face
glued to a computer screen. Harlan liked most of his classes and
he made a few casual friends. And everywhere he went he saw
good-looking young men. When he passed them by on his way
to class, his penis jumped and he had to stare down at his shoes
so he wouldn’t get a full erection. But he wasn’t sure what to do,
or how to approach any of them.
And then one Saturday afternoon in mid-September everything
changed. He was on his way back to his room when he
accidentally bumped into a guy wearing shiny red running
shorts and an oversized black sweat shirt in the dormitory
lobby. The guy had long, wavy, dark blond hair, was average
height, and hadn’t shaved in about two days. His pale blue eyes
were the color of Harlan’s birthstone, aquamarine. Harlan had
been looking for his keys in his backpack and hadn’t seen him
coming. He’d bumped his elbow and had knocked all his books
to the floor.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Lang smiled and waved his arm. “Please. Do I look like an amateur?”
Dexter looked into his eyes. It was a serious look; his lips were pressed together. He said, “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, amateur about you, Captain Lang.”
After that, he went downstairs so he could take Brighton trick-or-treating. She was already out on the front porch with a few of her friends. Since Dexter and Elliot were wearing costumes that night, they had volunteered to escort a few of Brighton’s friends around town. The other parents were thrilled. A lot of the parents in town worked at night in restaurants and the kids would have had to stay home if they hadn’t volunteered.
Kellan and Paige were on the front lawn because they were following everyone into town to film the entire evening. They weren’t wearing costumes. But Elliot was sitting on a wicker chair with his legs crossed at the knee. He was wearing a campy version of a Marilyn Monroe costume he’d rented in town from a drag shop. When Dexter saw him, he couldn’t stop laughing. The red lipstick was smudged; his fake breasts were crooked. Elliot hadn’t even bothered to shave his legs, and he was wearing those awful low-heeled pumps old ladies wore. They were a size too small. His huge, wide feet were bursting from the sides.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
But this weekend my nephews thought it would be funny to put Halloween costumes on the dogs. The one on the left without a costume is mine, the one dressed as a leprechaun is my mother's dog, Emma. And if you knew Emma, you'd know how much she hates this sort of thing. She is the female version of "Marley," in the book and movie, "Marley and Me," and there's nothing dainty or delicate about her.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The book was edited by Mickey Erlach, and my short story, "Happy New Year, Man," is on page 109. This particular story is one of my own favorites because I wrote it in the second person, which is something I'm normally never brave enough to do. It took weeks to get it right. But I thought the storyline called for something different, and that's why I did it this way.
This story, clearly, is not something the folks over at dearauthor.com will appreciate. It's much too authentic and it hits a bit too close to certain realities that do not fall under the headline of the current definition of m/m romance. But I really don't care, because I wrote the story to please my editor, Mickey, and the many fans of STARbooks Press :) It is within the context of the entire collection, and in a way it is romantic, with respect to the authentic self-actualization of a gay male character. And, some gay male writers are still writing "stuff" like this for traditional publishers, even though it's getting harder and harder to do these days.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Don't get me wrong. I watch Glee and I enjoy the music. But as far as the storyline goes, I've never seen such absolute poetic license in my entire life. The things these TV writers get away with leaves my mouth hanging open.
This past week I worked on edits for a book that's due to be released before Halloween. It's an LGBT take on the old book and movie, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." The book I'm working on is a contemporary, paranormal romance. The main character is a former child star who moves to Provincetown to start a new life. In the original manuscript, I left his financial status open and ambiguous. He was the star of a successful sitcom; he has plenty of money; he doesn't have to work. I thought that was enough. But the editor thought it was too ambiguous and I revised this part of the book with more valid details that were believable. The editor was right, and I think the character's history is more believable now.
This sort of thing happens all the time. When a romance book goes to an editor, everything is triple checked to make sure it's believable. We take a certain amount of license, but we try hard to get the facts right. We do this for the readers, and we never assume anything.
Last night, during Glee, one of the characters got a job as a school nurse. She never went to nursing school, had never worked near a medical environment, and her general background was in retail. But she got a job, on Glee, as the school nurse. If I were to write this in a romance, the romance reviewers would be off to battle and my blond hair would be flying all over the Internet. But more than that, I can say for sure that no public school system in this country would ever hire a retail clerk, in only one day, as a school nurse. School nurses, especially these days, are vetted and interviewed. And it's not a simple process.
Now, this character on Glee could have been written into the storyline as a school cafeteria worker, which would have been fine. It would have blended with her past experience and they still could have worked her motives into the plot. It just leaves me wondering if these TV writers are stupid, uninformed, or they just don't care.
Another one of the many things that make me wonder about Glee, is their approach toward infidelity. If I wrote a romance with blatant infidelity, the readers and reviewers would be ready for battle again. I've taken a few chances in the past. I wrote about a character who had affairs while he was on a break with his lover, and I've taken flack for it. In a romance book, infidelity in any form is a definite turn off.
But in Glee, they don't seem to care about infidelity. One single, flaky school teacher is getting seriously involved with a married school teacher, and the writers make the married guy look like a saint. They portray this guy's wife as a total creep who deserves to be cheated on. And they make the single school teacher appear as a vulnerable, wise angel, with a few unrealistic quirks. The wife really is a creep. But wouldn't it be nicer if they made the husband realize this and leave the creep before he started to get involved with another school teacher on the sly?
On another level, I'm really tired of seeing school teachers portrayed as these pathetic, downtrodden types. In both Glee and Hung, the writers give the impression that school teachers, in general, are nothing more than poor slobs looking for something better in life. It's misleading at best. I know a lot of school teachers. A dear friend, Joanne, is a school teacher in a public school in Brooklyn. She and the teachers I know love what they do and they are far from being poor slobs. They aren't making millions, but they are making decent salaries, with good benefits, in very hard economic times. I know that teachers' salaries vary in different parts of the country, as do living standards. But I also know that most teachers love and respect what they do.
I'll still keep watching Glee. Partly for the music, and partly to see how far they will go. I have a feeling that they are going to raise infidelity to a much higher level. Higher than any steamy romance novel ever written.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Like this link, http://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm464955.html#, says, New Hope has gained a popular reputation for not only being haunted, but also for having a wide array of supernatural occurrences.
Personally, I owned an art gallery for ten years in a building called "The Canal House." This building was rich with pop cultural history. Jackie Kennedy used to stop there between Washington and New York. She became friendly with the owner of the building, my departed landlord, Johnny Francis Meyer. And I've seen the photos to prove this, too. The list of other celebs that stayed there range from Diana Ross, to "Carmine" from the TV series, "Laverne and Shirley." There were also famous artists, like Bill Ney and Selma Burke. One of the most famous pieces Selma Burke designed wast the face of FDR on the dime. Her home still stands in New Hope, hidden down a narrow road off the main highway.
And one of the most famous celebs who died in New Hope was Jessica Savitch. She was on her way to New York, from Washington, when she stopped at Odette Myrtle's restaurant and accidentally drove into the canal and drowned. I was only a kid then, but I remember that night well. The fog was so thick you couldn't see your feet. It was pouring rain. Savitch's ghost, supposedly, haunts the towpath along the canal.
And I've had my own personal experiences with ghosts. In my gallery, paintings were often switched around in the middle of the night while I wasn't there. I'd leave at six o'clock in the evening and purposely notice where each painting was placed, and the next morning I'd open the gallery to find that everything had been moved around. It was all done very well, too. The new arrangement of paintings was always perfect and in excellent order. So I'd leave them that way for a while. And when it was time to rearrange the gallery a few weeks later, the same thing would happen. I have no explanation for this. I was the only one with a key to the gallery and there were never any forced entries.
I used to do some professional editing for local writers. It was a small list and I only worked with the writers that I really liked...and most times didn't charge them anything. One of these writers was a strong spiritual figure in Key West, FL. His work was always done in automatic writing, which meant that it came through to him from "guides" or "spirits." He was psychic, too. He didn't use his gift for monetary gain, but he did predict a few things, to me, that came true not long after he'd predicted them.
I could continue, endlessly, with more supernatural stories about New Hope that I've personally witnessed. But, oddly enough, I've never written about them professionally. I did write a story in a recent book BOYS OF THE BITE, that is titled, "THE DEVIL'S HALF ACRE." It's a vampire story that is set in New Hope. And a small part of PRETTY MAN is set here in New Hope. But there's nothing supernatural about New Hope in that book.
When you live in a place like New Hope, you tend to take these things for granted. If something strange happens, you don't take it as seriously as you would if you lived somewhere else. So I don't have any immediate plans to write about New Hope and ghosts, but it certainly isn't because I have a lack of valid supernatural material that I've witnessed myself.