Wednesday, December 30, 2009

VANCE'S FLAMES is Now a Stand Alone E-Book


VANCE'S FLAMES is a short story that was originally published in a collection of short stories by Cleis Press, which was edited by Shane Allison. And now VANCE'S FLAMES is being released as a stand alone e-book, by loveyoudivine.com, and I wanted to post some background information that I think will interest readers.



This new e-book release isn't an exact edition of the originally published short story. I think this one is far better; I'm much happier with it. It's longer, there's more depth of emotion, and there's a quiet, happy, romantic ending. I also had full editorial control with this version, thanks to the wonderful e-publisher, Claudia Regenos, at loveyoudivine.com, and I was able to turn a naughty little story into a sharp lgbt romance that's socially responsible, with two very unlikely male characters who find each other, in spite of their differences.




The editor I worked with on this is Janet Schelke, from Loveyoudivine, and Dawne Dominique did the cover art. Both Janet and Dawne worked with me on DOWN THE BASEMENT, and it's always a great experience working with both of them. I can't find a link for Janet (I will look, though) but here's one for Dawne Dominique...http://www.dawnedominique.com/...if you'd like to check out her web site.



VANCE'S FLAMES will be released on January 8, 2010. Here's a review about the story, by Rainbow Reviews, that was published when the story appeared in the original print collection:
“Vance’s Flames” by Ryan Field ~ Vance has loved fire since he was little and when he gets assigned community service at a volunteer fire station he shows fireman Bucky just how good he is at starting fires.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Rejecter's Links to Some Interesting Insights on E-Books

I've been reading The Rejecter's blog for a long time now. I'm not usually a fan of anonymous blogs, especially anonymous literary agent blogs, but I think her posts are helpful to readers and writers.

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

All Christmas Books are .99 this Week at Ravenous Romance


As a holiday gift to all the wonderful readers who shop for books at www.ravenousromance.com, there's a special Christmas incentive being offered this week. All Christmas books are only $.99. This includes my novel, A CHRISTMAS CARL, and a book I contributed a short story to, I SAW DADDY KISSING SANTA CLAUS.


I have a few favorite e-book web sites I use. But when I can buy a book directly from the publisher's web site, I do. And the main reason I do it is to take advantage of deals like this. I don't know where else you can buy a brand new release for only $.99. And in this economy, I don't think I know anyone who isn't looking for a bargain.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus...


Here's a recently released collection of short stories, edited by the wonderful Lori Perkins. I have a short story in this one, about a gay couple who have two adopted daughters and are going through all the stresses and frustrations, just like all parents, which go along with the Christmas season. My story is tender, funny, and romantic. And if you're looking for a happy ending, you won't be disappointed.




This one was fun to write. I almost wish I knew the characters in my story. They'd be great guys to hang out with on New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nathan Bransford and a Worthy Cause...


I didn't list nathan Bransford's blog yesterday in my post about literary agents, because I don't have time to follow it every single day. But I did check it out today, and I saw that he's doing something very nice for a very worthy cause. It takes a second. Check it out and leave a comment. Here's info, pilfered from facebook:

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
blog.nathanbransford.com
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

Best Literary Agent Blogs of the Year...

As a career writer, I depend on publishing blogs for information. And most of the publishing blogs where I get my information are written by literary agents.

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

A Shout 4 Malia Sutton: Four Cup Review from Coffee Time Romance


I gave my blogging buddy, Ryan, a shout earlier today. And now I'm giving one to another writer friend, Malia Sutton, who wrote a wonderful pg rated vampire romance, with a sub-plot that includes two socially responsible, well written, gay characters.


Her book just received a fantastic four cup review from Coffee Time Romance, which is a well known romance book review site. Here's the link, http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/lovingdaylight.html


Malia's book can be purchased in print edition on Amazon.com and as the Escape with Romance Collection on HSN.com. And it can also be purchased on most well known site where e-books are sold, including allromanceebooks.com and ravenousromance.com.

A True Romantic!!

My blogging buddy for a long time, Ryan, wrote a great post today and I wanted share it with everyone. If you love romance and guys who are romantic, you'll love this, because it's not fiction, it's the real thing.


http://aguyinlove.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-love-my-life.html

Monday, December 14, 2009

Duel Post: A Huge Thank You, and Ravenous Romance is on TV Again


First, I'd like to thank all the readers who have helped make DOWN THE BASEMENT number six on http://www.allromanceebooks.com/. I'm still surprised. And when I say thanks, I really mean it.

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

IF YOU LOVE E-BOOKS AS A READER OR WRITER, PLEASE READ THIS POST

I signed the petition below, I hope everyone else does. It only takes a minute.

Hi,

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

A Vaccine For HIV? This is Interesting

Someone sent me this e-mail yesterday, and I promised I'd post it to my blog. As I state on my sidebar, I make no money from this blog. But I do support charitable organizations that do accept money. The links are below. I know it's Christmastime and things are tight for everyone. But I wanted to post this just in case anyone who reads this blog didn't know about it.


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.

http://covalentimmunology.org/

YouTube - Possible HIV Cure?#at=147

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjP_H5n33Eo

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Paul Richmond: I'm Addicted to his Art Now!!!


The photos I uploaded for this post have been going around the web for at least a month. They are my all time favorite pop culture pieces this year. I owned an art gallery for ten years in a very tony place, and I always prided myself on having a good eye for great art. And I was in business for ten years, so I must have been doing something right.


When I first saw these pictures, I had to research them. Then I checked out the artist, Paul Richmond, and I linked to his blog. http://paulrichmondstudio.blogspot.com/


Well.


Today I discovered that Paul has an online store where he sells his work. And at very affordable prices, too. This was another thing I always did with my own gallery. I sold great artwork, from twenty dollar prints to ten thousand dollar originals. And I always had return clients.


So if you are gay, or love gay culture, please take the time to check out Paul's online store. It's definitely worth seeing, because I predict we're going to be seeing a lot more of his work in the future. http://www.etsy.com/shop/paulypants

Friday, December 4, 2009

Do Readers Fully Understand Book Pirating?

While I was filing abuse forms this week with book pirates, I wondered if readers who download illegal e-books know what they are doing. Since I have always followed the law, and I believe in the law and respect the law, I truly don't believe readers fully understand what they are doing. Maybe I'm being naive, though. If you want to read another post I wrote last summer about book pirating, here's the link: http://ryan-field.blogspot.com/search?q=abuse And if you do a search on my blog, there are even a few more.

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

Happy 1st Anniversary, Ravenous Romance

Today is ravenousromance.com's one year anniversary. And I honestly can't believe the year has passed so quickly. Actually, I began writing for RR over a year ago, in August of 2008. Two of the owners of RR, Lori Perkins and Holly Schmidt, had contacted me about possibly writing a novel and I jumped at the chance. Although most of my published credits until then had been in print books, with traditional LGBT publishers, I wasn't a complete stranger to digital publishing. I'd already had a few short story stand alones published by digital publishers and I was eager to learn more about digital publishing.



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!

An Older Book Review for DOWN THE BASEMENT


When DOWN THE BASEMENT was originally published, it was in a collection of short stories edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Then it went on to be part of BEST GAY EROTICA 2009, a book that won a Lambda Award this year. And now it's been published by Loveyoudivine.com as a stand alone e-book.


Here's an older review, from http://tcm-ca.com/reviews/2154.html , when the story was in the first collection:


In "Down the Basement" by Ryan Field, the narrator explains:
"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

Bonnie Goldstein vs Levi Johnston: Since When is Playgirl Magazine Considered Porn?


I just read an interesting piece, written by Bonnie Goldstein, of Politics Daily, about Levi Johnston. She claims that by posing for Playgirl Magazine, Levi has now fallen from respectable society and entered into the dark, multi-million dollar porn industry.

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

New Release: Classic Gay Erotica Without Apology


I wanted to post something quick about this new release. It's titled DOWN THE BASEMENT and it was part of a lambda award winning book "Best Gay Erotica 2009" last year. When I submitted it, with a few changes and revises from the story in BGE 2009, to http://www.loveyoudivine.com/, I told Claudia, the publisher, that this will be the final publication for this story.

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

Love in Which You Can Believe


While I was writing A CHRISTMAS CARL, I kept wondering about the darkness of the overall storyline in the original novella, "A Christmas Carol." And I knew that this storyline had been done many times, in many ways, both in books and in films. I'm not exactly sure, though, if it's been done with an LGBT slant as a m/m romance. So the key factor with this book that I thought was most important was the LOVE. Carl, the main character, had to believe in LOVE, otherwise nothing would have mattered and he wouldn't have been able to grow.


The love is what causes all the conflict in the story. It takes this typically dark story and turns it into something uplifting and light. I didn't play around with the fact that the main character is cheap and mean and everything that Christmas and love is not about. Due to various circumstances in his life, Carl has given up on love and he despises Christmas. As a matter of fact, from page one, Carl's negativity and his cold blooded attitude toward everything that is good and decent about love and Christmas is chronicled. And he's not well loved by anyone else, either. All the negativity within him, attracts even more negativity to him.


But as the story progresses and Carl witnesses why he's become the way he is with the help of the three Christmas Ghosts (one of which is the ghost of Quentin Crisp), he begins to arc, ultimately leading toward a very happy ending that's filled with the kind of romance and love and quality of life Carl thought he'd once lost. And the fact that he is a gay man, who has lived through major changes in the way society views gay men, (I never get political, but as an openly gay writer it would be impossible to write a m/m novel without getting into the realities that surround gay men) makes the climax of the book even more valid. In other words, he has real reasons (he thinks he does) for becoming a negative man who hates Christmas; just as he has real reasons for changing the way he lives his life in the end of the book.


And it's all centered around love. Love is what gives him the reason the change. And believing in Love is what changes all the lives around him.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Excerpt From New Book: A CHRISTMAS CARL...


First, the timing this month was not that great. If a new book hadn't been released, I'd only be posting on one topic right now. I'm posting about something really important, about a friend of mine with AIDS who just lost his long term disability from Kansas City Life Insurance Company. I'm his power of attorney and I'm working on an appeal. So Please check out the post below this, too.


Second, here's a short excerpt from the new book, A CHRISTMAS CARL. If you want to know more about the book, I've written a few posts already this week, and they are easy to find.


As the clock struck three, Carl was in his own bedroom murmuring “no.” The covers were over his head and he was lying in the middle of the bed in a fetal position. He was somewhere in between a fuzzy dream state and reality, and he couldn’t control all the thoughts running through his head.
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

Happy Release Day: A CHRISTMAS CARL


What makes A CHRISTMAS CARL different from other versions of "A Christmas Carol?"


First, IT'S THE LOVE.


Second, it's a gay version, which I don't think has ever been done before.


Third, Hillary Clinton actually does become President of the United States...way into the future.


The storyline revolves around love, hope, miracles and second chances. When the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come pays a visit to the main character, Carl Smite, it's actually the ghost of gay icon Quentin Crisp. Mr. Crisp was born on December 25th, and I thought it would be fitting to help him show Carl how he can get back the love of his life, save his son from a horrible death, and spend the rest of his life giving to others instead of taking from them.


There are a lot of romantic scenes in this book, and all the sexy scenes help the love between the two main characters move forward. But there aren't as many sexy scenes in this one as there are in some of my other books. But, in spite of all Carl's past transgressions and his penchant for hoarding money, there is a very happy ending and a great deal of hope for the future.


Here's the back cover copy. I'll post an excerpt later this week.


If you believe in Christmas miracles, second chances, and absolute true love, then this remarkable journey of rediscovery will guide you through one selfish man's quest to recapture everything he thought he'd stopped loving.
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

It's That Time of Year Again: A CHRISTMAS CARL


I don't usually write holiday novels. The reason is because you have to write them when it's not Christmastime, and it's hard to get into the holiday spirit during the summer. But this year we came up with an idea that is a play on "A Christmas Carol," and titled it A CHRISTMAS CARL.


It's a gay version, loosely based on the original storyline. Only in this gay version, which runs 50,000 words, things get more complicated and the ending is much longer than the original. The main character is a wealthy young man who hates Christmas, and on Christmas Eve he gets a visit from three ghosts who are all colorful and exciting. The last ghost, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is actually the Ghost of the famous gay icon, Quentin Crisp. Mr. Crisp was born on December 25th, I've always been a huge fan of his, and I thought he'd make an interesting ghost in a gay Christmas novel. I hope he would have liked it.


And, of course, this is a m/m romance with a very happy ending. I will say that the erotic scenes have been toned down quite a bit in this novel, as compared to other books I've written. And that's because too much sex in this story just wouldn't have worked.


So here's the new cover. I'll post the actual back cover copy of the book, and an excerpt, on the release day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Getting Even in Fiction...A Nasty New Hope Queen

I rarely link to music on this blog. But a publisher sent this to me last week, as a joke, and I can't stop listening to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03PnU27cWDs I'm posting the link twice, just so no one misses it ...lol

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

Rhode Island and Gay Rights...

Every once in a while, I'll post something political I think is interesting. Here's a link to a piece I pilfered from gayagenda.com, about gay rights, the Gov. of RI, and more.

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.

http://www.gayagenda.com/2009/11/rhode-island-gov-flip-flops-on-gay-rights/

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Most Books are now in Paperback on Amazon...

When my books first come out, they are e-books and can be found at ravenousromance.com, loveyoudivine.com, or other well known e-book web sites. And then they go to Amazon and can be ordered as paperbacks.

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

A New Cover for AMERICAN STAR




I noticed that they gave my book AMERICAN STAR II, a new cover. The transition hasn't been complete yet and there are still old covers floating around, so I figured I'd put both up here to show the differences. The older one is on the left, and the newer one on the right.




This book is a romance, with a man and a woman, and a very happy ending. But it has a strong LGBT sub-plot, too. And the BT part of LGBT is where the focus lies. It's also loosely based on the TV show, "American Idol." All of my characters are fictional, and none are even loosely based on actual "American Idol" contestants. And yet one of the characters is almost identical to Adam Lambert. This was an accident. When I wrote the book, long before last season's "American Idol" began, I had no idea there would ever be a contestnt like Adam Lambert on "American Idol."
It's interesting how these things happen by accident. I know other writers who say the same things happen to them. They write things that eventually come true. I wish I could predict lottery numbers this way.






Monday, November 9, 2009

Pre-Release Post about DOWN THE BASEMENT


I just received the cover art for a stand alone short story titled, DOWN THE BASEMENT. The cover art was created by Dawne Dominique, a gifted artist and author, to say the least. It's five thousand words and though it hasn't been released yet, it has a history I'd like to explain.

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

Let's Give Maine a Strong Message...

I've never been a political activist. Actually, I'm far from being political at all. I write romance, which has nothing to do with politics. But after last week's voting results in Maine, I can't stop reading all the personal blog posts from the LGBT community. People were devastated. I know for a fact, after talking to friends in Maine, that LGBT residents of Maine were especially devastated.

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

An Officer and His Gentleman


I recently saw this information on Consortium Book Sales and Distribution.


An Officer and His Gentleman


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.


In August of 2010, An Officer and His Gentleman will be released by Alyson Books, in print.

Are There Any Gay Men Out There Who Think the Word "Coitus" is Sexy or Romantic?

I thought I was finished with the "writing m/m fiction" thing for a while. I don't like to harp on something. I truly don't. But then I saw something yesterday that was too interesting to ignore.

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

How Do I Feel About Maine Today?

I've been writing (and reading) gay romance for a lot longer than m/m fiction has been considered a trendy thing to write. And I'm sure, without a doubt, that I'll be writing it long after the trend has died down. When someone reads my books or my short stories, they are reading fiction that I have based on my own personal experiences as a gay man. I know discrimination on a personal level and I don't have to go out and research it for a book. All I have to do it draw from my own personal experience and it's there.

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.

NaNoWriMo...National Novel Writing Month and Ravenous Romance

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet. There's a great opportunity being offered over at ravenousromance.com right now.

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

LGBT romance SLEEPLESS IN SAN FRANCISCO on Best Seller List at ARE


I received an e-mail this morning that SLEEPLESS IN SAN FRANCISCO just hit number 8 on the allromanceebooks.com web site. So I figured I'd post something. I've received tons of e-mails about this book, and almsot all (you can't have it all :) have been great.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

RIP, Carol McKenzie...A Great Author

I'm in shock. I just heard from an editor that M/M author, Carol McKenzie, lost her battle to lung cancer. I was a fan of her work, and I knew her through one of my yahoo writers groups, with loveyoudivine.com.

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.


RIP, Carol.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This is for Everyone Who has Ever Written...

I know that a lot of people who read my blog are aspiring writers. People of all ages. I get e-mails all the time with questions about publishing and how to get an agent. So this post is for everyone who stops by here and has written something. It's from Janet Reid's agent blog, and I think it's one of the best blog posts, for all writers, I've ever read.

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.

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2009/10/less-than-zero.html

Thursday, October 22, 2009

THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE, Release Day, and Just in Time for Halloween...



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

A Book Preview, Galley Sample...

This is a rare for me to do. But I received permission from the editor, Shane Allison, and decided to post a short excerpt from a book galley. It's an excerpt from my story, "Off Campus, Man," in a not yet released collection of short stories from Cleis Press, titled, COLLEGE BOYS.


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
Washington.


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

A Halloween Theme...The Ghost and Mr. Moore


As I said in an earlier post, THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE hasn't been released yet. But there is a chapter in this book that's devoted just to Halloween in Provincetown. I've been there personally, so I know what Halloween in P'town is like. The streets are filled with people dressed in almost every costume you can imagine and the only people who stand out in the crowd are the ones not wearing costumes.


So here's a brief excerpt from one of the Halloween scenes in the book:


Dexter got up from the bed and crossed to the front door. The high heels clicked against the hardwood floors. They weren’t chunky heels, but they weren’t stilettos either. They were in between, and slanted forward. “You’re not going out to frighten people on Halloween?” he said. “I thought that’s what ghosts were supposed to do.”

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

What do Oprah Winfrey, Nate Berkus, and Quentin Crisp have in Common...


Absolutely nothing. But this has been going around in my head all day and I wanted to get it all into one blog post instead of two.


First, last night I watched "An Englishman in New York" starring John Hurt. It's a made for TV movie I saw on the Logo channel. I loved it. John Hurt played the perfect Quentin Crisp, and the film did him a great deal of justice. I've seen the documentary "The Naked Civil Servent," and I've read a few things by Quentin Crisp. I'm too young to actually remember him, but I'm still aware that he existed. And I think it's important for everyone in the LGBT community to be aware of people like Quentin Crisp. So if you've never heard of him, click onto the links above and check him out.


Second, late this afternoon I was waiting for the roof repair guy. We had a nor'easter here this past weekend and I had a small leak in the flashing on my roof. While I was waiting for the repair guy, I turned on the TV. I'm usually working at four in the afternoon so I never get a chance to watch Oprah. I was thrilled to see that Nate Berkus was her guest. But I was little confused about the theme of the show.


You see, Oprah and Nate were giving away one of those wonderful surprises. Some woman's best friend wrote a sob story about her best friend's sad life, and Oprah and Nate decided to give her something to cheer her up. I think that's fine. It's a little bit like "Queen for a Day," but it's a lot of fun to watch. Oprah's cool that way, and that's why people love her.


However, Oprah didn't get this one quite right, sorry to say. When Oprah and Nate described what they were giving this poor woman, I sat back and folded my arms across my chest. I thought the woman was getting money, or a new car, or that Oprah was going to pay off her mortgage. Instead, Oprah was giving her a date with Nate Berkus. Yup, Nate Berkus, an openly gay man. And she was giving the woman a date with him. So I'm like, okay, this is getting interesting.


And when the woman found out that Nate was taking her to her high school reunion, and that he was going to be her official date, she nearly dropped over. She screamed and shouted; her arms went up in the air. Everyone in the audience screamed, too. And I'm sitting there thinking, "not much going to happen on the way home from that date."


The thing I don't understand is why a middle aged straight woman would be so excited about going out with Nate Berkus, a gay man. They couldn't get Hugh Jackman? Don't get me wrong. I love Nate; I own his sheets and his duvet covers from HSN.com. I'll probably buy more. I also like the concept of making people happy with these wonderful surprises. Oprah does a lot of good for a lot of people. But in this case, if I were a divorced straight woman with a sad story, the last thing I'd want to do is show up at my high school reunion with an openly gay man on my arm. People who live in small towns can be vicious about things like that. I can hear the whispers now while she's on her way to the powder room.


Speaking as a gay man who is not very political and has never considered himself an activist, I think it would be nice to give some depressed gay man a date with Nate Berkus, too. There are plenty of them out there, Oprah. If you can't find any, I'll send over a short list of a few that I know. Because there has to be a nice shy queen like Quentin Crisp, who has always been waiting for a "great dark man" like Nate Berkus to show up on his doorstep carrying flowers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Costumes...


Typically, I don't dress my dogs up in anything. I know they don't like it, and I don't like to force them into doing things they don't like. When I rescued Lex, she came with a shopping bag filled with doggie clothes from her previous owner. The first thing I did was donate all the doggie clothes to my local SPCA, along with the bag of awful dog food there were feeding the poor thing.

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

THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE and Google Wave


In the next week or so, a new book titled, THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE, will be released by ravenous romance in the m/m section. I wrote this one, like a few of the others, as another gay interpretation of a classic romance. I'll keep readers posted with updates about when the book will be released.


Here's an image of the book cover. It was nothing like I expected it to be, and I'm extremely happy with it. The artist captured the images of both main characters in perfect detail.
And, today I'm supposed to be getting a google wave invite. When I do and I start using it, I'll do a blog post about google wave and what it's all about. And if I get any invites for other people, contact me if you seriously want one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ravenous Romance and HSN.com Escape to Romance Collection


Yesterday I finally got a chance to actually see the printed books in the Ravenous Romance Escape to Romance Collection that is being sold in HSN.com. I'd read the ebook from my blogging buddy, Malia Sutton, titled LOVING DAYLIGHT, but I hadn't read any of the other books in the collection.


I suspected they were all good books, but frankly, I had no idea that they were all fantastic books. I'm not just saying this either. If I didn't like them, I wouldn't be saying anything. I've been in plenty of short story collections over the years by traditional publishers and I haven't always loved the finished books. Most of the time, I just don't like the way the books were edited. So I just sit back and keep my mouth shut.


But this Escape to Romance Collection is absolutely wonderful. I'm a "first page believer." In other words, I always know by the first page if a book is going to be something I want to continue reading. I base this just on the writing alone. And in this collection, every first page was just as good as the other.
And, in LOVING DAYLIGHT, there is something for dedicated LGBT readers, too. There are two gay male characters in the book that crossover into the mainstream very well. And I like to see this.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

CRUISING FOR BAD BOYS...STARbooks Press


I just got my copy of CRUISING BOR BAD BOYS, published by STARbooks Press. This is the first time I've actually seen the cover, and I think it's great.

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

What Do Romance Writers Have in Common with the TV Show, Glee?

Absolutely nothing.

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

The Most Haunted Town in the US, New Hope, PA...


Though I rarely set novels in my own hometown, New Hope, PA, I could easily write more than a few paranormals about New Hope.

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.