I found a web site the other day where you can create your own comic book covers and I decided to parody a review I once received for a book I wrote that talked about a burping penis. Of course this was at least four years ago and it's long been forgotten, however, I still see it mentioned every now and then in far off remote places on the Interwebs. The review itself wasn't the most flattering I've ever received, but certainly not the worst either. I'd written a parody of the TV show American Idol (American Star) and I'd made an off-handed reference to the size of a penis and how it was so large the mc could have thrown it over his shoulder and burped it. So it really wasn't even a burping penis, but we all know how that goes.
I've always thought that review was significant to one thing in particular. And that's the difference between the way some gay men and some straight women think. (Not all; just some.) I have never read a book reviewed well on that site that I would find entertaining, especially any book with gay content. Sometimes I've found books reviewed poorly that I've loved. In fact, when I really can't figure out what to read next I often go there and look for bad reviews just to find something I'll love. It never fails.
Oddly, I have many good women friends in my real life, both gay and straight. And many good women friends online, too. One of my characters once made a snide nasty comment about women and when my editor said I should remove it because it sounded sexist I listened. I didn't want my women readers to get insulted, even if it was the character's personality (he was a sexist shit). So I really do care about things like this when I'm writing and the last thing I want to do is insult women.
Don't me wrong. I'm not complaining about the review four years later either. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard myself when I read it. In a way it was actually a parody review of a parody. Unfortunately I don't think that was on purpose because I don't think the reviewer knew that some gay men tend to have a vicious wit sometimes and often parody penis sizes and other things they find funny...in a harmless way. I think she tends to think of us as these politically correct types on TV shows like Modern Family. In any event, it was an amusing, innocent review and you can't fault some straight people for not understanding gay people. They don't always get all the information they should be getting. It's our job to educate them.
In any event, here's a link to the web site where I came up with the comic book cover. You've been forewarned. You might wind up there for a few hours.
Rob James-Collier Gay Kiss
For those who don't know, Rob James-Collier is the actor who plays Thomas in Downtown Abbey. Thomas is gay, and not sure how to survive in the post-Edwardian era. He's also extremely aggressive, extremely attractive, and extremely horny all the time. And there was one scene in season three where he sneaks into the bedroom of a new servant...an adorable young man...and kisses him while he's sleeping.
Keep in mind this didn't just happen on the spur of the moment. Thomas was lead to believe that the new young servant was highly attracted to him, and Thomas has been attracted to him for a long time. But even knowing this, and knowing how a gay man would have been so careful to protect his sexuality in those days, I found it hard to believe that scene would ever have happened in real life. But it did make for entertaining fiction, and what young gay man on earth wouldn't want handsome aggressive Thomas sneaking into his bedroom in the middle of the night to steal a kiss. Pure fantasy and escapism. Plus, Rob James-Collier is NOT the kind of man you'd kick out of bed either.
The scene almost reminded me of that gay adult entertainment site, "Gay Creeps," where good looking gay guys sneak up on other guys while they are sleeping and do very naughty things to them. Once again, pure parody. I can only imagine how the reviewer I mentioned above would react to a web site like this. Why I'm sure she'd pull her pencil skirt down below her knees, then shudder and cross her legs (this is vicious gay wit).
As far as I know, Rob James-Collier is straight, but he's also a damn good sport:
Downton Abbey star Rob James-Collier has revealed that kissing his co-star Ed Speleers in the scene where his character Thomas got caught stealing into Jimmy’s room and planting a kiss on the sleeping servant, was a pleasure to play.
"That guy Ed Speleers (who plays Jimmy) has got really soft lips," he joked.
"If you're going to kiss a man, let it be a beautiful man like Ed Speleers. I'm not going to demand a beautiful guy. I'd kiss ugly guys as well, but if they're good looking... it's a bonus."
Well done, sir!
Excerpt From New Bad Boy Billionaire Book
I've hit the midway point in the latest book of the Bad Boy Billionaire series I've been writing this year. Right now it's tentatively titled: The Silicon Valley Rake. But that will change. This book is set in Cupertino, the main character is a billionaire who started a web site called "Lovemetender.com," and he's probably the worst bad boy I've done so far.
I'm actually having trouble liking him myself at this point in the book. For one thing, he owns this web site where he will never allow sockpuppets or fakes, and yet he has his own fake accounts on the web site. He lies to other men, he throws tempter tantrums when things don't go his way, and he basically has no regard for anyone but himself. And I'm going to have to find a way to soften him. And I think that I'll wind up doing that by showing that he's playing a dangerous game and all the money in the world isn't going to protect him.
The one thing I did differently in this book than I've ever done before is to make him extremely comfortable with women. In a way, this shows his softer side. I found that while writing his character, and showing how competitive he is with other men, he needed a balance. So I made him extremely comfortable with women. The only character in the book he likes so far is a woman. And I tried hard to do this without making it a stereotypical gay man straight woman relationship. Notice how I don't use the FH word for women who are friendly with a gay man. THAT word is one I don't like at all. I think I hate it even more than I hate being referred to as queer.
Here's a brief excerpt, in its raw form, without editing:
In a section of town not far from other large Internet companies, he owned the building complex that housed the offices for lovemetender.com. Unlike the high and mighty space ship nightmare of one large tech company he preferred never to name aloud, Shannon’s building stood low and unobtrusive. It had originally been an underwear factory that also made sweat socks and jock straps. He’d purchased the old fifty thousand square foot complex in a shambles and had it renovated to perfection. He’d kept it simple, dignified, and as minimalist as everything else in his life, with exposed walls of brick, simple black and grey logos, and stained concrete floors. He’d won awards for this building, too. Partly because of the way he’d designed it to be so ecologically responsible with solar panels to maintain the seventy degrees he loved, and partly because of the attention he’d paid to the original architecture. The ultimate goal would be to have it listed as a historic sight.
Shannon pulled into a parking space up front near the main entrance, the one with his name on it. He knew the other cars in the parking lot either belonged to the maintenance staff or to the administrative assistants he employed. As an online business, lovemetender.com required twenty-four hour customer service at all times, and Shannon, unlike other online social networks he knew of, took this seriously. He truly believed this concentration on detail, and this need to treat his customers with care, had helped to make him a billionaire. But more than that, he also believed that by keeping his employees as happy and comfortable as possible his business ran even smoother. It wasn’t that he had any deep concern for them; he just liked making money.
“Good morning, Karla,” he said, as he entered the main lobby. He knew every employee by name.
“Good morning, Shannon,” she said. All his employees called him by his first name. Some found this awkward, but he insisted.
“You’re looking nice today,” said Shannon. She wore a bright orange blouse and thick silver jewelry with bright green stones. The color combination suited her extremely dark complexion well. She’d come from the West Indies and spoke with a charming accent. The cleaning service he employed to take care of the office complex and his home had sent her to his home to do a routine cleaning. The first day he’d met her four years earlier, on his way to work, he’d found out she’d worked for a doctor and that the only job she’d been able to get in the US was as a cleaning person. At the time he’d needed someone smart, friendly, and personable for the main lobby desk. He’d spotted her talents and hired her on the spot. After that, he went to work getting her a green card and making her a legal resident. He’d done more for her than anyone had ever done, and now there was nothing she wouldn’t do for him. And he knew this.
“Thank you, Shannon,” she said. “You’re looking as handsome as always. One of these days we’re going to get you and account on lovemetender.”
He smiled and said, “We’ll see about that.”
He continued walking back to his office in the main part of the building. The irony of his life often made him smile. He’d made billions with lovemetender.com, as a social network where people met online, grew to know each other, and fell in love. And he’d never had a real love relationship in his entire life. He dated often; he had sex more often than that. But he’d never actually had a partner for any length of time and didn’t even have his own account with lovemetender.com. This wasn’t by accident. He truly felt he couldn’t be objective if he did have his own account. He’d always found that observing how others met online and feel in love instead of actually doing it he could always maintain a sense of bipartisanship. He also thought online dating was a complete waste of time.
When he reached the outer offices that led to his private office, he found Justin Blake standing in front of a long concrete counter top where they kept coffee supplies and tall glass jars filled with every single candy sold on the market. Justin Blake was twenty-four and he’d been hired fresh out of Stanford. He had ash brown hair, a lean lanky body, and always wore tight skinny jeans to work. To look at him people might have assumed he leaned slightly to the obnoxious streetwise side. But when he opened his mouth to speak, he sounded more like an attorney during a deposition. He articulated each word with great care, never dropping a g or rushing through a sentence.
Shannon stepped up behind Justin without making a sound. As Justin leaned forward to grab a handful of M&Ms from a tall glass jar, Shannon checked to be sure no one was watching and grabbed his ass. He squeezed hard and said, “If you keep eating those things you’re going to wind up with child-bearing hips.”