Friday, April 12, 2013

Cover Preview: The Actor Learning to Love; Patricia Nell Warren Honored; New Social Network "Pheed"

Here's the next cover for a book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, "The Actor Learning to Love." If you notice, in the background they've added the Twin Towers as part of the New York Skyline. I requested that on purpose because one of the most emotional parts of this story has to do with the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11/2001. It's the first time I've ever done a book with anything like this, and it brought back a lot of memories I don't like to revisit. Though the majority of the book takes place in the present, the back story involving the Twin Towers features as highly significant to how the main character lives today. I'll post more as I get closer to a release date, and below is the blurb in its rawest form before publication, as I submitted it to the publisher.

When single dad, Rory, and his young son, Dane, find themselves divorced and moving to a new apartment in New York once again, Rory is determined to focus on nothing more than his son and his career as a professional cabaret pianist/singer...he's finished with gay marriage and men altogether. He's tired of getting dumped, he's tired of moving, and he's tired of starting over.

In order to save money, he takes up an offer to live rent-free in a high-end apartment on Beekman Place for one year, as a caretaker and pet sitter for a famous celebrity's talking pet parrot. The apartment is a dream, the schools are great for his son, and his son forms an immediate bond with the talking parrot. The only problem is the parrot curses with a Croatian accent and the entire living arrangement turns out to be a set-up that threatens the one thing Rory loves most in this world: his son.

When the bad boy celebrity, Drew Steiger, decides to move back to his apartment it's too late for Rory to make other plans. Although Rory has no idea Drew has an ulterior motive that involves something hidden in Rory's past, all three form a bond none of them ever expected. Only a deep dark secret that happened during the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center finally catches up with Rory and he's left wondering what to do once again.

But more than that, will Rory be able to deal with Drew's mood swings, his temper tantrums, and his disregard for everyone? And will Drew finally come to terms with a secret of his own that's been haunting him for over ten years?
LGBT Literary Pioneer Patricia Nell Warren

The Lambda Literary Foundation is having an event to honor the pioneers of LGBT literature called OUTWRITE. The event will take place on Saturday, April 27, at the West Hollywood Public Library. Tickets are $85 and are on sale now, where you can purchase them at the link I'm providing below. Among the guests included will be author of "The Front Runner," one of my own personal favorites, Patricia Nell Warren.

Patricia Nell Warren – prodigious author, activist and journalist, known best for her novels The Front Runner, The Fancy Dancer and The Beauty Queen, the first of which inspired the gay and lesbian running clubs entitled FrontRunners across the nation. Warren has served as a constant inspiration to generations of LGBT writers.

She has, indeed, inspired me as a writer. "The Front Runner" was actually the first gay novel I ever read, and by then it had been out for a while. But, she's also inspired generations of readers, too. You can read more about this event here at the LLF web site. I've posted about her, but I've yet to review "The Front Runner," which is something I plan to rectify in the near future.

New Social Network "Pheed"

Grab your smelling salts, because there's now a brand new social media network out called "Pheed." You can check it out here, where they are promoting it as "A New Way To Express Yourself." Frankly, I think some should start thinking about how to tone down the ways they express themselves these days. But what do I know?

So far, the best explanation I came up with in a simple search for Pheed was wiki:

Pheed provides users with a unified platform for sharing all forms of digital content which includes text, photo, audio clips, voice notes, video, and live broadcast. Users can subscribe to other users’ channels and view their subscribed channels’ content in real time; they can ‘love’ or ‘heartache’ specific pheeds, hashtag and ‘pheedback,’ as well as share content from others’ channels to their own via a feature called ‘remix’ similar to a retweet. Users can search content via hashtags, and limit their search with filters that allow them to view specific content types (i.e. only photos, only videos, etc.).[

It sounds a little complicated, but I'm sure like most new social media it's not as complicated as it sounds. I will check it out myself, and I might even join because I'm prone to be addicted to these things. I'm on foursquare daily and I'm still not sure least not completely. I once got a free cupcake from a low end bakery, and a free cannoli from a cheesy restaurant. I'm still twirling my finger and yawning. But for the most part, foursquare is something that I do to freak a few local friends out by getting a lot of points in the middle of the night while they are sleeping.

The most interesting thing is that Pheed is monetized.

What differentiates it from other players in the space–aside from the fact that it seemingly streamlines the functionalities of companies like Kik and YouTube into a single service–is that it allows users to directly monetize their content. Users can opt to erect a paywall, charging anywhere from $1.99 to $34.99 monthly, or $1.99 to $34.99 per view of a specific piece of content.

But it’s not all about the monetization. “We’re by no means a premium website,” Mr. Kobo stressed. “We’re a website that simply offers the ability to monetize some things. If you want to share photos or do a live broadcast, monetization is simply a feature. We think it’s fair. We think it’s about time that content providers should own and monetize their content and not the platforms.”

I'm starting to see this in other places. And frankly, I'm not sure there's a pragmatic way to avoid the Internet continues to grow.

I honestly don't know enough about Pheed at this point to comment, but it does look different from other social media we've seen so a more sophisticated way that takes social media to another level of sleek, for lack of a better word right now. I once posted about how the TV industry was so primitive back in the 1950's and as it grew it became more professional all the way around. I think we're beginning to see signs of this happening with the Internet, and there's no turning back. Personally, I plan to move forward with each thing that comes along.

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