The Property Brothers
There's a TV show I watch often called, The Property Brothers, for various reasons, one of which is that Tony and I have always been interested in real estate and we've always been invested in real estate. Although Tony doesn't practice real estate professionally, he has his license in escrow and he got the license to know more about the business. When I'm not browsing through vicious vituperative publishing blogs for sport and sheer ridiculous entertainment, I'm perusing real estate web sites to see what's happening in the market.
For those who don't know, The Property Brothers is a TV show where identical twin brothers, Drew and Johnathan Scott, help people with the home buying experience. Drew is the realtor who helps the buyer find and purchase the home, and Johnathan is the licensed contractor who helps the new home owner renovate the home. I'm very critical about a lot of these shows on HGTV, and I've posted about that before. But I honestly have to admit that Johnathan Scott's designs and renovations are always something I could personally live with. I don't think I've ever seen him do anything stupid.
But, there's a lot we don't know about the Scott brothers, and this article I found talks about ten secrets you don't see posted everywhere.
Both Jonathan and Drew starred on the Canadian series Breaker High. Drew had a role on Smallville and Jonathan was on the X-Files! Not wanting to become “starving actors” they went into real estate. “During University we did our very first property, ended up flipping it--before flipping was a trend or cool. We did ended up making about a $50,000 dollar profit. We thought this was something, while still in college. We went back to school for construction and design and our company exploded and we were approached to do Property Brothers . . .”
As a side note, there's also a third Scott brother, J.D. Scott. He's an author and a performer, and I think he needs a show of his own. From the few things I have seen, he sounds outspoken, too.
Since very early on, JD has been the writer of their family. He has penned many scripts, stories and articles over the years. He was also the founding member of Canadian sketch comedy ensemble “YFG –Another Comedy Troupe” and a member of the internationally known “Loose Moose Improv”. JD has always embraced all forms of entertainment from acting to music. He has performed in Las Vegas at Caesar’s as a celebrity impersonator for superstars Adam Lambert and David Bowie. In the mid 90’s, the brothers began investing in real estate as a means to fund their production projects. Their first company, Dividian Production Group has since evolved into Scott Brothers Entertainment. JD has also directed a couple of festival films in recent years and heads up the creative team for their company.
(Update: Someone sent me this link about women in publishing in the UK and I thought it was important enough to add to this post.)
I always maintain that the world is run by straight men...even the publishing industry. In many ways gay men face the same kind of discrimination as women from straight men, often on a daily basis. I get it constantly. It's time for a change. Lesbian authors are now getting into self-publishing and some have been very successful. So when good friend in NY, Joanne, sent me an article about author Kiki Archer I had to post something about her.
Kiki Archer is a UK-based, best-selling, award-winning author. Her novels "But She Is My Student," its sequel "Instigations," and her latest offering "Binding Devotion," all quickly became bestsellers in their genre, and Kiki is now working on her fourth lesbian fiction novel, due out late 2013.
A former teacher, Kiki left the field of education to be a stay at home mum and it was during that time that she turned her hand to novel writing. She loves the outdoors, anything sporty, and can always be found biking, quading or rambling with her two children.
Kiki is an active advocate for equal rights for the LGBT community and believes strongly in the importance of coming out. She is very vocal in the defence of equal marriage and is confident that 'gay rights' will soon become a non issue.
I think lesbian fiction, like gay fiction, has been getting more attention in the past few years. Small e-presses like Ravenous Romance have published lesbian fiction, and I've seen others as well. But for a long time most lesbian fiction was much like gay fiction in the sense that authors and readers didn't have many choices. The small LGBT presses could only take on so many projects a year, and if a lesbian author was lucky enough to get into an anthology all she got was a flat fee and a free copy of the book. But now it seems as if lesbian authors are finding their voices in self-publishing as well. And the women readers I know personally are very excited about this. It also makes me wonder about the future of small presses, but that's another post.
I can't find a link to the article my friend sent me about Kiki Archer, but here's a link to Archer's web site where you can read more about her and her books. She's been number one on the bestseller Amazon UK list for lesbian fiction. My book, Chase of Lifetime, hit number one on the UK Amazon bestseller list for a few weeks when it was first released and that was a nice feeling because I didn't expect it from such a humble little venture. But with so many things changing in publishing these days, I'm starting to think that one of the best ways to go is self-publishing. At the very least, until you are lucky enough to get noticed by a huge publisher, you will always remain in complete control of your work. In other words, if your small publisher, like Loveyoudivine.com, decides to go out of business in a month's time, you won't be scrambling around like I am right now trying to get all your titles with them re-released as indie books. More to come on that topic very soon, too.
But for now I think it's important to recognize the excellent lesbian authors out there who are changing the world. If you have never read lesbian fiction, I urge you to begin with Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. This is not only a classic lesbian novel, but it's as relevant today as it was forty years ago.
Cowboy Sex Slaves
I saw a link the other night on social media from LGBT book reviewer Gerry Burnie about cowboys as sex slaves and I was amazed when I read it. I've written my share of cowboy stories. I'm familiar with the rodeo circuit because I grew up not far from here. And I even have a good friend who owns a dude ranch in Montana. But I never knew the extent of this.
Cowboys were heavily exploited and usually brutally treated until such time as they became able to beg, borrow, buy or steal a gun. They were used not only as cheap and disposable labor, but also for sexual release by older and stronger men. Such adult men used the pretext of a scarcity of women to establish enforced homosexual relationships in remote camps and ranches comparable to the relationships for which today's prisons are notorious.
It's a very eye-opening, compelling article. You can read more here. And now that I know about it, I'm going to try to research it more and tackle the topic in the future in my own gay romance.