New Release: WHEN HARRY MET SAL…


This is the release day for a new book, WHEN HARRY MET SAL. I’m posting a synopsis below, but I wanted to clarify what motivated me to write this book.

There was a time not too long ago when minority groups rarely ever had the chance to read a book, watch a TV show, or go to a movie where they could actually identify with the characters. At least not in the mainstream. In “old Hollywood,” Asian characters were portrayed in films by Caucasians made up to look like Asians. Black face was used all the time and no one ever got upset. And this pop culture fact of life was evident in the LGBT community. And it’s still evident. The LGBT characters I see or read about are always people who do not represent me or the LGBT people that I know, and they are usually written by people who know nothing about what it’s like to be LGBT.

There are a lot of good things being produced and written out there right now, especially in romance. But still, for the most part, I don’t think that there are enough characters out there that represent who we, the LGBT community, really are. And while the books I write are romance novels, with steamy scenes and happy endings, I also draw upon my own personal life experiences to create the characters and situations. I’m gay. I have been all my life and that’s how I’ll die. So I know what I’m talking about when it comes to being gay. I’m nothing like the characters on “Will and Grace,” and neither are any of my gay friends. I don’t have a fag hag, and neither do any of my friends. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point.

So when I write books based on mainstream movie titles like “When Harry Met Sally,” what I’m really doing is making a strong statement that says I’d like to see a movie about WHEN HARRY MET SAL for a change instead of what I’ve been seeing for most of my life. This isn’t fan-fic. This is more like “what-if-fic.”

Synopsis

When Harry Beckham’s best friend asks him to drive her new, casual boyfriend, Sal Sorentino, from California to New York, Harry never expected they’d wind up as lovers their first night on the road. Harry just assumes that Sal is straight, and Harry already has a boyfriend of his own back in San Francisco.


But when Sal explains that he’s bisexual and that he’s extremely attracted to Harry, everything changes. Harry tries to resist the mutual attraction, but all it takes is one simple kiss and they both wind up having the best sex of their lives on a cross country road trip.

When they reach New York, they agree to go their separate ways and forget about each other. Harry becomes a well known designer who does national talk shows, and Sal becomes a professional poker player who lives in a mansion and owns a pet pig named Dolly. And by the time they meet up again seven years later, their lives have changed completely.

But that doesn’t stop the passionate physical connection between them from surfacing again. Though all the odds seem to be against them, their physical relationship evolves into mutual love and respect. And this unyielding love they feel for each other turns out to be stronger than anything they could have imagined.

Comment Moderation For a While…

Unfortunately, I had to start moderating comments. I have one of those sneaky little blog trolls with too much time and not enough balls to leave his or her name.

I hate losing anonymous comments on my blog. But due to the fact that this blog focuses heavily on LGBT content, and I’m an openly gay writer, I can’t say that I’m surprised. I was expecting it.

I’ll reopen the thread to everyone in a few weeks. And if the troll returns, I may even have a little fun.

A New Review for TAKE ME ALWAYS…

I’m posting this review for TAKE ME ALWAYS because this is one of those times that a reviewer picked up on all the things I had hoped someone would see while reading this book. Though it’s loosely based on “The Notebook,” in a large sense this is the “Gay Notebook” that was never written by anyone. The characters are loosely based on older gay couples that I’ve personally known who have had to deal with aging and nursing homes. These are men and women who have never been able to legally wed, but they’ve remained in love, committed to each other, and have remained with each other right to the very end.

But this book is still a romance with a happy ending. Which made it difficult to write at times. And in the end, even though life itself can be extremely difficult, love truly does conquer all.

A New Book is Being Released This Weekend, WHEN HARRY MET SAL

I’m not going to make this a long post. I’ll write more about this book next week. It hasn’t been released yet. But today I received the cover art and couldn’t wait to post something.
Here’s a fast plot description: Two complete strangers meet in San Francisco and wind up taking a cross country trip together. On the way to New York, they wind up having a passionate affair. When they reach New York, they go their separate ways. Then, a few years later, they hook up accidentally and begin where they loft off. One is a famous decorator to the stars, and the other is a rough professional poker player on the circuit. They are complete opposites in almost every way, except for the fact that they can’t help falling in love with each other.

Showing and Telling…

I hate linking to bloggers I don’t know well. I read this blog often, but I don’t know the author and he’s not a fan of my blog or my work. But when I see something absolutely perfect I like to share and I don’t give a damn about blog fans or anything else. Good stuff deserves credit. And this is fantastic.

Period.

I’m posting this link because I have a lot of book fans e-mailing me about what they are writing. And I always see the same mistakes when it comes to showing and telling. So here’s the link. It’s simple and easy to understand.

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/09/showing-vs-telling.html

LGBT Classics…

Last week a blogging buddy, Eirik, sent an e-mail asking about LGBT books. He was interested in reading a few new books, and asked my opinion about some of the books I’ve read.

So I came up with a short list of older books that I personally think are classics in both LGBT literature and in the LGBT community as a whole. These books were written before there even was a a genre called LGBT. The genre used to be gay/lesbian…the B’s and T’s were either completely left out or they were considered part of the “group.” But as the genre has evolved, anyone who is informed now refers to it as LGBT.

These books are classics. There was a time, before the Internet, that books like these kept members of the very silent LGBT community sane. I’m not exaggerating on this either. Reading books like this helped LGBT men and women identify and come to terms. In many cases, it helped them accept who they are and showed them that there were other people out there just like them.

In many ways, and in many places, things haven’t changed all that much. It’s not all like we see it on TV and in Hollywood. It would be nice if it were, but it’s not. And books are still helping the LGBT community come to terms with who they are. Below are three that left long lasting impressions on me, as a gay man.

GIOVANNI’S ROOM James Baldwin

DANCER FROM THE DANCE by Andrew Holleran

THE FRONTRUNNER Patricia Nell Warren

Ravenous Romance is now a Customer Pick on HSN

I thought I’d post this today. Earlier last week the authors of ravenousromance.com were featured in a first time ever event for romance books, on HSN. The segment was called “Escape to Romance,” and it looks like it was a huge hit.

Here’s a link to the HSN web site where you can read more: http://electronics.hsn.com/escape-with-romance-exclusive-6-book-collection_p-5700283_xp.aspx?webm_id=5700283&web_id=5700287&ocm=sekwcust_picks&cm_re=merchzone_carousel*page1_spot1_image*merchzones

Lunch with Elisa Rolle, Book Reviewer

For the past few days I have been following the blog posts of M/M book reviewer, Elisa Rolle. I saw that she was in the US on vacation, touring the east coast, and I contacted her about possibly meeting in person.

To my surprise, she accepted an invitation to meet me at my home on her way back to New York, from the Baltimore Washington area. Then we started private messaging each other through livejournal.com, where we both have blogs. For some reason, my AOL account kept bouncing back all the e-mails I was sending her and I didn’t want to miss out on a chance to meet her in person. I was so determined that I actually posted my home address and phone number on her comment thread, knowing I should not do something like this on the Internet. Thankfully, when she saw it, she covered it up.

I don’t remember exactly how long ago it was, but I met Elisa, online, through a review she’d written about a short story I wrote. The short story is titled, “Irene’s Cabin,” and it was published in an anthology by Alyson Books a few years ago. The story was a romance; the characters were totally in love and there was a very happy ending. And Elisa seemed to like it, so I thanked her in the comment thread.

After that, I started reading her blog regularly. I liked her taste in books and I’m always looking for good recommendations when it comes to my own personal reading. We seemed to connect through the comment thread and we built a nice online friendship without even realizing we were doing it.

This past year I did in in-depth interview with Elisa and I published it here and on gayagenda.com. The questions were geared toward M/M fiction and book reviewing, but the answers I received were detailed and smart. I gained an even stronger respect for Elisa after that interview. I also learned a few things I didn’t expect to learn.

I never, not in a million years, thought I’d get a chance to meet her in person unless I actually went to Padua and visited her myself. But it happened today. She pulled into my driveway at one o’clock this afternoon, she sat in my living room and we talked, and then we went out to a restaurant and had lunch.

Elisa was traveling with a good friend, Alessandra, who was doing all the driving and all the navigating. I was amazed to hear how much ground they covered while in the US. They drove between Mt. Desert Island in Maine and Virginia in a record two weeks time. We talked about books, about authors, and about publishers. We probably bored poor Alessandra to death. But the time passed too quickly. When we arrived in the restaurant, the room was filled. By the time we left, we were the last people left from the lunch crowd.

Online friendships can be simple or complicated. It’s an entirely different way of connecting and communicating. I’ve worked for editors for years that I’ve never met in person. I’ve never actually met my own agent. My friend, Ryan, has been an online friend forever, and I’ve never actually met him in person, either. But yet I feel as if I know these people. And that’s exactly how it was with Elisa. I only wish the time we had this afternoon hadn’t passed so quickly.

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