Month: October 2010


Here’s a preview of the cover for my new book, RICKY’S BUSINESS. It’s a gay version of the l980’s Tom Cruise movie, Risky Business. Although I made quite a few changes and set the story in present times, I tried to capture the same innocence the main character in the original movie had. Only this time I did it with two gay men, and the twist in the story is that Ricky lives in a suburban town in Northern New Jersey, where eighteen year old high school seniors do not have the freedom to admit they are gay, experience a normal adolescence, and enjoy the same youth experiences straight eighteen year old high school seniors have. And in light of the recent suicides among young gay people, I don’t think I’m far off base. Besides, a lot of what I wrote was based on my own personal experience.

Clint McCance: Arkansas School Board Member – Doesn’t Get Much Worse than this!

I read this earlier this morning. Shocked doesn’t even describe how I feel. It’s doesn’t get much worse than this, and in public no less. You have to wonder what’s motivating this loon. Below is a quote from The Daily News. Just click and you’ll be directed to the link.

A small town in Arkansas is up in arms after an elected school board member went on an anti-gay tirade on Facebook and declared that he wanted homosexuals to kill themselves.Read more:

Rocky Horror = Glee Fail

In l978, when I was about seven years old, my older sister took me to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She was supposed to be babysitting me at home, but decided to sneak out with her friends to see Rocky Horror at The Village Gate Theater in Greenwich Village, without permission.

I had no idea what I was going to see. I heard Rocky Horror and I was worried it would be a scary film. What did I know? I was seven. I don’t even know if kids were allowed inside that night. But we slipped in with the crowd anyway and no one said a word.

I honestly didn’t remember much about the film itself, because the audience keep me more than entertained. At that time, people dressed in character to see Rocky Horror, and they took it very seriously. And when the film started and everyone in the audience spoke along with the actors in the film, I was mesmerized. They sang the songs, they threw water, they lit candles and cigarette lighters during certain scenes. By the time we left, I was soaked and covered with popcorn.

Of course when my mother found out my sister had taken me there, my sister was seriously grounded. I didn’t understand why, though. To this day, I don’t remember anything obscene about the film. Different, yes. But not obscene. And I don’t think it affected me much one way or the other, except for the fact that it was the first time I saw a transvestite in a movie. And, I haven’t seen many transvestites in movies since then.

So when I heard Glee was doing a Rocky Horror show, I couldn’t wait to see it. As usual, the performances were great. I’m never disappointed in how Glee puts it all together. But I was disappointed when no one wanted to play the part of the transvestite. I would have thought the part, though a bit cliche for him, would have been perfect for Curt. And being that his character is so open and political about standing up for what he believes in, I would have thought he’d jump at a chance to play one of the most famous transvestites in the history of film. But he declined, with what I thought was a lame excuse. And then everyone else declined, including John Stamos, which didn’t surprise me at all. He’s too macho; he’s too cool (smile). Only he’s not too cool to wear a transvestite costume in the privacy of his own bedroom. What was that all about?

Ultimately, when the girl (can’t remember her name) asked to play the part of the transvestite, I felt like switching to another channel. I know they handled it well, and played upon our emotions by giving her the part because she’d always wanted to play a lead role. But it was more than disappointing, especially for a show that always seems to be on top of their game when it comes to the LGBT community. But this time I felt manipulated, as if they were trying to pull something over on me. Once again, I felt as if the T in LGBT had been pushed aside. And as a gay man who has never even worn drag for Halloween because I’m so conservative, I think that says something about how the T folks probably felt last night. Let’s face it, any of those talented guys could have played the transvestite. Patrick Swayze did it once, and very well, too. But the Glee guys opted out with some very lame excuses. And even if the kids felt awkward about doing this, the teacher should have stepped up and taken the part himself.

The way they handled whether or not it was even appropriate for high school kids to do Rocky Horror seemed to be valid at first. It was real. But maybe a little too real? Schools in TV shows like Glee are nothing like real schools as far as teachers and administration are concerned. And what people love most is that shows like Glee are so unrealistic and exaggerated. But all that going back and forth about morals and ethics, and then the blond kid says he’s worried about his “nuttage” showing, seemed just as lame as Curt’s excuse for not wanting to be a transvestite.

The hard part, for me, was that the performances were excellent and yet the storyline was so weak. I’m not sure if that was really John Stamos singing, but even he came off looking good, which says a lot. And if they hadn’t been so cowardly with the transvestite part, I wouldn’t even be writing this post and titling it “Gleefail.”

Evidently, I wasn’t the only one who thought this was Gleefail. In this post, someone even goes so far as to say: “But Glee would have trouble addressing this issue (transvestites) without it taking over the show and making it no longer “family fun” or whatever, so it mostly just decides to toss in some jokes about transsexuals and call it a day. It’s more offensive than if the show had simply ignored the whole thing to begin with.”

Check Out Paul Richmond’s Blog This Week…

It’s not a secret that I’m a huge fan of artist Paul Richmond.

He has a new blog post up about his new book, CHEESECAKE BOYS, with info, the foreword, and a few teasers. I can’t think of a better Christmas gift, birthday gift, or self-indulgence. There’s going to be a copy of this book on my coffee table for sure.

I especially like one line in particular from the foreword, written by Jesse Archer :

Although not (yet) on the side of bombers, gay men possess our own power in both confronting and resisting traditional ideas about what it means to be men.

This is one of those things where you have to be a gay man to understand it fully. I try to get this point across in my books by showing it through characters, and sometimes I get blasted for it by reviewers who simply do not understand. There’s one reviewer in particular on a popular romance review site. She’s a lesbian, she’s loud, and she doesn’t always “get” the concept of gay men in a general sense. So it’s nice to see someone else putting this concept out for a change.

Thank you, Mr. Archer.

And thank you, Paul, for creating such wonderful art.


I know it’s not even Halloween yet, and I’m usually the first one to complain when stores start pushing the seasons too fast. But I’ve been working on this sequel to DOWN THE BASEMENT so it will be ready for the Christmas season and I just received the cover art for it. I didn’t do anything Christmassy for Ravenous Romance this year, but I did want to get something out for the holidays for the people who have been asking me about it.

As I said this is the sequel, titled, DOWN THE BASEMENT II: SANTA SATURDAY. It is twice as long as the first story (13,000 words), which was originally pubbed in a Cleis Press Anthology that went on to win a Lambda Award that year. And this one is original and has never been pubbed before by anyone. I’ll post more when the book is released. Just wanted to share the image now.

Speaking of Agent Blogs, Here’s a Post You Shouldn’t Miss

If you are an author searching for an agent, please read this post. I often post about unusual information I read on Internet Agent Blogs. But I never go into details because I don’t want to sound like I’m ranting. This post I’m linking to is not only great, it does all the ranting for me.

The gist of the post, for me, was that you have to take all the information you read on agent blogs…or any publishing blog, including mine…and decide whether or not this information is right for you.

I’ve been following this agent blogger for a long time and I can safely say I’ve never received any bad advice there. I even e-mailed her in private a few times several years ago, and she offered me free private advice without asking for anything in return.

It’s. Worth. Reading.

In Praise of The Rainbow Awards…

I just received an e-mail about The Rainbow Awards. The deadline for reading books is November 30th, which means the awards are moving forward and all the fun is about to begin.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge supporter of these awards. And not just because Elisa Rolle is a genuine, decent, honest person who works very hard on this project. But for various reasons, one of which is that *everyone* is allowed to participate in The Rainbow Awards.

This means that straight women and straight men who write m/m romance and other lgbt books are not left out. I’ve also been a huge supporter in this area, too, because I sincerely believe that everyone should have the opportunity to write in any genre in which they choose to write. Some people have told me I shouldn’t be so vocal about it. But for me this is basic. And with The Rainbow Awards all authors are given the opportunity to participate, which is something we should all be proud of in these times of fighting for equal rights and tolerance.

I’ll keep posting when I get new updates on The Rainbow Awards. For now, things are moving along very well from what I’m told.

About Facebook and Book Promotions…

If you’re like me, you usually check out facebook a few times a day to see what’s going on, to see what your friends are doing and to post something you hope might be interesting. By accident I happened to be one of the first people ever to join facebook. I started my page when no one even knew what facebook was, thanks to a very tech savvy friend of mine named Jonathan who writes some great YA fiction.

And in this time period I’ve met some great people. I’ve learned a great deal, too. But there are also a few things about facebook I don’t understand. One of which are these group notices I receive from people I don’t even know. I see them in my in-box all the time. The subject line reads something like this, “Betty Jane, Jim Bob, and Ethel Mertz have invited you…” Most often, these are requests from other authors regarding events they are having to promote their books. Some are blogging events, some are free give-aways. And nine times out of ten they aren’t valid requests from friends, they are publicity stunts geared to snag you into buying something.

The problem with this is two-fold. One, like most people I’m usually too busy to check out any events other than those I find are extremely important. As an author, I don’t do this to my facebook friends because I don’t want to bother them or disrupt their busy days. What I prefer to do is just post information about book releases and let people decide for themselves whether or not they want to read my books or stories. If people have questions…and they do…I’m always there to answer them either with this blog or through a personal e-mail. The second problem with these invitations is that most people who are sending them out aren’t famous enough to make other people care. I’m not being snarky now; just realistic. In other words, if one of the famous people I’m following sends me an invitation for some type of event, the odds are I’ll at least check it out. And only if I’m not too busy and it’s something that really makes me curious. But if I’ve never heard of you, I’m just going to delete the message without opening it. And if I see it there repeatedly, I’m hopping over to facebook and blocking you from my account.

So for all those out there who are sending out facebook invitations to events and book promotions, you might want to re-think your strategy. Most people are on facebook to have fun, not get frustrated. This is just a suggestion; you don’t have to listen to me. It’s just that there’s this thin line between aggressive and obnoxious when it comes to self-promotion, and I’d hate to see you turn potential readers off just because you think it’s the right thing to do or you don’t understand how facebook operates. And lets face it, no one’s really going to tell you this out loud. Your friends will see these things, snort a few times behind your back, and just delete the invitation. And you run the risk of annoying people instead of attracting them.

We want information about your books. We really do. We just don’t want you to hit us over the head with a sledge hammer while you’re telling us about them.