Month: November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the US. And millions of people will be yanking on turkey necks and shoving stuffing up a turkey’s butt at an ungodly hour. And I’ll be joining them. I have twelve people coming for dinner, which is half the amount I had last year at my home. But I’ll still be up at six in the morning to get that turkey into the oven and trying once again to figure out how long it should remain there. If I remember correctly, it’s like twenty minutes per pound. (Or per person: I don’t cook often; I have cook books.)

But I have a lot to be thankful for in my life, and I try to stay on top of this as much as I can. And though I don’t need a specific day to remind me of how thankful I am, it’s nice to know there is a specific day in case I ever forget.

And no, this isn’t an actual photo of me holding a turkey neck. I pilfered it from a web site I’d googled by doing a search for “Thanksgiving Photos.” First, I’d never have tacky curtains like that in my kitchen, thank you. Second, I usually just yank that ugly neck thing out while it’s still wrapped in paper, hold my nose, and throw it away as fast as I can (smile).

New Excerpt From Ricky’s Business

I always like to post an excerpt that hasn’t been posted anywhere before. So here’s an excerpt from Ricky’s Business that hasn’t been posted on any web sites or by any online e-book retailers. This is a scene from Chatper Four, where a she-male escort shows up at Ricky’s door and Ricky’s not sure what to do next. I edited a few parts, because this is a pg rated blog. But I like the fact that these parts don’t need to be in the book in order to have a storyline.

Later that night, the doorbell rang and Ricky’s entire body froze. It was one of those long drawn out bells that sounded like the chimes in Westminster Abby. He was sprawled out across his bed sideways, legs together, toes pointed, and back arched. No one ever knocked on the front door after nine o’clock at night. There was an unwritten law about that sort of thing in the suburbs.

The only light in the house came from a small gooseneck lamp on his desk. He jumped out of bed, pulled his jeans up and packed his erection to the right. He squinted and scowled; he was sensitive because he’d been on the verge. When he went to the closet to choose a shirt, he decided on a long, loose polo that would cover his crotch. All this fuss just to answer the door.

At first, he had no idea who could be ringing the bell. Everyone knew his mother and father were out of town. He doubted it was Leyland. Then, on his way downstairs, he remembered the phone call Leyland had made to the male prostitute earlier that night. Oh, it had to be the male prostitute. When he reached the front hallway and the bell rang again, he felt a sharp thud in his stomach, as if someone had just punched him.

He reached for the doorknob and asked, “Who’s there?” with a timid voice. He’d thought about not answering and pretending no one was home. But that wouldn’t have been right. Leyland had made the call and this person had come all the way out to New Jersey for nothing.

“It’s Dawn,” a deep voice said. “I’m the one you called earlier.”

Ricky took a deep breath and blinked. He’d been under the impression Leyland had called a male prostitute, not a female. “Dawn?”

“That’s what I said, honey.”

It sounded like a man. But what man calls himself Dawn? So Ricky opened the door slowly. When he looked up his head jerked back and his eyes popped. Standing in his doorway, in the middle of his neat, cookie cutter sub-division, was the tallest, blondest she-male he’d ever seen. Actually, it was the only she-male he’d ever seen in person, up close. Dawn wore a black knitted mini-dress that hugged every curve in his body, tall black stilettos, and a long brassy blond wig. His thick, long masculine fingers were tipped with long red nails that curved down like commas, his pierced ears had long dangling clusters of rhinestones, and his mouth was bathed in ruby red lip gloss.

Facebook Account Update and Comments About Book Piracy

First, my facebook account was just enabled again…after being disabled for twenty four hours for no apparent reason. Evidently, there’s no clear cut reason why this happens and to be honest I’m not taking the time to pursue it. It’s back up and running, and that’s all I care about. As much as I do enjoy facebook, I can also live without it if I have to. And in the grand scheme of my life, facebook isn’t all that significant.

I’d also like to thank the people who have been commenting on a post I wrote about book pirates. I’m learning a lot of things I didn’t know, especially about what motivates people to pirate books. In many ways this is a difficult position for an author, because the people pirating the books are fans. So I’m learning a lot I didn’t know, and I encourage anyone to comment on the topic.

Facebook: WHY WAS MY ACCOUNT DISABLED?

I just logged into my main facebook account and found it was disabled for no apparent reason. I didn’t receive a warning, and I know I’ve never violated any of their rules. My facebook page is like this blog: pg rated and I never post anything offensive, crude, or insulting.

So if you’re looking for me on facebook, I still have another page I don’t focus on as much, under the name Ryan Field. Feel free to send me a friend request while I work on getting to the bottom of why my main account was disabled. And you can follow my author page at “Books by Ryan Field,” which I update often.

Now I’m going back to let a few facebook friends know what happened so they don’t think I defriended them.

Ricky’s Business: Cover Copy and Link to Excerpt

One of the things I try to do is post as much info about my books as possible. I want readers to know what they are buying, without questions. So I’m adding the synopsis from ARe, and a link with a long excerpt right here. The excerpt, in fact, is almost the entire first chapter, which should be enough to get a feel of where the book is going and what the main character is like. I also like the way ARe (allromanceebooks) adds word count information and reviews.

And if there are any questions, please feel free to e-mail me. My address is at the top of this blog and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions.

When young Ricky Daley’s parents leave him home alone for the first time, what happens during the course of one week transforms him from a timid boy taking SAT tests to a confident man making adult choices. Although he’s always played by the rules, deep down he’s always wanted to take a few chances and live on the edge. And though his parents are determined to get him into an Ivy League college, he’s more interested going to a local college and meeting the man of his dreams.

Ricky seems to have it all: great looks, excellent grades, and athletic ability. Only he spends his free time with his best friend, Leyland, a hapless gay guy in Ricky’s senior class who is just as frustrated as Ricky is, playing canasta while daydreaming about the men they’d love to meet. For Leyland, any man from the neighborhood UPS guy to the high school football coach will do. But for Ricky, it’s more detailed and emotional. He wants love and romance and someone upon which he can depend. The man of his dreams is dark, with a deep, smooth voice, and he looks like Keanu Reeves.

Then Ricky decides it’s time to let loose and have some fun. At first, it’s just a few harmless incidents, like taking his father’s car out without permission and putting on an X-rated male strip show for his Peeping Tom neighbor in the back yard. But Ricky has no idea all this is leading up to a date with a guy who is even better than the man of his dreams, an unusual encounter with a pimp named Carson, and a lucrative one-night business venture that will surpass anything he’s ever learned in his high school entrepreneurship class…

About Book Pirates, the Quality of Books, and Better Back Cover Copy for Readers

Below is a recent comment left by a reader regarding an older post I wrote about book pirates. I replied to the comment as best I could. Since I wrote that particular post, I’ve learned a lot about why readers pirate books and I probably wouldn’t have been as blunt as I was. And frankly, I didn’t totally disagree with the recent comment and I’d like to thank this person for leaving it. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this kind of honest, constructive feedback. I hate to hear readers feel as if they’ve been ripped off. I don’t like to feel that way myself, especially because I know and understand that buying e-books isn’t inexpensive.

In my reply, I hope I’ve offered a solution for readers who aren’t sure about purchasing books. I know this is what I do when I’m not sure about making a book purchase. In many ways, it’s a valid concern all readers have. But I don’t think piracy is the answer.

Communication is the answer, at least it seems to be in this particular case. And I know that the next time I write back cover copy for my next book, I’m going to be taking this reader’s opinion very seriously so I get it right.

Comment:

Anonymous said…
Piracy works both ways. I’ve bought too many ebooks that all ended up like something my teenage daughter could write for her English assignment.And yes of course their covers and blurbs were enticing enough hence why I bought them, but they ended up supremely disappointing, I felt cheated. Even free slash fiction/gay fiction writers write better. :/ The sad thing is some of these authors often have awesome previous work, but seemed to now bow down to the simplified money-making machine by cranking out subpar works. And while their prices may seem like peanuts to you guys, for the rest of us in other parts of the world, it’s still expensive.If quality of writing went up, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay up front. Lord knows there are plenty of free works online that I’d happily pay for simply because the authors actually put real effort into them. But while it still remains hopelessly juvenile and formulaic, I really have no choice but to screen them first before spending. I don’t believe covers and book jacket descriptions anymore.


My reply:

ryan field said…
Anon…I can’t comment on the quality of books, but I know for a fact no one writes a book, takes the time to publish it and promote it, and puts that much time into something with the thought process they will be stealing money from readers. That’s just not how it works. Whether or not you like the book is another matter. But no author or publisher is intentionally trying to pirate your money. Frankly, I’m not thrilled with a lot of books I’ve read, or for that matter films I’ve seen and television shows that leave me wondering what producers are thinking. But I still pay my cable bill each month and I’m not downloading free movies. My suggestion to you is that if you have any questions about a book, contact the author. I just wrote a blog post about this topic and welcome all questions from readers who are thinking about buying my books but aren’t sure. I can’t speak for all authors, but I’m more than willing to explain or answer questions. And please take the time to research before you buy. I always post more info about books on my blog than readers see on back cover copy and book covers. I even post excerpts from the book that aren’t part of the back cover copy. And I do this for the very reason you feel you’re being ripped off: so readers know what they are buying. Check out e-book online retailers like allromanceebooks.com or fictionwise.com. You will get the first chapter of the book for free, in most cases, and if you can’t tell whether or not you like a book by reading the first chapter, it’s most likely not the book for you.
November 21, 2010 11:56 AM


New Christmas Release: DOWN THE BASEMENT II: SANTA SATURDAY

I just opened an e-mail…thanks allromanceebooks.com…informing me DOWN THE BASEMENT II: SANTA SATURDAY has been released. I know it’s early and we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet, but I think people like to prepare ahead of time when they are planning their Christmas reading list. So I’m glad it’s out now, instead of two weeks from now.
This sequel to the Lambda Award winning short story, DOWN THE BASEMENT, is a novella that takes the two main characters to another level of romance. It’s very erotic and the characters have an unusual relationship. But there is a lot more love and romance in this sequel than there was in the first story. The allromanceebooks link I posted above gives detailed information, plus an excerpt. The book is also available at many other retail e-book sites, including amazon and www.loveyoudivine.com And if anyone has any questions, feel free to e-mail me. You’d be surprised how many readers do ask me what books are about, and I don’t mind answering their questions. I’d rather someone know exactly what they are buying and not be disappointed in discovering it was something entirely different than they thought it was.
I’d also love to thank Dalia Craig for being the managing editor, Dawne Dominique for creating a wonderful cover, and Janet, my wonderful editor at LYD for taking time to work on this with me while she’s been going through a personal life crisis.

One Reason I Enjoy Facebook

This was posted by a friend of mine on facebook. Though I’ve never met this person, I feel as if I’ve known her for a long time through facebook. She posted this youtube video of her daughter singing, which I thought was very good!!

I wanted to post something like this on “National Unfriend Day,” for people who are only looking to keep facebook friends and family they know, which to me defeats the entire purpose of a broad social network. I’ve never met this woman or her daughter in person. But I’m glad I did meet them through facebook.

The Future of Libraries…New Hope, PA

This week I read in my local newspaper, The Bucks County Herald, there’s a new developer trying to buy prime real estate in New Hope, PA, in order to build a new 4 million dollar library that will be surrounded by new condos. The property he wants to buy is only three acres, with a grand old mansion that’s filled with local history. The links above provide more information.

New Hope has always been a small tourist attraction with a diverse community of artists, writers, actors, and creative types. Because of the location, it attracts New Yorkers, Philadelphians, and everyone in between. Some come from all over the world. The theater history goes back to the mid-twentieth century with the Bucks County Playhouse, and it’s still not uncommon to see Barbra Streisand walking through town, among other celebrities, at certain times of the year.

But New Hope is still a small town, and I couldn’t help wondering about building a new library for millions of dollars. Tourists don’t come here for the library, they come for the attractions. In the past, I always frequented the library. As an author, I did research, had my name on lists for the newest book releases, and kept my library card as up to date as I keep my driver’s license. But in all honesty, I haven’t been to the library in years. I do my research online, I order my e-books online, and I don’t even bother with DVD’s anymore. I just order movies On-Demand. If I need copies of something…once or twice a year now…I go to the UPS store.

I’ve read different articles on the future of libraries in general and no one seems to be taking a firm stand one way or the other. In large cities, I’ve heard reports that public libraries have become more like community centers, where people can come in out of the summer heat and winter cold to use computers and socialize with each other. In small towns like New Hope, the only people I know who actually go to the library anymore are older people who wouldn’t know a blackberry communication device from a blackberry pie. But I can’t even say it’s an age thing, because my 77 year old mother has stopped going to the library completely and now reads all her books on an ipad. And so do most of her friends.

At this point, I don’t think anyone can predict the future of libraries. I wouldn’t even try to make a prediction like this. And I still love libraries, even though I don’t go anymore. I’m hoping for a compromise. A lot of people believe libraries will evolve into research and learning centers…much like what’s now happening in large city libraries where people use them as community centers. Which would be nice in concept. This way we don’t lose the beloved tradition of the public library. We just help it evolve into something different, which will benefit everyone in the community.

But I do think that before any small community decides to take the advice of a property developer with a personal agenda, who is promoting an expensive new libraray along with his brand new condos, that community should take the time to do a little research about the future of libraries (or community learning centers) before they make any definite commitments.

Release Day: RICKY’S BUSINESS

Today is the release day for my new m/m romance, RICKY’S BUSINESS. This one is based loosely on the 1980’s film, “Risky Business,” starring Tom Cruise. You can read more about it here. And I’m sure it will be released on all the well known online e-book stores as well as amazon.

But I always like to post a little back story here on the blog so people know what they are buying. Although the book is not exactly like the movie, I do like to point out that when I write books like this it’s not about fan fiction. If anything, it’s about giving lgbt readers a taste of what the mainstream public gets all the time and takes for granted. In the past twenty years I can list a handful of pop culture lgbt oriented books and films that were for the mainstream. For the most part, if gay men and women wanted to read about other gay men and women, they were given very little choices. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the “artsy fartsy” literary books written for the lgbt community. And I usually find most gay films lacking something important in more than one way. I prefer pop culture. So this is my take on an old storyline that could have worked well if it had been originally written for two gay men, or two gay women.