Month: December 2016

Gay Man, Lawsuit For Pride Nudity, Suicide; Another London Gay Club Closes; Ten Gay Films of 2016

Gay Man, Lawsuit For Pride Nudity, Suicide

When I saw this story I immediately felt sorry for the gay man who allegedly committed suicide. Then I noticed how many reactions there were to this story. It’s amazing how people will comment on something on social media without knowing all the facts. Some don’t even read the article. They only read the title. Don’t be that person.

A young gay man named Will X Walters was arrested at San Diego Pride in 2011 for wearing an outfit that allegedly exposed part of his bare buttocks. It started out as a misdemeanor, but then Walters refused to sign the misdemeanor based on principle. Walters claimed that he wasn’t naked and that he was being discriminated against. That’s the gist of it, but there’s nothing uncomplicated about this story.

Ultimately, Walters sued the police. That dragged on for five years, which lawsuits like that tend to do, and he wound up losing the case anyway. His legal costs reached one million dollars.

Then this happened…

On Wednesday, Walters’ body was found at his apartment in Hillcrest, San Diego.
It’s not yet known how long his body had lain their undiscovered, but his attorney, Chris Morris, says he had not spoken to him since the 13 December jury ruling.
Morris said that Walters had been left ‘shocked’ by the failure of his lawsuit. His legal team say that the case had racked up $1million in costs for Walters.
Authorities believe that he committed suicide.

You can read the rest here. As complicated as this story is, I think any gay man alive who has ever been discriminated against by the police will understand what happened here. And as sad as this is, it continues to happen all the time. The comments are interesting.

Another London Gay Club Closes

Sadly, this also continues to happen…

Kazbar, a beloved gay venue in Clapham, London, has announced it is closing in a post on their official Facebook page.
The anonymous post reads: ‘After 20 years of being the iconic gay bar of South London, we regret to inform you that we will be closing down this year.’
The post adds that the bar’s last day of trading will be 1 January 2017.

Here’s the rest. The closure is due to an alleged rent increase.

Ten Gay Films of 2016

Here’s a list of ten gay films that were released in 2016. It should come as no surprise that James Franco had a lot to do with this.

I saw a few of them, and I especially loved this one, Tab Hunter Confidential.

The documentary spotlights former matinee idol Tab Hunter, a squeaky-clean hunk that charmed America with his good looks, crooning voice and appearances in over 40 movies. Hunter, however, had to hide his sexuality during most of his Hollywood days before changing tastes coupled with age thrust him into obscurity.
Tab Hunter Confidential suffers from loving its subject a bit too much. The film totally ignores Hunter’s vocal opposition to marriage equality in the 2000s and bashes Hunter’s ex-boyfriend and fellow closet case Anthony Perkins. That said, it does shed light on the era of closeted Hollywood, the fickleness of showbiz, and just how far LGBTQ has advanced.
You can read the rest here. It was a good documentary and I don’t think it was disingenuous. 
There are a few films on the list I haven’t seen yet, like King Cobra. I’m not sure I’ll bother to see that one. 
Uncertainty

A Gay New Adult Erotic Romance 

In Digital or Paperback 

  “The characters are wonderful and each bring a beautiful light to the story.”  

-Unsolicited Amazon Customer Review

Robin Williams Turned Down For Harry Potter Film; Conor Kennedy Defends Gay Friend; 2016 Sex Scandals

Robin Williams Was Turned Down For Harry Potter Film

First, I loved Robin Williams. I was a huge fan of his, and all of his films. He truly was one of the best. 

However, when I read this article about why he was turned down for roles in Harry Potter, I couldn’t help thinking about the many times I’ve posted about gay actors who have been turned down for gay roles in Hollywood. Openly gay John Barrowan was turned down for the part of Will in Will and Grace. Hollywood gave the part of Will to a straight actor, so that he could play gayface. I don’t think it’s a matter of whether or not an actor can play a particular role. Eric McCormack did a wonderful job in Will and Grace and I do think that Will and Grace was a great show for its time. But I hope we’ve moved on since then. I think it’s more about cultural appropriation and respect to the minority nowadays. If you’re coming from a place of privilege you may or may not get that. But anyone who is part of a minority will get it.

And this was interesting…

When it comes to Harry Potter, a slew of iconic actors have donned wizarding robes for the film franchise. Actors like Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, and even Maggie Smith have all starred in the critically acclaimed series. However, you may have noticed something about the films’ cast; All of the talent is British. Author JK Rowling and the team behind Harry Potter at Warner Bros. were insistent that all talent in the films were British. Of course, most fans were and still are pleased with that decision, but there are a few who likely resented the decision.

“Robin [Williams] had called [director Chris Columbus] because he really wanted to be in the movie, but it was a British-only edict, and once he said no to Robin, he wasn’t going to say yes to anybody else, that’s for sure,” she revealed. “It couldn’t be.”

You can read it in full, here.

I have no doubt that Robin Williams could have played a role in Harry Potter beautifully, however, I do have doubts about cultural appropriation and that’s because I’ve seen too many straight actors playing gayface in Hollywood. And I just think we need to evolve a little more.

Conor Kennedy Defends Gay Friend

The grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, Conor Kennedy, was recently arrested in Aspen because he defended his gay friend against alleged homophobic slurs.

The Aspen Times reports that the brawl began when a group of men began harassing Kennedy’s gay friend with antigay slurs.

According to reports, Kennedy asked the men to apologize, and that’s when things got physical.

There’s more here. There’s a photo of Conor, and the police are investigating the homophobic allegations.

I think that’s wonderful, and Conor Kennedy is clearly against bullying. But I’d also like to read more about the gay guy that beats the hell out of the straight guy for screaming homophobic slurs. Many of us can defend ourselves, and we don’t let anyone screw around with us or our friends. Someone should warn them.

2016 Sex Scandals

It wouldn’t be a New Year’s Eve post without something like this…

There’s nothing we love more than a juicy political sex scandal. And, lucky for us, this year offered up plenty! From filthy phone sexing governors, to strip poker playing mayors, to naked people impersonating dead presidents and terrorizing quiet suburban communities, 2016 just kept on giving. We can hardly wait to see what 2017 has in store.

Here’s the link.

Have a happy and safe New Year!!

Uncertainty

A Gay New Adult Erotic Romance 

In Digital or Paperback 

  “The characters are wonderful and each bring a beautiful light to the story.”  

-Unsolicited Amazon Customer Review

Paying Tribute To Debbie Reynolds; Five Truths About George Michael; RWA On All Romance Ebooks Closing

Paying Tribute To Debbie Reynolds

Here’s a piece where celebrities pay tribute to Debbie Reynolds. This is what Debra Messing said, in part…

“Debbie went to be with Carrie. She always worried about her. Carrie left too soon and now they are together again. My heart is literally broken. For 8 years she was my mom. She was pure energy & light when she came on stage. She was loving, and bawdy, and playful- a consummate pro- old school and yet had the work ethic and investment in her craft of a new fiery up and comer. She was always running off to Vegas or somewhere else “on the road” to be a hoofer, to sing and dance and make people laugh. She performed 340 days out of the year. An inspiration on every level.”

You can check the rest out here. I’d almost forgotten all about Reynolds’ connection to Messing.

Five Truths About George Michael

Here are five facts about the late George Michael you may or may not know…

1. His band, Wham!, was first Western pop artist to perform in the People’s Republic of China, in 1985

Queen and the Rolling Stones also wanted the historic gig, but after 18 months of appeals and negotiations by Wham!’s management, Chinese authorities granted the duo the opportunity to perform in Beijing and Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton), performances that documented in the film Foreign Skies: Wham! In China. 

You can read them all here. 

That I didn’t know.

RWA On All Romance E-books Closing

RWA is short for Romance Writers of America. They posted something about the sudden closing of All Romance E-books, too.

RWA finds it unconscionable for the owner of ARe to withhold information so long and to continue selling books through the end of the month when the company cannot pay commissions. RWA contacted ARe but has not yet received a response.

You can view this one here.

All this makes me wonder one thing: what’s next?

Uncertainty

A Gay New Adult Erotic Romance 

In Digital or Paperback 

  “The characters are wonderful and each bring a beautiful light to the story.”  

-Amazon Customer Review

All Romance E-books Shutters; Ignoring Writing Rules and Rejections; George Michael Rehearsing In l992

All Romance E-books Shutters

Update: I’ve seen seeing links all day to this topic, and this one goes into great detail.

When I posted about small start up e-publishers shuttering yesterday, I had no idea about this.

It is with a great sadness that we announce the closing of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. Despite efforts to maintain and grow our market share, sales and profits have declined. The financial forecast for 2017 isn’t hopeful. We’ve accepted that there is not a viable path forward.

Their sites will go dark on December 31.

You can read the rest here, at the web site. It’s a polite message, but this does come as a shock to many people. And, I’ve seen some backlash. If you do a search on Facebook with the hashtag #allromanceebooks you’ll see what I mean. People are not thrilled about this. 

I happen to believe that in the future all indie authors will be selling their books on their own web sites, which will benefit readers because the prices will most likely be lower and readers will have direct interaction with authors. 

Ignoring Writing Rules and Rejections

I haven’t linked to Anne R. Allen’s blog in a while, and when I saw this post on social media I couldn’t pass it by. It’s a post written by Ruth Harris on the topic of rejection, and those so-called writing rules.

Just like a lot of things, rejection isn’t always what it seems to be. Writers need to put that stack of rejection letters into perspective. Sibel Hodge turned 200 rejections into the #1 spot on Amazon’s bestseller list and a great career with Amazon’s imprint, Thomas and Mercer. Joe Konrath got rejected by his publisher even though his books were selling and making money for the company and went on to become an indie superstar making more money than he ever did with a publisher.

If you’re an author, you should check this out. I never link to things like this unless I totally agree with the content. Here’s the rest.

George Michael Rehearsing In l992

This is one of those vids you’ll want to see more than a few times.

The year was 1992, and reeling from the loss of Freddie, the stars aligned for a tribute show for the fallen Queen frontman.

Watch, and feel free to let the tears flow, as George Michael absolutely nails “Somebody to Love.” David Bowie hangs out in the wings, cool as ever, in total approval.

You can watch the video here.  It’s really that good.

Valley of the Dudes




Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

What Happened To Ryan Field Ravenous Romance Books In 2016?

What Happened To Ryan Field Ravenous Romance Books In 2016? 

Although I never really counted them officially, I think I had about 45 books pubbed with e-book publisher, Ravenous Romance. I get a little confused sometimes, but I do have all this written down in files. Plus, over the last two years I’ve asked Ravenous if I could have the rights of certain books reverted so I could indie publish them myself. And the publishers at Ravenous were always more than happy to honor my requests.

In case you’re wondering why a lot of my Ravenous Romance titles have disappeared, I thought I would post something short about it here in the blog. Within the next month or so, they’re all going to disappear. And that’s because Ravenous has been good about the reversion of rights. I recently had all the rights from all Ravenous books reverted and I’ll be re-publishing them in 2017 with my own imprint. Some might be sold to another e-publisher, but as of this moment most will be re-published with Ryan Field Press.

If you recall several of my previous posts about indie publishing that date back to 2012, this is one of the reasons why I started Ryan Field Press as a very humble venture. It’s still a very humble Venture.

As an author I’m also a business person. And my latest little venture is going to be publishing a full length, 60,000 word novel, on Amazon. The title is “Chase of a Lifetime,” and it’s m/m erotic romance. It’s also a very humble venture. I’m not expecting to be the next Joe Konrath and I’m not expecting to blow anyone out of the water, so to speak. I’ll be thankful for however many copies of this book I sell and I’ll be here to answer any questions readers have.

Indie publishing has given me a chance to publish an anthology like The Women Who Love To Love Gay Romance, and it’s given my books with e-publishers who have gone out of business a permanent home. When the e-book boom ended, and e-book sales leveled out, many of the start ups in e-publishing went out of business. It’s still happening, and it’s happening with some of the biggest e-publishers of the 2000s.

I’m not getting into the reasons why so many e-publishers are shuttering. I’m only talking about the books I’ve had published with e-publishers over the last fifteen years. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with excellent e-publishers who have always paid me on time, kept me working, and given back the rights to everything when it was time. I have no complaints with any of them. My experiences working with all e-publishers, including Ravenous Romance, have been nothing but positive. In fact, I miss working with them all.

This isn’t an official announcement about Ravenous Romance. I want to make that clear, because I’m not qualified to do that. This is ONLY about me, and it’s about my own books. The absolute truth is that I have no idea what’s happening with Ravenous or what they plan to do. Although the Ravenous web site seems to be down, I only know what’s happening with my books. I’ve always had positive experiences working with Ravenous, but now it’s time to move forward. I’ll keep posting updates about each one of my Ravenous Romance books that is re-published in the next year, and some of these books might be sold to other publishers. If anyone has any questions you can e-mail me at the address on my sidebar.

Valley of the Dudes


My 3 Biggest Personal 2016 Rants; Grindr’s New Publishing House; Why I Might Be Starting to Love James Franco Again

My 3 Biggest Personal 2016 Rants

I rarely rant on this blog these days. I try to keep things positive, mostly because I don’t like to rant. It’s counterproductive and I’d rather be productive.

With that said, there are some things that got on my last gay nerve this year.

First, what’s up with THAT author who becomes your best friend on Facebook, never stops commenting on your status updates, treats you like you’re a member of his/her family, and then vanishes into thin air one day, only to be found doing the same exact thing to someone else? It’s happened to me several times over the last 15 years and I never understand it. Who does that? Who just befriends a total stranger, treats them like a best friend for months at a time, and then vanishes as suddenly as he/she turned up? It’s always so hard to realize that you’ve been duped by someone you think of as a friend.

Second, don’t let anyone take over your social media accounts. If you’re an author…or anyone with a public profile…don’t let an assistant or an intern or ANYONE represent you on social media. It never works out. I’ve seen that before, too. I’ve seen it several times in 2016. When I do see it happen, I always wonder what that person with the public profile is thinking. Do they really think that anyone can represent them as well as they could represent themselves? And, do they really think we don’t know?

Posting a status update or a tweet is the easiest thing in the world a person with a public profile can do. All it takes is a phone, a password, and a finger. The biggest celebrities all do it themselves and they don’t rely on managers or assistants to do it. I wouldn’t even let Tony post on social media for me. That’s my identity. So don’t let anyone else represent you on social media because you might wind up being misrepresented and no one’s going to tell you. They’re going to look at the Facebook statuses someone else posted for you, and they’re going to roll their eyes.

Third, 2016 wasn’t the best year for me, but not because of politics, and not because of celebrities I never met dying. I lost my father in May, I lost one of my dearest lifelong friends (Mary) in March to ovarian cancer, I lost two old friends this summer, and just recently I lost one of my closest friends to cancer. It was so sudden I still find it hard to believe. He was diagnosed 3 weeks ago, and he was gone the Sunday before Christmas.  I don’t post these things on social media when they happen because I prefer to keep them private. The only reason I’m mentioning them now is to make a point.

We also lost Eric Arvin on social media. Eric was an author who battled a rough illness with courage and dignity. I never got to know him personally, but on social media I knew him well and I found him to be an inspiration…for years. He was a real life hero.

I realize that a lot of the 2016 complaints are laced with sarcasm, and I get that and I know how to laugh along with it. There’s nothing wrong with sarcasm and I’ve done it myself. But when I see people posting seriously about the fact that 2016 sucked for them because their political candidate didn’t win, or some silly celebrity they never even knew died, I can’t help but make a face and wonder WTF is wrong with that. I can only assume these people are too young to have experienced much real sorrow in life, or they have no feelings for people who have suffered valid real life losses. The former I can forgive, the latter, no way. There are a lot of people who have experienced real life hardship and real life sorrow in 2016.

Grindr’s New Publishing House

According to this article, the hook up app, Grindr, just launched a new publishing house, and just released a new coffee table book.

Home features a series of portraits of gay men who Lambert connected with through the app, as well as other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In true Grindr form, the models are all young, thin, and naked, with a tendency toward Anglo.

You can check this out here. The book cover itself is actually done in very good taste. I’m not sure about the rest, though. But it is interesting that even Grindr has a publishing venture now, too.

Why I Might Be Starting To Love James Franco Again

I’ve always been on the fence about James Franco. I love his fiction, but his other projects make me wonder. As far as we know, he’s straight, and yet he’s always working on something gay related. I don’t totally get that. However, he is consistent, and I like that. He continues to create gay films when no one else in Hollywood is doing that.

Two years after its much-publicized Sundance premiere, Justin Kelly’s I Am Michael is finally hitting theaters on January 27th. Hark?

James Franco plays Michael Glatze, the gay activist who wound up becoming the face of the ex-gay movement after “finding God” and deciding to do an abrupt about-face and marry a woman.

There’s more here, and there’s a trailer of I Am Michael. The comments are not kind, and they do make a few valid points. However, the topic itself is interesting and I probably will see this when it’s released.

Valley of the Dudes




Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field

Taiwan Gay Marriage; Sam Smith Ends Twitter Break; The Carrie Bradshaw "masc4masc" Meme

Taiwan Gay Marriage

It looks as if Taiwan is moving closer toward legalized gay marriage.

A Taiwan legislative committee approved preliminary amendment to the Civil Code that could lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Different versions of an amendment to the Civil Code were carefully reviewed on Monday and includes rights and duties that will involve same-sex couples.

There’s more here. There have been polls taken, but frankly after the most recent polls in the US general election I’m having a hard time trusting polls now…and the media.

I think it’s interesting to see how the process works in other countries.

Sam Smith Ends Twitter Break

For those who’ve never been on Twitter, you can probably skip this. Twitter isn’t always simple, sometimes it’s downright mean, and you have to know how it works to fully understand everything that happens there. I’ve been there since the very beginning, back when most people were literally posting about what they had for lunch. Because what else could one post about in 140 characters? But since that time Tweeting has become something much more involved…for the most part.

In any event, Sam Smith took a Twitter break, which isn’t all that uncommon for people on Twitter to do. I’ve taken breaks over the years, too. Some people just stop altogether, which is called Twittercide. I knew one guy once who was a stock broker and his place of work made him stop tweeting sarcasm. Another one I knew left because of her Twitter Crush, some DMs, and a string of bad dick pics. And then there are those who are the grandest of us all who keep their tweets protected and hidden. I know a few book reviewers who do THAT. They are the special, elite snowflakes of Twitter, and their tweets don’t stink.

But I digress. Sam Smith came back for a reason this time.

George Michael’s death has brought Sam Smith out of his self-imposed break from social media.

The Grammy and Oscar winning singer and songwriter took to Twitter early Monday (26 December) to pay tribute to Michael who died unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 53.

‘Words can’t express how much you and your music meant and means to me,’ Smith wrote.

It is the first tweet from Smith since the 12 June shooting massacre at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse that left 49 people dead.

You can check that out here.

The Carrie Bradshaw “masc4masc” Meme

On hook up apps gay men often describe themselves as either “masc” or “fem.” I’m not drawing any conclusions with this one, but, coincidentally, I am making this a focus in my next book. In my book I’m more focused on tearing down the stereotypes. At least I hope that’s what I’m doing.

In any event, now there’s a meme circulating with a photo of Carrie Bradshaw working on her laptop, questioning the whole “masculine” thing in general.

Masc4masc? We think not. With fewer and fewer gay men feeling comfortable identifying as either “masc” or “fem,” the general consensus these days seems to be that the whole “masc4masc” thing is an outdated expression from the gay hookup culture of yesterday. Yet you still see plenty of guys writing it on their Grindr profiles. Why is that?

Here’s the rest. The comments aren’t kind to the article.

But I do think it’s a valid topic that leaves room for an open debate. The stereotypes that often accompany “masc” and “fem” don’t always fall neatly into place, especially not for gay men. And for those of you who think this is a gay male thing, it’s not. There’s plenty of this kind of thing with gay women, too.

It’s also not easy to write about this in fiction. And I’m either going to sink or swim with this one, but I’ve always wanted to tackle this debate, with characters in a book, and I’m ready to take the proverbial hits.

Valley of the Dudes




Stepbrothers In the Attic by Ryan Field