2012 Rainbow Awards

Congrats to A.B. Gayle on Her Rainbow Award…

I have about ten new blog posts to write, plus final edits for a new book to get through, but I wanted to sneak a congratulatory post in about author A.B. Gayle winning the William Neale award in this year’s Rainbow Awards for “Red + Blue.”

I have not read that particular book, but I will eventually. I became a fan of Ms. Gayle’s a short time ago when I read one of her other books, “Marde Gras.” I knew from page one I liked her style and I could tell she worked very hard to get so many small details right. One of the things that often frustrates me about some m/m fiction is that the author’s voice tends to sound more like a middle aged woman than a gay man, especially in dialogue. Or, an older gay man who’s out of touch instead of a younger gay man. There are telltale signs, and sometimes all it has to be is a word and it becomes a dead give-away. That’s not the case with A.B. Gayle. She nails it every time, and how she does it amazes me. I think it’s because of the extensive research she’s always doing, and she’s one of the most curious authors I’ve met in years. In fact, I’m sometimes afraid of her questions. They make me think too hard (smile).

For those who follow this blog, you know I don’t like writing reviews, especially for authors in the m/m genre. In fact, I don’t like asking for reviews either, and I can honestly say that other than submitting a *few* books to professional reviewers I have never actually asked another author to read one of my books for review. And I never will. If they ask me if they can read one and review it, that’s fine. But I don’t go out soliciting reviews. I probably should do more of that, but I find it creepy.

When I do find a book/author in the m/m genre that I really do love, I either rate it on goodreads or I write the rare full review and post it everywhere from this blog to Amazon. And trust me, that doesn’t happen very often with me. I have read a few I didn’t like, and most of the time I just go silent.

But in Ms. Gayle’s case, it’s just the opposite. I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by her writing, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to see that the particular juror who read her book for the Rainbow Awards agrees with me. 

2012 Rainbow Awards; The Scarlet Letter LGBT Webzine; And Not so New New Adult Fiction

I’ve been meaning to post something about the 2012 Rainbow Awards for a while now. At this point, submissions are closed and it’s getting down to the wire, so to speak. The jury is working on the books they were assigned, and there’s a cover contest going on right now over at Elisa Rolle’s blog. For those who don’t know, Elisa is a huge fan of all LGBT books, she’s been reviewing and blogging about them for a long time now, and she orchestrated “The Rainbow Awards” to give back to the LGBT reading and writing community. She also adds an international flair because she’s based in Italy.

Here’s a post from Elisa’s blog about the evolution of the Rainbow Awards I found interesting. Take into consideration that Elisa writes and speaks English well, and that when she writes her native language is Italian.

You can also check out her blog to find some excellent photos from her travels and the gay images she’s been collecting for years.

So, Aleksandr Voinov (vashtan) asked if I was able to estimate what was the Rainbow Awards’s evolution from 2009 to today, 2012… and being the maniac I’m, I saved all my spreadsheet and so of course I can.

Here are some number for your enjoyment:

This next link will lead you to The Scarlet Letter, which is a webzine geared toward all things LGBT fiction. From what I gather, author Michele Montgomery helped originate this and it’s fairly new.

This magazine contains posts, fiction, and artwork of a homoerotic nature and is intended for an audience 18 years of age and older. If you are under the age of 18, please do not proceed any further and leave this site NOW.
 
You’ll find guest posts from authors who write LGBT fiction, book reviews to help you select which LGBT books you want to read, and a few interesting articles about LGBT fiction geared toward both the reading and writing community. In other words, there’s something for everyone here. And all the bases seem to be covered.
 
I found this post about blood banks and HIV fascinating because it’s not fiction related. I didn’t know this was happening.
 
 It happens every so often; the Red Cross put an appeal out for blood donations as their supplies are low. ‘Roll up your sleeves and help saves lives!’ That’s the basic message as they try and rally people to do just that. After all, the cases of people needing blood far outweigh the amount of donations coming in. It’s a similar situation across the world. The Red Cross needs donations desperately.
I don’t donate blood. My husband doesn’t donate blood. Why? Because gay men are forbidden to donate to the Red Cross.
 
And, here’s an interesting…and current…link to a web site called “Fiction Writing Tools Words of Inspiration.” This post gets into the “New Adult” genre I’ve been talking about for a while now. It’s an interesting post and it gets into some of the more current discussions about new adult. Personally, I don’t agree with all of them…on a very small scale. I think there’s room to spread the age of new adult to between eighteen and thirty years old, especially nowadays with so many new adults going right into grad school from undergrad school. Most people these days aren’t starting their adult lives until they reach their mid-late twenties, so it’s important to “keep up” with what’s going on with respect to social changes.
 
Just as YA is fiction about discovering who you are as a person, NA is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the upper level Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase.
 
Eighteen to Twenty-five protagonists are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction.
 
I just think it’s an interesting concept for a genre. And it’s an age group I’ve been writing about in gay fiction for most of my life, so I’m not sure how all this is so new. You can’t write gay erotica with teens…at least I don’t. You write erotic romance about gay men in their prime (unless you’re into older daddy stories), which are the new adult ages. As I said, not so new for me. But I am glad there’s now a label for it, and that people are now finally starting to realize there is a market for this age group.
 
You also have to take into consideration, if you’re a romance or erotic romance reader or writer, this post comes from a non-erotica POV. But there’s no reason why the same concept of new adult cannot be applied to romance, erotic romance, and erotica. In fact, most of us have been DOING this all along.
 
The photo above is from my own collection. I love the freebie photos on the web, but most tend to be painfully dull.