Category: Don Weise

Don Weise’s Views; Victoria TX Kicks Gay Dancers Out

Don Weise’s Views 

Don Weise is a publisher/editor who has been working in LGBTI publishing for over twenty years. I’ve worked with him in the past, and he edited my novel, Fangsters, with I met him a while back when he was senior editor at Alyson Publications when Alyson bought the rights to An Officer and His Gentleman. I have never worked with a more gentle editor than Don. I know gentle might sound like an odd word to use, but it’s the best way to describe my experience with him. He’s also a very interesting man and through a series of e-mail exchanges I’ve learned a good deal about more than one topic. Huff Po recently did a great interview with Don where he talks about LGBT publishing, the changes we’ve seen, and what changes still might happen.

DW…I think that with publishing at the big houses becoming so blockbuster-oriented, it leaves little room for midlist titles which is what most LGBT books are. Relatively few will sell over twenty thousand copies. However, that leaves the field open for small presses, gay and otherwise, to bring out more LGBT literature. The readers are definitely there.

I recently had a conversation with an author and we were both saying the same thing. And both of us have done indie publishing, but we both still prefer working with small presses.

You can read the entire interview in full, here.

Victoria, TX Kicks Gay Dancers Out

In a Texas town I’ve never heard of…Victoria…a gay couple dancing together was allegedly kicked out of a “straight” nightclub.

A dance club for heterosexuals (yes, they exist!) in Victoria, Texas is being slammed this week after ousting a gay couple for dancing together during a country music song. The director of operations at Cactus Canyon claims he was trying to “maintain the peace,” though we’re pretty sure he was just jealous of the couple’s superior dance skills.
Full story here:

The owner of the club has since apologized and claims it was all a misunderstanding. ACLU of Texas has offered to assist the couple.

One of the reasons I set my Glendora Hill series in Texas Hill Country is because I know a lot of gay people who live there and I’ve never once heard them complain of discrimination…at least not any more than in any state in the US. Trust me, I have plenty of Pennsylvania discrimination stories from first hand experience. So I think this is an isolated incident, and one that could have happened anywhere in the US. It’s important to point those things out so people don’t misinterpret things.

You can read more here.

Lori Perkins, Riverdaleavebooks Article; Drag Queen Protests Russia

Lori Perkins, Riverdaleavebooks Article

Someone sent me a link today with a very nice article about, and information about the owners, Lori Perkins and Don Weise. I’ve worked with both before as editors. I’ve learned a great deal by working with them both and I never take that for granted. In fact, the main reason I wrote “Fangsters Clan of the Jersey Boys,” was because it was with Riverdaleavebooks.

It’s a nice article, with a photo of Perkins. They don’t mention this, but she’s a very nice person. And Don is adorable.

 Ms. Perkins, who has lived in Riverdale for two decades, said she snatched up space in 5676 Riverdale Ave. because it once housed Baen Books, a science fiction, fantasy and horror publishing company, and she sought to continue to use the office as a place for publishing.

After noticing that several publishing companies she admired were named after the streets in their addresses, Ms. Perkins and Mr. Weise decided to name their company Riverdale Avenue Books.
As a side note, I’ve been to Riverdale, NY and it’s one of NY’s best kept secrets. You’re only miles from downtown Manhattan and yet it’s very historical and relaxed from what I recall. (Haven’t been there in a while.)

Drag Queen Protests Russia

I’m not even sure if it’s PC to refer to a female impersonator anymore as a drag queen, which is why I don’t write the phrase in books, and never use it. However, since it’s in Huff Po I figure it must be okay to use here, and especially within the context of this very serious article. A Berlin based drag queen has literally sewn his mouth shut in protest against what Russia is doing to gays. The magnitude of this act, not to mention how this entire ordeal in Russia has sparked outrage, is now a global issue.

In wake of Russia’s recent anti-gay legislation and violence against LGBT individuals, activists have united in their own forms of protest on an international scale.
These range in magnitude from gay bars boycotting the sale of Stoli Vodka to large-scale protests of individuals coming together in the streets.

Breakout stated to Die Welt newspaper (and translated by PinkNews) that the widespread violence throughout Russia has impacted him profoundly and emotionally. “The pain I felt inside when I had to see in the media what is happening in Russia was greater than the physical pain of the needle,” he said. “My partner held the camera while I did it. But he couldn’t look.”

While watching TV news last night, I saw a clip of gay men pouring Stoli vodka down the drain in a Center City Philadelphia gay bar in protest. I’ve also received e-mails from both gay and straight people telling me to boycott anything Russian produced in protest (hit them in the money belt with the gay dollar, which is not something to ignore). And when I posted about this article written by Johnny Weir about how he thinks we should support the Olympics based on his own self-serving needs, I don’t think I’ve been that angry in a long time. In fact, I think sewing his mouth shut would be way to extreme and violent, but I wouldn’t mind seeing someone put a big piece of duct tape over his mouth.

I had to re-read that paragraph a few times just be certain I wasn’t missing something. I hope his ass doesn’t wind up in prison. Way to go, Johnny boy. It’s always best to put yourself first, be self-serving, and forget about the majority of innocent LGBT people suffering through the physical and mental injustices of Russia’s stance on LGBT rights…or lack thereof.

In any event, you can read more here. There is also a photo list of anti-gay celebrities, including Kirk Cameron from the old 1980’s sitcom fame…a show I can’t recall at this moment.  Of course the comment thread with the article is dismal.

New Publisher: Riverdale Ave Books; Gay Cabaret Singer Michael Ferreri

In this ever-changing world of publishing there’s now a new publisher in New York that will be publishing LGBT books among other things, You can get there from here, and here’s part of the who, what, where, and why…from their home page.

Riverdale Avenue Books (RAB) is at the leading edge of the changes in the publishing industry. We publish ebooks and audio books monthly under five imprints: Riverdale Pop, pop culture titles; Riverdale/Magnus Books, a joint venture with award-winning publisher Magnus Books, LGBT titles; Riverdale HSF, a horror, science fiction and fantasy line; Riverdale Truth, an erotic memoir line; and Riverdale Desire, an erotica and erotic romance imprint.

The owners are Don Weise and Lori Perkins. I’ve worked with both before and I’ve only had excellent experiences with them. Don is the former Publisher of Alyson Books, an LGBT publisher I worked with many times in the past. In fact, Alsyon was one of THE first LGBT publishers ever. He’s also worked as Senior Editor for Carroll & Graff and Cleis Press. I haven’t worked with C&G, but I have worked with, and I’m part of a new book coming out soon, with Cleis Press. Cleis is another of the first in LGBT publishing to pave the way for many LGBT authors when no one else was giving them a chance.

I’ve also worked closely with Lori Perkins as an editor. Although she’s a literary agent, my only working experiences with her have been author/publisher related. Those experiences have been excellent. Not one complaint. As an editor, Lori has a way of challenging authors and getting them to do things they normally might never have done.

An imprint of Riverdale is also going to be associated with this monthly event, below. I’m going to make a point of going to one of these myself very soon.While I’m not fond of doing book readings because of the nature of what I write, I love going to them. Especially in those little out of the way places in Manhattan.

Between the Covers is our branded erotica and erotic romance reading series held in the legendary East Village nightclub, Happy Endings, 302 Broome St, 8-10 p.m. the first Friday of every month. If you will be in NYC at the time we are holding a reading event, we would love to feature you. The reading series is open to all authors of erotica and erotic romance at all publishers. Please contact us at If you or your publisher would like to sponsor an evening, please contact

I think Riverdale looks like an exciting new venture. And most of all, I like the fact that the owners are experienced publishing professionals. I’m planning something new and exciting of my own in the coming year. It’s not as ambitious as Riverdale, but I’m taking my twenty years experience as an author and editor and putting it to work in a very different capacity than what I’ve done in the past. I’m still working on all the details, but I’ll talk about it very soon. I can say this: I’m more focused on quality and helping new authors get into e-publishing than anything else.

As for the Riverdale web site. It seems to be one of the cleaner, easier web sites around. I didn’t have any issues navigating to get information. And whoever designed it did a great job. I’ve also read and reviewed the first book up on the web site, Deeply Superficial, and I loved it. That book is what gay non-fiction should be all about. So based on that book, I hope to see more quality books coming from Riverdale. The one thing I didn’t see was m/m romance as a sub-genre. I saw LGBT fiction, but no m/m romance. I’m not anti-m/m romance, not by any means. I write it and I’m not one of those who talks against it. But I do think the market is saturated at this point. And I think for gay authors to survive…and be considered relevant…they are going to have to take different roads in the future. The former “Chick Lit” genre is a good example of what I’m talking about. I like that Riverdale seems to be offering gay authors something new, and there don’t seem to be any strings attached.

And now for Michael Ferreri, Gay Cabaret Singer:

I know I’ve posted before about how I’m not fond of show tunes, and I don’t always run to see cabaret shows. But this past weekend I went to a Christmas Party about three miles from my home, and the hosts hired LGBT entertainer, Michael Ferreri. I’d only heard his act in passing before this past weekend. And even I have to admit that when I had a chance to really sit down and listen to him, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed him. It’s like this new world opened up for me. It’s not the kind of cabaret you normally hear. There’s something different about it that’s hard to put into words. He’s not hokey or trite like so many others. I found Michael to be more cool New Orleans jazz mixed with cabaret…from the music he plays to the way he plays it. He’s also adorable and just as nice offstage as he is onstage. After his set, he came upstairs and sat down in the living room and spoke with a few of the remaining guests. Just the sweetest guy I’ve ever met! And he gave me a whole new outlook on cabaret.

You can check out his web site here, where I think you can order CDs (I recommend them without concern) and you can see more photos of him. I’ve posted his bio below. And he’s also on facebook.

Pianist/singer Michael Ferreri is a musician and entertainer of exceptional talent whose outstanding musicality and seemingly endless repertoire have made him a consistently popular and working performer in cabarets, clubs and concert dates. His talents have also garnered him a devoted fan base in New York, in London, and across the United States.

His debut CD, Michael Ferreri: Sweet Dreams is an ethereal collection of songs that tell a story–songs perfectly suited to Michael’s intimate phrasing and musicianship. The CD contains 12 cuts showcasing his engaging and highly personal style of performing, including “Move On,” by Stephen Sondheim; “Sweet Dreams” and “A Dream” by John Bucchino; and “Lullabye” by Billy Joel.

Michael has appeared in concert and in galas with such celebrated performers as Michael Feinstein, Andrea McArdle, Beth Fowler and Greg Edelman. Other concerts include a “Tribute to Sondheim” at Primary Stages and a benefit concert version of “Into the Woods” chaired by Stephen Sondheim. He has performed in the Musicals Unlimited revival of Pipe Dream and the acclaimed Lincoln Center production of The Happy End, produced by the Kurt Weill Foundation. Michael has also been given the unique honor of performing at an intimate New York reception for HRH Prince Philip of England.

His solo cabaret engagements have been enthusiastically received, including a sold-out cabaret show with Meg Flather at one of New York’s cabaret epicenters, Don’t Tell Mama. His engaging playing and ability to establish immediate rapport with his audience have made him one of the most popular musicians at such New York landmarks as One if by Land, Two if by Sea and Tavern on the Green and at the clubs Eighty-Eights and The Townhouse.

A New York resident since 1986, Michael is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

The photo above of Michael is from my own collection, and if you’d like to share it feel free. I’m not that grand that I’m going to sue anyone for sharing anything I took with an iPhone. And I swear, I won’t call you a “sook” or a plagiarist…SMILE.