Pretty Man

Hillary Clinton New Book; Roger Ebert on Writing; Virgin Billionaire Tie-In with Pretty Man

As expected, Simon & Schuster sent out a press release with the announcement that Hillary Clinton will be writing a new Memoir.

Someone get my smelling salts.

Clinton had mentioned in an interview in January that she was working on a memoir. The book comes amidst increasing speculation that Clinton is considering a run for president in 2016.
 
 
Roger Ebert on Writing
 
I saw this article over at GalleyCat and decided to share because I’ve always thought any writing tips from anyone who’s been successful are valuable. In other words, unless a writer has actually had either literary or financial success (the two are not mutually exclusive), I’m less prone to take their advice. And there’s plenty of advice going around the Interwebs these days about writing that should be taken with that proverbial grain of salt.
 
The film critic also wrote a number of essays and posts about the writing life, sharing some valuable advice for all writers. To celebrate his memory, we’ve collected some of our favorite Ebert quotes.
 
You can read more here, where there are more links. I know very little about Ebert, except what I could find with a simple search. But it was interesting to learn this:
 
At age 50, Ebert married trial attorney Charlie “Chaz” Hammelsmith (formerly Chaz Hammel-Smith) in 1992.[20][102] He explained in his memoir, Life Itself, that he “would never marry before [his] mother died,” as he was afraid of displeasing her.
 
My mom’s dream come true. Just ask Tony. However, I do find it interesting that Ebert was a “bachelor” for so long. Like I said, I know little about his personal life.
 
And this is more interesting:
 
He was a longtime friend of, and briefly dated, Oprah Winfrey, who credited him with persuading her to syndicate The Oprah Winfrey Show,[107] which became the highest-rated talk show in American television history.
 
I never knew this either.
 
But I did find his comments on gay marriage, here. It’s actually very insightful.
 
I must have heard about gay marriage sometime in the 1970s. It made an impression when it was mentioned by my mother. We had never discussed homosexuality. Neither of my parents did. Oh it might be observed, “Look at that Liberace! He sure is queer.” It wasn’t a criticism so much as a wonderment, as if he were playing with three hands.
 
Before I continue, notice the way the word “queer” is used above. It’s a good example of why I absolutely refuse to embrace the “Q” in LGBT. But I don’t take offense to the way Ebert used it in the above quote, because anything gay in the 1970’s was considered somewhat shocking for most people. Aside from the fact that Ebert seemed to be unnaturally close to his mother, the piece I linked to really just tells a story of how things were/are. And, another reason why I wanted to check out his writing advice.
 
Virgin Billionaire Tie-In with Pretty Man
 
Last evening a reader e-mailed me about The Virgin Billionaire series. There are ten stand alone novels in that series, you can read more about here, where I’ve listed them in consecutive order. What the reader wanted to know was if I would ever write a book where I cross over with characters from one series to another. In this case, she wanted to know if I would ever write a novel with Jase and Luis, from the VB books, along with Len and Jim, from the Chase of a Lifetime books.
 
I don’t have any plans for that right now, but I won’t say I’ll never do it. And I have brought characters from previous books into later books without really going into any detailed explanations here on the blog. So I figured I’d start mentioning these things as they come to me. As strange as it sounds, it’s hard for me to recall all the characters in all the books and stories I’ve written unless I go back and research them myself. I tend to move forward with everything in life, and once a book is released, I’m on to the next project. Unfortunately, some books suffer as a result, and I’m remiss in giving out information.
 
But I do remember, and well, adding the main characters from Pretty Man to certain books in the Virgin Billionaire series. I did this on purpose, because I knew Pretty Man would never become a series and I liked the characters myself. Pretty Man is a loose, sometimes campy, parody of the old movie, Pretty Woman, and it’s not fanfic by any means. If anything it’s anti-fanfic, and it’s my own statement on how gay characters were never in any romance films in the past…and aren’t in many now. And, Pretty Woman, the film itself, is a take off on the Cinderella trope anyway.
 
I decided to incorporate Josh and Roland from Pretty Man into the Virgin Billionaire series. That’s right, if you’ve read the VB books and haven’t read Pretty Man, Josh and Roland were the main characters in Pretty Man. Josh and Roland are Luis and Jase’s best friends. J & R provided me with a way to show how different L & J are when it comes to sex and gay couples, because J & R are into a more open-concept marriage, where L & J are not.
 
I also incorporated Hillary and Justin into the VB books, and made Hillary Luis’ best friend and Justin is the best friend of Jase’s son from a previous marriage. It’s all very General Hospital, and just as dishy as it sounds. But more than that, if you are familiar with these circles in the gay male community, especially in New York, wealthy gay men often do cross paths more often than not. How do I know this? Because I’m a gay man with a gay brother who travels in these circles. I didn’t guess.
 
I also incorporated the two main characters (can’t remember their names right now) from Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street into a book in the bad boy billionaire series, The Wall Street Shark. They happen to come into contact with the mc of The Wall Street Shark at a pivotal moment in his life when he’s wondering if he’ll ever be as happy as these two strange gay men he sees walking down Delancey St with a young child between them.

New Release: THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET BABY Book 3

The third book in my Virgin Billionaire series was just released today, THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET BABY. It’s a full length novel, it can be found on the publisher’s web site (ravenousromance.com) and all other web sites where e-books are sold, and here’s a link to the allromanceebooks.com web site. I usually link there because I think they give the best product description all the way around.

The interesting thing about this book is that I brought back two characters from a novel I wrote about three years ago, PRETTY MAN. The two main characters, Roland and Josh, in that book were deeply in love but had a more open sexual relationship than characters in my other books. But that didn’t mean they were any less in love. A lot of people didn’t think they loved each other enough, though, so I wanted to bring them back for a few short scenes in this latest virgin billionaire book and show readers they did, in fact, continue with their relationship and they are still thriving as a happily married couple.

To make it even more interesting, the one main character in this third book, Luis Fortune, actually isn’t too fond of Roland and Josh’s open relationship and he’s sometimes very vocal about it. My goal was to show that gay relationships, just like hetero relationships, are not all the same. Not by any means. And not all gay men are going to get along with each other just like not all hetero people are going to get along. Not all gay men hang out with straight women and shop. I find it amazing how this fact is often overlooked in most gay romance…and gay fiction…so often. It’s like all gay men are lumped into a category everyone wants to believe is real, and that’s not the case. Believe it or not, there are gay men who are conservative republicans and often remain silent about this because they fear they will be ridiculed. So I try to show an objective difference whenever I can. And, once again, I draw from my own experience as a gay man and from watching and listening to other gay men I know.

The Characters in Pretty Man

Though PRETTY MAN is by no means the first piece of fiction I’ve ever written, it was one of the first books I wrote for ravenousromance.com. As with almost all of my books, I take little pieces of real people that I’ve known personally, put them altogether, and create fictional characters. It’s almost like sewing a quilt, or putting a puzzle together.

I’m sure all writers have a difference process. But this is how I do it. Let’s face it, even the most interesting person I know wouldn’t be interesting in fiction. Fictional characters have to be, and are supposed to be, larger than life…even when those characters are simple and unassuming and don’t seem all that exciting.

But I saw a few reviews and comments about the characters in PRETTY MAN that surprised me. And frankly, they still surprise me two years later. Some readers didn’t like the way the two main characters had an open relationship and thought nothing of inviting other men into their relationship. They didn’t think it was realistic enough, which left me shaking my head.

In the real world, and I know this for a fact, there are many gay couples in long term relationships that engage in three-way sex or with multiple partners, without thinking twice about it. I have many good friends who have been together for many years and having an open relationship, for them, is what actually keeps their relationship exciting. I also have many gay friends who don’t do this. They just aren’t into it. But we only seem to hear about the gay men who don’t do this, not the gay men who do this. And that’s just not real.

The characters in PRETTY MAN do have an open relationship. And I wrote this as a conglomerate of knowledge I’ve gained in my forty years of living on this earth as a gay man. I didn’t just dream it up; it exists whether we like it or not. And I tried to portray the two characters in PRETTY MAN as having a solid, dependable relationship in spite of their penchant for inviting multiple partners into their relationship. And I gave them a happy ending I thought was appropriate to their situation.

In order to keep these characters alive, and to show readers they did actually live happily-ever-after, I’ve included them in the new sequel I’m writing, THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET BABY. And the contrast is interesting, because the two main characters in THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRET BABY are completely monogamous and they don’t invite anyone into their relationship.

Once again, gay men are as complicated as they are simple. And in gay relationships it’s not uncommon to find couples who have been together for many years engaging in sex with multiple partners. I don’t just make this stuff up. I wish I did, but I didn’t. And I think it’s important for readers to know that the gay couples they see on TV and in movies, are pretty much nothing like gay couples in real life. And before anyone comments, I’m sure there are couples like the two gay guys on Modern Family. Only I don’t know any, and I know more gay couples than straight couples.

An Officer and His Gentleman

I recently saw this information on Consortium Book Sales and Distribution.

An Officer and His Gentleman

Ryan Field (Author)

Brody Johnston, bad boy naval officer on extended leave from his post in Europe, can’t take his eyes off innocent Chance’s round butt and smooth legs. He is determined to get to know him better, and Brody is used to getting what he wants. Though they are complete opposites, Chance is ready to submit to all of Brody’s sexual kinks and desires. And it never occurs to either one of them that they might actually fall in love with each other.

Ryan Field is the author of ten books published by Ravenous Romance, including the best-selling e-books Pretty Man and Take Me Always. His short story “Down the Basement” is included in the Lambda Award–winning Best Gay Erotica 2009.

In August of 2010, An Officer and His Gentleman will be released by Alyson Books, in print.

The Most Haunted Town in the US, New Hope, PA…

Though I rarely set novels in my own hometown, New Hope, PA, I could easily write more than a few paranormals about New Hope.

Like this link, http://www.unsolvedmysteries.com/usm464955.html#, says, New Hope has gained a popular reputation for not only being haunted, but also for having a wide array of supernatural occurrences.

Personally, I owned an art gallery for ten years in a building called “The Canal House.” This building was rich with pop cultural history. Jackie Kennedy used to stop there between Washington and New York. She became friendly with the owner of the building, my departed landlord, Johnny Francis Meyer. And I’ve seen the photos to prove this, too. The list of other celebs that stayed there range from Diana Ross, to “Carmine” from the TV series, “Laverne and Shirley.” There were also famous artists, like Bill Ney and Selma Burke. One of the most famous pieces Selma Burke designed wast the face of FDR on the dime. Her home still stands in New Hope, hidden down a narrow road off the main highway.

And one of the most famous celebs who died in New Hope was Jessica Savitch. She was on her way to New York, from Washington, when she stopped at Odette Myrtle’s restaurant and accidentally drove into the canal and drowned. I was only a kid then, but I remember that night well. The fog was so thick you couldn’t see your feet. It was pouring rain. Savitch’s ghost, supposedly, haunts the towpath along the canal.

And I’ve had my own personal experiences with ghosts. In my gallery, paintings were often switched around in the middle of the night while I wasn’t there. I’d leave at six o’clock in the evening and purposely notice where each painting was placed, and the next morning I’d open the gallery to find that everything had been moved around. It was all done very well, too. The new arrangement of paintings was always perfect and in excellent order. So I’d leave them that way for a while. And when it was time to rearrange the gallery a few weeks later, the same thing would happen. I have no explanation for this. I was the only one with a key to the gallery and there were never any forced entries.

I used to do some professional editing for local writers. It was a small list and I only worked with the writers that I really liked…and most times didn’t charge them anything. One of these writers was a strong spiritual figure in Key West, FL. His work was always done in automatic writing, which meant that it came through to him from “guides” or “spirits.” He was psychic, too. He didn’t use his gift for monetary gain, but he did predict a few things, to me, that came true not long after he’d predicted them.

I could continue, endlessly, with more supernatural stories about New Hope that I’ve personally witnessed. But, oddly enough, I’ve never written about them professionally. I did write a story in a recent book BOYS OF THE BITE, that is titled, “THE DEVIL’S HALF ACRE.” It’s a vampire story that is set in New Hope. And a small part of PRETTY MAN is set here in New Hope. But there’s nothing supernatural about New Hope in that book.

When you live in a place like New Hope, you tend to take these things for granted. If something strange happens, you don’t take it as seriously as you would if you lived somewhere else. So I don’t have any immediate plans to write about New Hope and ghosts, but it certainly isn’t because I have a lack of valid supernatural material that I’ve witnessed myself.

Food and Romance…

In both books, AN OFFICER AND HIS GENTLEMAN and PRETTY MAN, I wrote a few scenes that combined food with romance. There are no kinky sex food scenes in either book, because the stories didn’t call for that. The food scenes were emotional and romantic, not sexy. But I’ve been amazed at how many readers have either commented on the food and romance angle, or bought the book just because there are scenes that combine romance and food. In PRETTY MAN I wrote about cupcakes and chocolate, but in AN OFFICER AND HIS GENTLEMAN I went into great depth about food because the main character’s profession is in the food industry. Below is an excerpt from a food scene that some readers have commented on with various blog posts. So I thought I’d share it here.

Chance was usually awake by five each morning and down in the kitchen by five-thirty. This was his creative cooking time. Sometimes he baked large blueberry muffins with buttery golden tops; other times he prepared rich loaves of pound cake, or puffy glazed cinnamon rolls, or delicate foccacia bread. Each morning he cooked something special for the day, a recipe he’d designed and created himself that he displayed magnificently in a massive wooden bowl lined with a black and white striped cloth at the end of the deli counter.

At first, Dan had been completely against the idea of having a “special” for each day of the week; his idea of running a market was to put out the basics (cans of baked beans and ketchup) and collect the money. But when he saw how the customers flocked to the black and white striped cloth and were willing to pay twenty dollars for one of Chance’s pound cakes, or four dollars for one of his blueberry muffins, he shut his mouth. Half the time he couldn’t even pronounce the specials, like when Chance baked loaves of bread and topped them with olive tappenaude; but the people knew and they bought whatever he cooked. And by the end of the day the wooden bowl was always empty. It was rumored there were people who only went to Dan’s market to see what the special for the day was. And it was always something they couldn’t get anywhere else but there.


That day he whistled on his way down the back stairs. He’d been so inspired by his dream that he decided to create an original Buffalo chicken spread, something hot and spicy you could either spread on a cracker as an appetizer, spread on a sour dough roll for lunch, or even place on a bed of baby greens for a light supper…the possibilities were endless. He’d done Buffalo chicken wings before; he’d even created a special Buffalo chicken calzone; but never a hot, spicy spread. He decided to use two extra, special ingredients: Marscapone cheese and just a hint of capers. He liked to layer different flavors, to combine an overall effect, which would add a delicate, pleasant under taste to an original recipe. With blueberry muffins he always added a hint of lime; no one knew, but the combination created a taste sensation that people couldn’t resist. The special ingredient didn’t have to be exotic and expensive either. With his remarkable Mac and Cheese special, the two ingredients that made it taste exotic were nothing more than mustard powder and nutmeg.