texas rising

Trevor Donovan in Love Finds You In Charm, Sunday; Should You Create Audio Books; Caitlyn Jenner’s Critics; Pastor Slams Gay Grads

Trevor Donovan In Love Finds You In Charm, Sunday

Update: Evidently, Love Finds You In Charm was chosen as a TV pick for the week in The New York Times. 

I’m posting this now because I never really know whether or not I’ll post on weekends. I usually do. But this time of year I never know for sure.

Here’s all you need to know, plain and simple:

Who: Trevor Donovan stars in Love Finds You In Charm

What: Love Finds You In Charm is an Amish Romance, based on a best selling 2009 novel.


When: It airs this Sunday, beginning at 7 pm, NY time. I also noticed while setting my DVR that they will air it again at 9 pm, and a few times after that. So you’ll get several chances to see it…or binge on it.

Where: It’s airing on the UP channel. I’m not sure of all the market shares, but in the Philadelphia market, if you have Verizon Fios, it’s channel 224. I’m sure if you do a simple search you’ll be able to find it online as well.

I read the book a while ago and I found it a great escape with a nice love story, in a great setting. I think it’s something that crosses romance genres and all romance readers will enjoy it…think along the lines of Debbie Macomber, but Amish. 

Here’s a trailer where Donovan performs a song, Fields of Gold, he wrote for the film. He’s been getting a lot of attention for this on social media from all over the globe, and rightly so. 

Should You Create Audio Books

I don’t have links to this part of the post. It’s only my opinion/advice. You can take it for what it’s worth, one way or the other. And like all advice, this isn’t set in stone. There are always variables and everyone’s experience is a little different. 

With that said, I glanced at a discussion yesterday on social media where an author was talking about producing his/her own audio books. It was a good discussion, but I noticed one thing missing. Reality.

A handful of people commented positively about audio books. They raved at the thought of the author spending his/her own money to produce them. However, it was a handful of people, not over one thousand…not even in the hundreds. And for an author to make it worth his/her time he/she has to have the kind of large readership that’s willing to spend the money on an audio book.

I love audio books. I have a few out there that were produced by Ravenous Romance. One in particular was An Officer and His Gentleman. The audio book sold well, but by no means as well as the book itself sold, and by no means well enough to create more audio books with other titles. This was the publisher’s decision, not mine, but I agreed with them completely. But even more important, audio books like An Officer and His Gentleman are pirated all the time. I obviously won’t provide a link to show you, but that’s just another factor in producing audio books you have to consider nowadays. And piracy is getting worse, not better.

A writer/author has to think like a businessperson now more than ever, and they have to be prudent as well. Even though it’s nice to have 75 or 80 people with good intentions tell you how much they’d love to see all your books produced as audio books, you have to take into consideration that you need to have a readership in the thousands to make it worth your while. That’s why you don’t see all publishers producing audio books for all authors and all titles. It’s not because they don’t want to produce audio books, it’s because that large market just isn’t there all the time. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, however you really have to know your readership before you invest the time and money in getting into audio book production.  

Caitlyn Jenner’s Critics

I knew this would happen sooner or later. I didn’t mention it in any posts, but I’ve been waiting for it. Now that Bruce Jenner made the full transition to Caitlyn Jenner, the critics have started to surface. I’m not going to post the most ridiculous things I’ve seen in the mainstream, but this is interesting. Jenner is not getting the kind of support you would expect from the transgender community.

I overwhelmingly support Caitlyn Jenner and am happy for her as she now gets to live her authentic life. One of the things her story highlights is that everybody’s transition is unique — no two people are alike, and every person faces different challenges in their own context. 

The reality is, Caitlyn’s story is unique because she is coming from a tremendous amount of privilege.
Not everybody can make a coming out statement to Diane Sawyer or be on the cover of Vanity Fair and have a reality show in the works. But it’s wonderful there are people who use their celebrity to advance a message to help others. 

You can read the rest here. It’s not a totally negative piece, and I’d like that to be clear. However, there are a few left-handed comments, so to speak. On the other hand, as it states, it brings the topic out in the open for debate.  And we all still have a great deal to learn about it. I’ve been fortunate to know more than a few trans people who live and work here in New Hope, PA and even I’m still learning.

And, here’s a link to another one titled, Caitlyn Jenner Is Not the Right Poster Girl For Trans Equality. 

Pastor Slams Gay Grads

Another good Christian is speaking out with anti-gay comments, and this time it’s yet another pastor.


While delivering a baccalaureate service to a class of high school seniors, Pastor Scott Carpenter (pictured) thought it would be an opportune time to remind any gay graduates in the audience that they were going to burn in hell.

The hate speech happened on May 30 at Kings Mountain High School in Kings Mountain, NC and, naturally, left quite a few people upset.

The rest is here. The school wasn’t too thrilled with this guy and they claim they will be vetting speakers more carefully next time.

I wonder what this pastor thinks of the Duggar debacle. 

The Rainbow Detective Agency: On Fleek


 

Trevor Donovan on The Backlot; Renee Richards on Bruce Jenner; Gay Pornsters Wearing Protective Goggles; Is Brad Pitt Bisexual?

Trevor Donovan on The Backlot

When I wrote the character of Luis in very first Virgin Billionaire book, I wanted him to have a safe place to go for when everything in the world started to crumble around him…that one perfect place where nothing could ever hurt him. So I did what I thought was real at the time, for a young gay man. I gave him a favorite web site that I’d loosely modeled after the real web site of Elisa Rolle, only the focus in the book was more about the artistic photos of male models, not books or reviews. In this case, there was some erotica, but the photos on the web site in the book were not always meant to be sexual. The focus was on the art and the escapism.

So when I find photo shoots like this one that Trevor Donovan did on The Backlot, I like to share with readers. I think this would be something that Luis would have loved in The Virgin Billionaire.  And I wrote The Virgin Billionaire long before I ever saw any of Donovan’s photo shoots anywhere.

Trevor Donovan has been a favorite here on TheBacklot ever since he played adorable (and sexy) Teddy Montgomery on the 2008-2013 reboot of 90210. Since then he’s made appearances on various series like The Client List and Melissa & Joey, but this weekend he heads west along with Bill Paxton, Ray Liotta and Brendan Fraser for the History Channel’s much-anticipated Texas Rising. The mini-series is directed by two-time Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission) and Donovan plays “Kit Acklin” a “wise-ass and expert horseman whose chivalry and equestrian skills are matched only by his gun-fighting prowess.”

You can get there from here. There’s a whole collection of some of the most artistic male art I’ve seen in a while. My own personal thoughts about what makes photos like this art is that I don’t see an agenda there. I just see the male form. In other words, when Nick Jonas poses for any photo shoot, even though it’s great, I always feel as if there’s an agenda behind what he’s doing that’s geared toward nothing but pure clickbait…like cheap wine in an expensive bottle. I don’t get that feeling with this photo shoot Donovan did. …And…the comments are adorable.

Renee Richards on Bruce Jenner

I think Renee Richards was one of the first brave souls of the past who had the guts to come out as transgender in the 1970’s. And it wasn’t easy back then, not by any means.

Now Richards is 80 years old and she’s commenting on Bruce Jenner.

‘You have to realize that somebody who is an entertainer, or even like with Bruce Jenner – a person like that can have a sex change and be just as accepted as an entertainer or a TV star or something like that afterwards,’ Richards, now 80, tells GQ in a rare interview.

Richards won the right to compete in the 1977 US Open and although she lost in the first round in singles, she made it to the finals of the women’s doubles. She later went on to coach Martina Navratilova in the early 1980s.

Then she returned to ophthalmology and practiced in New York City and it is in that kind of situation where she says being transgender is more difficult.

‘When I came back to practice after being so notorious, I couldn’t ever be a frivolous, entertainment-type, public kind of character,’ she says. ‘I mean, I had to be the same confidence-engendering… I’m operating on people’s eyes; I’m operating on their kid’s eyes. I mean, you better be some kind of a transsexual to do that! Otherwise you’re not gonna have much of a practice. It’s a whole different thing than being an entertainer.’

Jenner has beneftted from not only public understanding but from better understanding within the medical community which initially turned Richards away.

You can check out the rest here. I think she makes several valid points.

Gay Pornsters Wearing Protective Goggles

In a highly questionable attempt to stop the spread of HIV, the state of California is trying to force porn stars…not just gay…to wear protective eye gear…goggles…during shoots. Also, producers would be forced to pay for medical exams and hepatitis B vaccines. Most are claiming that if this goes through it will drive the adult entertainment industry out of the state.

‘These are regulations designed for medical settings, and are unworkable on an adult film set – or even a Hollywood film set,’ said Diane Duke, the CEO of the Free Speech coalition.

While the limits would not just be on gay porn, Duke says her organization and other groups wants to see the proposed regulation be amended after consulting with performers, production houses and public health officials.

This way, she says, this will ‘protect adult film performers without stigmatizing and shutting down an entire industry’.

You can read more here. It’s hard to comment on this one because there are several gray areas, however, if California does this who is to stop other states from doing it as well. And how many other ways can something like this mushroom? Nothing with porn and free speech is ever a clear cut case.

Is Brad Pitt Bisexual?

I’m always careful with things like this because there’s no proof, and it’s all alleged. In the same respect, it’s interesting in a hard to explain way.

One of the lower end tabloids best known for sensationalized, questionable reporting claims Brad Pitt is bisexual.

Hollywood insider Hesham ‘Sham’ Ibrahim makes the unsubstantiated claims the actor has a history of bisexuality that goes back at least 10 years.

‘I don’t want to define Brad Pitt’s sexuality, but whatever it is, he’s into guys,’ he told Star magazine.

The rest is here. Frankly, I think unsubstantiated is the key word here. I love poker, and as it stands I would NOT bet on this hand.

However, even if Pitt is bisexual, what difference does it really make? He’s always been supportive of the LGBT community, he’s never done or said anything to exploit the LGBT community, and in this case I think he has a right to his privacy. 

The Virgin Billionaire

Trevor Donovan, Texas Rising, Frontiers Interview; Gay Sex Shops In New York; Five Ways To Get Book Publicity

Trevor Donovan, Texas Rising, Frontiers Interview

I hadn’t planned another post about Texas Rising until after the series airs this Monday, May 25th. However, I spotted this interview late last night with Trevor Donovan in Frontiers, which is an LGBT press, and thought I’d share. Here’s a link to previous posts I’ve written about Texas Rising.

The interview gets into a little bit about Donovan’s background and a gay role he once played on 90210. I never actually watched 90210, but I know that show still has a huge fan base all over the world. I actually regret not watching it just for work related reasons because I find many of the fans of the m/m romance genre are fans of 90210. And, for those of you who really, really need labels, which I’m personally starting to care about less and less lately, Donovan is straight.

In this quote from the interview, Donovan talks about how he prepared for the role of Kit Acklin in Texas Rising. This I actually do recall just from following Donovan on social media. From what I remember, the guy worked his ass off.

“The audition process was long for me. I went in four different times. I was taking horseback riding lessons throughout the whole audition process, just in case I did get it so I would be ready to rock. I just knew that it was going to take a lot of work on my part, looking at Westerns and how these guys presented themselves, and doing historical research. But it was all a lot of fun.”

For those who hope Donovan’s character will be a knight in shining armor and sweep one lucky lady off her feet, the actor admits, “Kit has definitely got a strong moral compass. He’s a guy who grew up with family values. The Texas Rangers were kind of vigilante misfits. Some of them were criminals and ex-criminals, but they were fighting for the greater good alongside the military. Kit is definitely the more level-headed and more educated, and I have a beautiful little side love story as well.” It’s that love story that Donovan teases might just pull at your heartstrings. “Keep your Kleenex nearby,” he laughs.

You can read the rest here. 

And, you can follow Donovan on social media with these links, below. I can’t promise you much, but I can promise that if you follow Donovan you’ll never know what to expect. There are opinions, words of advice, a great deal of humor, photos of dogs…and more selfies in a week’s time than most of us will ever take in a lifetime. I’m just joking about that. Seriously, all of the photos…not just most…are professional and actually have an artistic appeal that would work in coffee table books like those of George Platt Lynes. Why Donovan’s agent isn’t getting him book deals like that I don’t know.

Snapchat:TrevDonSnap Instagram: Facebook: Youtube:

Gay Sex Shops In New York

I know I wrote about a gay sex shop in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood in one of the Virgin Billionaire books. Of course, as usual, I just can’t recall which book that is at this time. That’s because there are a few sex shops in Chelsea. And now people are starting to complain and say there are too many sex shops and they corrupt kids and ruin the neighborhood. My brother lives in Chelsea and to be honest I never actually notice the sex shops all that much. They’re almost invisible to me.

“It’s starting to feel like Times Square around here,” Stephen P. Williams told the New York Times.

Williams said he’s tired of seeing things like Boy Butter (“a revolutionary creamy formula”) and penis-enlargement systems (“used successfully for 30 years with 15 million satisfied customers”) being advertised in large window displays.

And this is priceless:

One man described as a “father” told the Times that he was recently cooking dinner with his 6-year-old son. When he asked him to get the olive oil, the child replied: “Dad, why don’t we use the Boy Butter?”

You get the idea. “Texas has a whorehouse in it…”


You can read the rest here.

Five Ways To Get Book Publicity

I often see books being promoted on social media, mainly on Twitter, in the most clever ways…and in the most questionable ways. I actually feel bad for people sometimes. So when I see something that might help authors promote I try to share…because we all know that writing the book is nothing compared to promoting it these days.

As an author, when planning a publicity campaign, you probably think about contacting the press a few months before you launch a new book or embark on a book tour. But there are a lot of other ways to get press and blog coverage for your writing besides the usual book tour and book launch publicity campaign.

Here’s a link to the rest of the piece. And frankly, I’ve begun to question a lot about promotion and how it’s done. Like it’s okay to pay Kirkus hundreds of dollars for a review, but not so okay to pay a reviewer not as well known as Kirkus for a review? Who made up THAT rule? I’m sorry. I’m not buying into that anymore. If the reviewer/reader read the book and gave it an honest review, I don’t really care if she/he got paid or not. It’s time someone said Kirkus is the emperor wearing no clothes. So if you have a great idea to promote your book, and that idea is legal and ethical, have fun. Your goal is to promote your book or books to the best of your ability. Just try to stay away from e-mail spamming. That’s the one thing that will really piss people off.

And take a moment to check out the web site. It’s all about the indie author and indie book. I think readers owe it to their wallets to check it out, too.

And Officer and His Gentleman

 

Trevor Donovan in Texas Rising Trailer; Gay Man and Bloody McDonald’s Burger; Robin Williams’ Last Gay Role

Trevor Donovan In Texas Rising Trailer

I’ve posted a few times about Trevor Donovan starring in the upcoming History Channel mini-series, Texas Rising. You can check that out here.

It’s a series filled with history during a time in America a lot of us don’t know much about. It’s focused on the Texas Revolution and the Texas Rangers. Donovan is playing Kit Acklin, who was a Texas Ranger with deep American roots, and it will debut on May 25th, almost one month from today.

Rather than get into more historical facts this time, here’s a new trailer for TR, with a vocal by Kris Kristofferson. You’ll like this, trust me. 

Gay Man and Bloody McDonald’s Burger

A 24 year old gay man went to a McDonald’s in Washington state and they called him a faggot and served up a rare burger seeping with blood. But to be perfectly honest, this isn’t just a clear case of gay hate. It is bad, as it stands. But there really is more to the story.

As far as I can parse this, the gay guy overheard the manager calling out an employee and the guy didn’t like what he heard.

Then, the gay guy spoke to the employee who was getting yelled at:

‘I stated if she was my manager and was in my face, I would not tolerate that.’

The employee went back and told the manager (the manager is a woman) what the gay guy said. And this transpired:


‘As they both were speaking, they both turned around and looked at me and then I explained that he did not need to tell her. I then stated that I would gladly explain to her how I felt about her scolding an employee in front of customers and crew members,’ he said.

Because the manager is supposed to care about what the gay guy feels?

The manager replied.

‘She then looks at me, shrugs her shoulders and says, “I really don’t care.”’

The manager could have left it at that, but she didn’t. 

You can read more here. There are a few more interesting details. Even if the gay guy may or may not have been a douche in this case, it still doesn’t give anyone the right to refer to him with pejoratives or give him bad food. The manager could have just called him a douche and left it at that. But they always have to bring the gay angle into it.

Robin Williams’ Last Gay Role

This July there will be an indie film released titled, Boulevard. It stars the late Robin Williams and he’ll be playing a gay character who is coming to terms with being gay rather late in life.

‘Boulevard is a complex, life-affirming and surprising film and Robin’s final performance is absolutely remarkable,’ Kevin Kasha, head of acquisitions for Starz, tells Entertainment Weekly.

Producer Monica Aguirre Diez Barroso tells EW: ‘We are very excited about partnering with Starz Digital to get this beautiful movie out there.’

In the film, Williams’ character begins an unsettling relationship with a young hustler (Roberto Aguire) and his safe existence with his wife (Kathy Baker) is rocked to its foundation.

Even though it sounds like all the painfully stereotypical tragic gay books and films I’ve worked hard as a writer to stay away from in my lifetime, because not everything that is gay is tragic and painful, it also sounds like something that can and does happen in real life. And there’s no doubt that I will make a point of seeing it. Hollywood can’t help themselves…yet. They only associate gay story lines with pain and tragedy about sad sack figures who are gay and are “rocked” to their foundations because they are gay.

I’m gay. I’m happy. And even though I do face various forms of discrimination daily that I’ve learned how to deal with, each time I’ve been rocked to my proverbial foundation it had nothing to do with my being gay. Usually it’s when I lose my keys. 

So there you are.