Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
When Carol first mentioned she had cancer, I told her to e-mail me privately if she needed any support. I've been through cancer with family and friends, and I've seen enough to know how to offer basic support. I was hoping she'd pull through, even though I hadn't heard anything for a while. I thought she had a good chance. Evidently, I was wrong.
Here's an excerpt from an e-mail sent out by the publisher of Loveyoudivine.com:
Carol is, and I suspect will remain, one of the most successful ebook authors of all time.
Monday, October 26, 2009
If you've ever been frustrated about writing or getting published, please take the time to read this. I guarantee it will make you feel better.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I just saw that THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE was released on ravenousromance.com today. I did a preview post for the book, and today I'm linking and adding the back cover copy. As I said in the preview post, there are a couple of interesting Halloween scenes in this one that take place in Provincetown, MA. And Halloween in P'town is a lot of fun, trust me.
When a famous child actor, Dexter Moore, leaves Hollywood and moves to Provincetown, MA, with his daughter and his longtime housekeeper, he doesn't expect to find that his new house is haunted. And especially not with the ghost of a strong, virile young sea captain who looks like Hugh Jackman and makes love like no other living man Dexter has known.
But Dexter must deal with more important things than ghosts. He soon discovers that his ex-partner lost all his money in a bad investment and Dexter is forced to go back to work. So he reluctantly agrees to do an intrusive TV show, where he is followed with cameras for three months. If he doesn't, he'll have to sell his magnificent new home and move back to Hollywood.
In order to make the TV show more interesting, Dexter's new best friend gets him involved in a heated town dispute. The new president of the chamber of commerce wants to cancel a town tradition and start something new, and half the town is against him. But Dexter doesn't get involved with this for the TV show or ratings. He's only interested in helping people and saving an important fundraiser from being canceled.
While all this is happening, Dexter slowly gets to know the ghost of handsome Captain Lang. He's the only one who can see and hear Lang. They make passionate love together, they spend long hours talking about Dexter's strong feelings, and they start working on a series of books about Captain Lang's notorious adventures at sea that will ensure Dexter's financial future. But when the books are finished and the two men finally admit they are in love, how will they reconcile their feelings with reality?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
off-campus, man 169
Harlan LaRochelle was an attractive young man with a plan
of his own. He didn’t want to go to Morehouse College in
Atlanta like his father and two older brothers. He’d applied to
Morehouse to appease them, but then he’d secretly applied to a
large university in Washington, DC.
A few months later, his father smiled and patted his back
when he’d been accepted to Morehouse; his mother hugged him
and cooked his favorite dinner. But when Harlan announced
during that same dinner that he was going to the large university
in Washington instead, his father dropped his fork so fast
he chipped a dinner plate. The mother clutched her napkin and
gave him a look.
Harlan looked his father in the eye without blinking. “I’m
going to college in Washington, DC,” he said. “I’ve been accepted
already. They have an excellent journalism program there.”
All this was true. They did have an excellent journalism
department at the Washington school. But the real reason he
didn’t want to go to Morehouse College was because the thought
of spending four more years without knowing what it was like
to kiss another man caused his stomach to turn and his knees to
twitch. He needed distance from his prominent Atlanta family.
And he needed to explore his sexuality as much as he needed
to study. He was a smart young man, with soft brown skin, a
nice firm, round ass, and square, firm chest muscles. He already
knew that women were attracted to him, but he wanted to find
out if men were interested in him, too.
A few months after that, at the end of August, when the
shouting and mean stares finally subsided, he kissed both
parents good-bye, started his black SUV, and drove north to
The first few weeks he concentrated on getting settled in the
dorms and focusing on his school work. His roommate was a
tall, thin techie type who spent most of his time with his face
glued to a computer screen. Harlan liked most of his classes and
he made a few casual friends. And everywhere he went he saw
good-looking young men. When he passed them by on his way
to class, his penis jumped and he had to stare down at his shoes
so he wouldn’t get a full erection. But he wasn’t sure what to do,
or how to approach any of them.
And then one Saturday afternoon in mid-September everything
changed. He was on his way back to his room when he
accidentally bumped into a guy wearing shiny red running
shorts and an oversized black sweat shirt in the dormitory
lobby. The guy had long, wavy, dark blond hair, was average
height, and hadn’t shaved in about two days. His pale blue eyes
were the color of Harlan’s birthstone, aquamarine. Harlan had
been looking for his keys in his backpack and hadn’t seen him
coming. He’d bumped his elbow and had knocked all his books
to the floor.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Lang smiled and waved his arm. “Please. Do I look like an amateur?”
Dexter looked into his eyes. It was a serious look; his lips were pressed together. He said, “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, amateur about you, Captain Lang.”
After that, he went downstairs so he could take Brighton trick-or-treating. She was already out on the front porch with a few of her friends. Since Dexter and Elliot were wearing costumes that night, they had volunteered to escort a few of Brighton’s friends around town. The other parents were thrilled. A lot of the parents in town worked at night in restaurants and the kids would have had to stay home if they hadn’t volunteered.
Kellan and Paige were on the front lawn because they were following everyone into town to film the entire evening. They weren’t wearing costumes. But Elliot was sitting on a wicker chair with his legs crossed at the knee. He was wearing a campy version of a Marilyn Monroe costume he’d rented in town from a drag shop. When Dexter saw him, he couldn’t stop laughing. The red lipstick was smudged; his fake breasts were crooked. Elliot hadn’t even bothered to shave his legs, and he was wearing those awful low-heeled pumps old ladies wore. They were a size too small. His huge, wide feet were bursting from the sides.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
But this weekend my nephews thought it would be funny to put Halloween costumes on the dogs. The one on the left without a costume is mine, the one dressed as a leprechaun is my mother's dog, Emma. And if you knew Emma, you'd know how much she hates this sort of thing. She is the female version of "Marley," in the book and movie, "Marley and Me," and there's nothing dainty or delicate about her.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The book was edited by Mickey Erlach, and my short story, "Happy New Year, Man," is on page 109. This particular story is one of my own favorites because I wrote it in the second person, which is something I'm normally never brave enough to do. It took weeks to get it right. But I thought the storyline called for something different, and that's why I did it this way.
This story, clearly, is not something the folks over at dearauthor.com will appreciate. It's much too authentic and it hits a bit too close to certain realities that do not fall under the headline of the current definition of m/m romance. But I really don't care, because I wrote the story to please my editor, Mickey, and the many fans of STARbooks Press :) It is within the context of the entire collection, and in a way it is romantic, with respect to the authentic self-actualization of a gay male character. And, some gay male writers are still writing "stuff" like this for traditional publishers, even though it's getting harder and harder to do these days.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Don't get me wrong. I watch Glee and I enjoy the music. But as far as the storyline goes, I've never seen such absolute poetic license in my entire life. The things these TV writers get away with leaves my mouth hanging open.
This past week I worked on edits for a book that's due to be released before Halloween. It's an LGBT take on the old book and movie, "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." The book I'm working on is a contemporary, paranormal romance. The main character is a former child star who moves to Provincetown to start a new life. In the original manuscript, I left his financial status open and ambiguous. He was the star of a successful sitcom; he has plenty of money; he doesn't have to work. I thought that was enough. But the editor thought it was too ambiguous and I revised this part of the book with more valid details that were believable. The editor was right, and I think the character's history is more believable now.
This sort of thing happens all the time. When a romance book goes to an editor, everything is triple checked to make sure it's believable. We take a certain amount of license, but we try hard to get the facts right. We do this for the readers, and we never assume anything.
Last night, during Glee, one of the characters got a job as a school nurse. She never went to nursing school, had never worked near a medical environment, and her general background was in retail. But she got a job, on Glee, as the school nurse. If I were to write this in a romance, the romance reviewers would be off to battle and my blond hair would be flying all over the Internet. But more than that, I can say for sure that no public school system in this country would ever hire a retail clerk, in only one day, as a school nurse. School nurses, especially these days, are vetted and interviewed. And it's not a simple process.
Now, this character on Glee could have been written into the storyline as a school cafeteria worker, which would have been fine. It would have blended with her past experience and they still could have worked her motives into the plot. It just leaves me wondering if these TV writers are stupid, uninformed, or they just don't care.
Another one of the many things that make me wonder about Glee, is their approach toward infidelity. If I wrote a romance with blatant infidelity, the readers and reviewers would be ready for battle again. I've taken a few chances in the past. I wrote about a character who had affairs while he was on a break with his lover, and I've taken flack for it. In a romance book, infidelity in any form is a definite turn off.
But in Glee, they don't seem to care about infidelity. One single, flaky school teacher is getting seriously involved with a married school teacher, and the writers make the married guy look like a saint. They portray this guy's wife as a total creep who deserves to be cheated on. And they make the single school teacher appear as a vulnerable, wise angel, with a few unrealistic quirks. The wife really is a creep. But wouldn't it be nicer if they made the husband realize this and leave the creep before he started to get involved with another school teacher on the sly?
On another level, I'm really tired of seeing school teachers portrayed as these pathetic, downtrodden types. In both Glee and Hung, the writers give the impression that school teachers, in general, are nothing more than poor slobs looking for something better in life. It's misleading at best. I know a lot of school teachers. A dear friend, Joanne, is a school teacher in a public school in Brooklyn. She and the teachers I know love what they do and they are far from being poor slobs. They aren't making millions, but they are making decent salaries, with good benefits, in very hard economic times. I know that teachers' salaries vary in different parts of the country, as do living standards. But I also know that most teachers love and respect what they do.
I'll still keep watching Glee. Partly for the music, and partly to see how far they will go. I have a feeling that they are going to raise infidelity to a much higher level. Higher than any steamy romance novel ever written.
Monday, October 5, 2009
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.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I'm on both facebook and twitter and I'm finding that the posts I enjoy most are the ones I see from friends and family and other writers and publishing people I know. These are the posts I care about. I like to know when my buddy Ryan blogged. I like to know when Holly or Lori made an announcement about something important. Dana and the other ravenous romance writers always keep me informed; I love their posts and tweets. And I never miss my nephews' posts. They are both away at school and I don't see them that often. Actually, I even enjoy reading the fan posts from Ryan Seacrest. He's always up on pop culture, something that interests me as a writer, and the posts are always positive and informative.
I've even learned a few things from facebook posts by Neil Plakcy, a writer and editor who knows how to use both facebook and twitter very well.
But the facebook posts and tweets I care the least about are from people endlessly promoting something to me and other people who don't care. And, how effective can these promotional posts and tweets possibly be when they are annoying more than half the people they are trying to attract. I have a rule: I give them a week. And when I start seeing nothing but promotional things, I click "hide."
So the vid isn't just funny, it also has some merit that a few facebookers and tweeters should take to heart.