Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Pumpkin Ravioli Boy, Time Magazine, and John Cloud


Here's something I normally don't do. I'm giving a detailed explanation of the inspiration to a short story, THE PUMPKIN RAVIOLI BOY.

Two years ago, almost to the exact day, I read the dumbest article about gay relationships I've ever read in my life. It was written by John Cloud...a gay staff writer for Time Magazine. I was so annoyed, I wrote a short story and titled it THE PUMPKIN RAVIOLI BOY, which was published in a small anthology, and now recently released as a stand alone e-book by loveyoudivine.com.

I won't bore you all to death with the article. But, basically, it was one of those "studies suggest, data shows, and experts agree," type of pieces that give no solid facts and leave innocent readers with the wrong impression. And I hate, most of all, for younger gay men to think every gay relationship is like what Mr. Cloud wrote about. It's not.

"Research on gay relationships is young." This is what Mr. Cloud said in the article, a direct quote. Well...blah, blah, blah. I don't get my research from google or "experts" when it comes to gay relationships. (And I write fiction!) I gather my research from the many gay couples I personally know who have been in long term relationships for years. And, I know plenty who have been together for over thirty years. One couple over forty years.

I'm not politically vocal at all. If John Cloud had just kept this related to his own personal experiences (all rather peculiar, in that transparent trying-to-be-too-sophistocated sort of way) I would have been fine. But what bothered me the most about Mr. Cloud's piece in Time was that so many people who know nothing about gay relationships, especially during a time when we're fighting so hard for marriage and equal rights, would get the wrong idea. If I'd read this when I was younger, I would have been terrified of gay relationships. Evidently, none of his editors are gay...or they aren't in touch with their gay readership? Maybe they wanted to spark reader controversy? I don't know. But I decided to balance Cloud's version of gay relationships with a short story of my own.


Of course they wouldn't print my story in Time Magazine, and Mr. Cloud is far too literary elite to read m/m romance (I'd bet money; he'd choke on his pumpkin ravioli). But I've been writing about gay male relationships a lot longer than Mr. Cloud has been writing ambiguous articles for Time, and I think that my readers appreciate the fact that I always try to go into details, based on my own experiences, when it comes to m/m relationships.
Excerpt: “Ah, well,” Patrick said. The truth was he’d never known any born-again Christians personally, with such nice blue eyes and soft blond hair.
While Dave snapped the photos, Patrick couldn’t help noticing how tight Dave’s jeans were. The clean, faded denim hugged his round ass as though it had been painted there. He spread his legs wide and stood there as if he were standing in front of a toilet. And he had broad, level shoulders beneath the white dress shirt. His back muscles jumped and jerked when his large arms clicked the photos. At first, his body appeared to be stocky and about twenty pounds overweight, but at a second glance, Patrick was certain that Dave was a serious weight lifter. There were thick, hard muscles perfectly stacked beneath the white cotton shirt. He would have bet his last porn flick there wasn’t an ounce of flab on Dave. The man even moved liked a serious weight lifter, with slow, graceful gestures and an even sense of timing.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Link to a Great Blog Post about Fighting the Fight

Okay. My blog posts aren't always great. I know this. And I admit it openly.

However, I do know when I see a great blog post and I'm always ready to link to it here. I just read this over at author G.A. Hauser's blog and thought I'd share the link. It's not just about books and publishing this time. It's about life, and the battles we each face regularly. For me, with the fight I'm doing right now, with my friend and the disability insurance, it hit close to home.

http://gahausersblog.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 28, 2010

AN OFFICER AND HIS GENTLEMAN: Released by Alyson Books


I've been late in posting about this one. But there's been a lot going on with a new project I'm submitting tomorrow to Ravenousromance. Alyson Books just released AN OFFICER AND HIS GENTLEMAN and it's listed on their web site. If you do a search on the blog, you'll find out more information about the book, and there are even a few excerpts. Personally, I'm thrilled to be part of Alyson's long list of excellent books that serve, and have been serving, the lgbt community proudly for many years.


An Officer and His Gentleman

Ryan Field


The first book in Alyson’s new series of M/M romance novels published in partnership with e-publisher Ravenous Romance.


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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's American Idol Time Again...Go Ellen Degeneres


I'm posting a link to amazon for people who don't read e-books. AMERICAN STAR is out in print paperback, or digital format now. It's a funny, satirical lgbt novel about what might happen behind the scenes of American Idol. I wrote this book long before there was a contestant like Adam Lambert, and a judge like Ellen Degeneres. And though the storyline is revolves around a TV show just like American Idol, what happens behind the scenes is a lot more fun than what goes on in front of the cameras.


There's also a second novel in this series, AMERICAN STAR II, which has just as much lgbt fun as the first book. And, on Amazon, you can read the first section of the book and I've posted another free sample below that I thought was funny.



Then Emma stood up to clear the dinner plates and said, “I’ll start getting dessert ready. I made a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies late last night.”


Larry and Brian smiled, and that’s because they hadn’t tasted her butter cookies. Terrence gulped and stared down at his lap, hoping she’d tried a little harder to follow the recipe this time.
When she placed the cookies in the middle of the table, he waited for Brian and Larry to taste them first. They looked okay: perfect little rounds, with ridges and small dots of chocolate. But when Brian put one in his mouth and started to chew, he sat back for a moment and pressed his palm to his chest. Then he reached for a glass of water to wash it down. Larry was next. He was smiling when he put the entire cookie into his mouth, but the minute his taste buds kicked in his eyes widened and the corners of his lips turned down. Terrence had to look away; he focused on a large window at the far end of the room so he couldn’t see the defeated expression on Larry’s face.

Emma returned to the table with a pot of coffee. “How are they?” she asked. “I decided to add a few extra ingredients on my own.”

“What did you add?” Larry asked. Then he swallowed some water.

“Cracked peppercorns and cottage cheese,” she said. “I used the cottage cheese instead of butter to keep the calories down, and I figured if they could add salt in the original recipe, I may as well add some pepper, too, for extra flavor. You know, that spicy-sweet thing.” She smiled and smoothed out her skirt. Then she handed one to Terrence and said, “Here, have one.”

“I’m allergic,” he said. “I’m allergic to cottage cheese. I’m glad you mentioned that.” He’d never been allergic to anything in his life, but he wasn’t going to eat cottage cheese, peppercorn, chocolate chip cookies.

Update: My Friend with HIV; Disability Insurance

I've received a few e-mails about the posts I did regarding my friend with HIV and his disability appeal. I had to take the posts down for a reason. Due to the fact that this is so important to my friend, I hired an attorney to help me out with the appeal and she advised me to take the posts down until a later date. I will put them back up again. But for now, I have to listen to the attorney and trust her experience.

But I can't stop thinking about all the other people out there with HIV/AIDS who are in the same position as my friend, but don't have anyone acting as legal power of attorney who can hire a lawyer and do these things for them. And it goes beyond being an lgbt issue, because this involves everyone.

The entire experience also reminds me of when my friend was first admitted to the hospital and no one knew what was wrong with him. He'd been misdiagnosed by his doctors for over a year, and then rushed to the emergency room in the suburbs with what was later diagnosed as PCP Pneumonia. As his acting power of attorney at the time, I had to deal with everything. It reminds me of the insurance disability issue because the doctors at the community hospital knew as little about HIV/AIDS as the insurance company I'm dealing with right now. I found myself constantly fighting them to give him the right treatment and to support him through the experience. I did this by contacting an HIV/AIDS specialist in Philadelphia, who helped and supported me through the experience. One doctor at the community hospital, what they call a "hospitalist," (you don't want to know more about these guys, trust me) wanted me to sign DNR (do no resuscitate) papers, which would have been insane at the time. Another absolutely refused to even touch my friend, for fear she'd be exposed to HIV/AIDS. The horror stories go on and on. And I can't help wondering how many other people are going through the same thing, without the help and support I had.

But more than that, how many other lives are lost because bad, ill-informed doctors are making huge mistakes.

And to this day, I'm still amazed at how little people (doctors especially) know about HIV/AIDS, and how people with HIV deal with it on a daily basis. The most important thing I learned is that there are no set rules; everyone with HIV is a different case and they all experience different things. It's getting better every day, with ARV's and different methods of treatment, but there's still too many people who have not been informed correctly.

I will post an update about my friend and his disability case. Right now the first appeal is being reviewed and we're waiting for a decision. But I can say one thing for sure, now that I've inserted my teeth into this case, I'm not going to stop until my friend wins. As legal power of attorney, I've been through a lot worse than this.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Excerpt From VALLEY OF THE DUDES


Rather than post about VALLEY OF THE DUDES today, I thought I'd just post a long excerpt that hasn't been posted anywhere else. This excerpt is a scene from the end of the book (it's not a spoiler), where two characters, Cody and Radcliff, get into a heated argument that lands them both on the floor in a wild hair-pulling contest. With this scene, I also wanted to make a social statement in my own quiet way, about famous gay men and celebrities who refuse to come out of the closet and admit they are openly gay.


Blood rushed to Cody’s head; he clenched his fists. He lunged forward and grabbed Radcliff’s shoulders. “And you’re nothing but a washed up, self-loathing old queen who never had the guts to come out of the closet.” He shook Radcliff a few times. “You think they don’t know you’re an old queen. Do you really think the world thinks you’re a bachelor? Give me a fucking break. No one even uses that word anymore. Who the fuck do you think you’ve been fooling all these years? At least I’ve always had the guts to be openly gay, and to show the world who I am. I may be many things, but at least I’ve always been authentic. And there are other gay men out there who appreciate it.”


Radcliff pushed Cody hard. Cody went back and landed on the bathroom floor. “Doll,” Radcliff said, “you’re not even worth my time. You’re nothing but trash. Go back to the gutter where you belong and get down on your knees and do what you do best.”


But Cody stood up fast. He lunged again and pulled Radcliff to the bathroom floor. They rolled around for a few minutes, pulling and tugging each other. At one point, a bottle of Dudes fell out of Cody’s upper pocket. Radcliff reached for them fast and held them above Cody’s head. He smiled and said, “Look what I just found. I guess they didn’t do such a great job in the nut house after all. I knew you’d never stop taking these pills. Once a drug addict, always a drug addict. You’ll wind up just like that other friend of yours they found dead in a hotel room in San Francisco.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interview with Cat Johnson on Blogtalkradio...

To the right of this post, on the sidebar, there's an interview with Cat Johnson, www.catjohnson.net, from www.allromanceebooks.com. Cat asked great questions, and I tried hard to answer them without talking too much and boring her to death. We talked about the Ravenousromance first anniversary, the Ravenousromance Escape to Romance Collection with The Home Shopping Network, and about e-books and romance in general.

There's an interesting discussion about m/m fiction, and lgbt romance books. We talked about my titles, and why I write them. We even got into some of my work with other publishers, like www.loveyoudivine.com and Cleis Press. It's only half hour interview, but I think we both covered a lot of topics in a short amount of time. And it was a pleasure talking with Cat and getting to know her better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Interview with Blog Talk Radio Tonight...

If you get a chance, check out my interview tonight with blogtalkradio.com. Cat Johnson, from allromanceebooks.com, will be interviewing Lori Perkins, Holly Schmidt, and me at 9:30 pm. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/whats-hot-in-romance

I've done these radio shows before and I've always had fun. It's usually the fastest hour of the week. And if you can't listen tonight, I'll post a link tomorrow where you can listen to the entire interview in full at a later date.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ryan's Brother Ty is Doing Better...


I just read on www.aguyinlove.blogspot.com that Ryan's brother, Ty, is coming out of his coma and doing much better.


If you didn't read my earlier post about Ty, here's a link :http://ryan-field.blogspot.com/2010/01/prayers-4-ty.html


Ryan is like a younger brother to me, and I was very worried this week. I'm still worried, because he's probably not eating right (lol), but at least it's good to know that things are getting better.
When I went through something like this with a family member a few years ago, a wonderful woman I didn't really know very well (Jodi) would light a candle every night. It was a glass candle with an image of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. When my family member started to recover, Jodi gave me the candle and I never put it away. It's in my kitchen, on the mantle of the fireplace, and tonight I'm going to light it again for Ty.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Pumpkin Ravioli Boy, From Starbooks Press to Loveyoudivine Stand Alone


THE PUMPKIN RAVIOLI BOY hasn't been released yet, but I liked the cover so much I wanted to do a pre-release post and give some background information about it.

A different version of this story was originally released by Starbooks Press in an anthology. I love Starbooks Press, and the book was a nice little collection of short stories.

And now it's being released, through loveyoudivine.com, as a stand alone e-book. Only this time I've revised it to be more romantic, with a happier ending, and I added safer sex scenes that I think are more relevant to the character arcs.

I'll post more about it when it's released. But I wanted to share the cover right now. It was created by Dawne Dominique, whom I think is one of the best cover artists in the business. I've written about her before and you can find her name and links if you search this blog.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Relief for Haiti & New Release: VALLEY OF THE DUDES


First, I'm writing this in red not because it's a link, but because it's important. The people of Haiti need help, and they need it now. Here's a link to a relief fund. Or go to any relief fund. Or just say a few prayers for them. Anything and everything helps right now. http://www.haitirelieffund.org/


VALLEY OF THE DUDES was just released today, and it's longer than most of the m/m romances I've written for ravenousromance. I don't remember exactly how long it is, but I think it's somewhere between 60 and 65 thousand words. So with the sale now going on at full force at ravenousromance, it's a great deal at $1.79.



I'll post more about the book later. But here's the back cover copy, which gives a pretty good idea of the storyline. In many ways, it follows some aspects of the plot of "Valley of the Dolls." But because this story revolves around gay men, I had to make important changes that I hope readers will like. (Smile)





In this M/M adaptation of the classic novel Valley of the Dolls, an innocent young man named Rush Goodwin leaves behind his family, his longtime boyfriend, and the safety of his small New England town to find a new life that's filled with glamour and excitement in New York City. Though he's not sure exactly what he wants in life, he's willing to take a few daring chances along the way to find out.



It doesn't take long for him to make two new best friends, Cody and Anderson, who are just as young an innocent as he is when the story begins. The only difference between them and Rush is that they both have faithful partners and Rush is alone in New York. But that doesn't last long. When Rush meets his new boss, handsome Lance Sharp, it's love at first sight and the beginning of a turbulent relationship that is rarely without conflict.



While Rush and his friends are all moving forward and climbing their respective ladders of success, they each learn, in different ways, that nothing in life is perfect. Especially not the fame and fortune they thought they all wanted. And in order to deal with the stress of success, they all turn to drugs for comfort. And in time, this leads them all on a downward spiral that ruins their relationships and ultimately threatens their lives.



In the end, after suffering painful disappointments and serious setbacks that almost ruin him, Rush learns the true meaning of what life is all about for a gay man of his generation. And he does this without drugs and fame and fortune, with the help of true love and the one goal he never expected he could reach.




Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Prayers 4 Ty


I just interviewed a new blogger, Ty, from I'LL DO TRICKS FOR YOU, about a week ago. And this morning I learned that he's been in an accident. He's in a coma right now. His brother, Ryan, asked everyone to post this photo...so here it is.


Be strong, Ty.


If you want all the info on his condition, read Ryan's blog posts. http://aguyinlove.blogspot.com/

Sunday, January 10, 2010

American Idol: It's That Time of Year Again


Now that American Idol is going into full swing again, I thought I'd post about my novel, AMERICAN STAR. If you haven't read the novel, I think this is an important post. And if you have read the novel, I think it's even more important to read this post.

This book, so there is no confusion, is not a warm, tender romance like most of my other books. I just didn't think the plot warranted being a warm, typical romance. AMERICAN STAR is, and was always supposed to be, an adult, satirical look at what might go on behind the scenes of a TV reality show like American Idol. It's very erotic, in the true sense of gay erotic fiction, and there is romance. But not the kind of romance that will leave you with wet eyes. This is more of a modern romance, between very strong men, who do not apologize for their needs and the way they live their lives.

If anything, I hope AMERICAN STAR leaves you laughing, the same way I laughed while I wrote the book. Even the sexy scenes are satirical, campy and totally unreal compared to other books I've written, like TAKE ME ALWAYS and THE GHOST AND MR. MOORE.

And, I'd also like to explain, that while formatting this book as an e-book, there was a problem with the main character's name. This happens all the time in e-publishing (so they tell me), and from what I hear it has something to do with the process of going from Word to digital format. It wasn't a problem with editing. The book was edited very carefully, just like all my other novels and stand alones, by me and two other good editors at ravenousromance.com. So if you notice that the main character's name is spelled differently in sections, there is a reason that went beyond my own personal control. But it's only one letter, and it's not hard to figure out. When the book was submitted, the names were all spelled correctly.

If you are still curious about the book and not sure about whether or not it's for you, read one of my stand alones that was published by loveyoudivine.com, like DOWN THE BASEMENT or VANCE'S FLAMES. AMERICAN STAR is more along the lines of these stories.

Friday, January 8, 2010

VANCE'S FLAMES: Happy Release Day


Today VANCE'S FLAMES was released as a stand alone. It's on sale right now at http://www.loveyoudivine.com/. And can be purchased here: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-vancesflames-401321-144.html The original version was once published in an anthology by Cleis Press, edited by Shane Allison. But this stand alone version is different. It's longer, it's more like the version I wrote before it was edited and published the first time, and it's much lighter. I also had full editorial control this time. And now, most important, there's a happy ending with the hope of much more romance to come.


When a hot, young guy with a passion for starting small fires finally gets busted, he soon discovers that learning to put them out is where he gets his real thrills. With the help of a rugged, divorced volunteer firefighter, he also learns how to start a few new fires that don’t involve matches or lighter fluid.



BLURB:
Although handsome, young Vance has always been careful about his passion for starting small, harmless fires, he slips up one night and winds up getting caught in the act. But this turns out to be the best thing that has ever happened to him, because he soon learns that his passion for the rugged men who put out fires is stronger than his passion for starting them. One fireman in particular is willing to turn him around and teach him new ways, and Vance is more than willing to oblige in any way he can. And it becomes a wild adventure for them both, with the possibility of love and romance in the future.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Elisa Rolle: Wish Her Luck

As most readers of this blog know, I became friendly with Elisa Rolle a few years ago after she reviewed a short story of mine, "Irene's Cabin."

This past summer, our friendship went to another level when we met in person while she was traveling in the United States. The minute we met we clicked and didn't stop talking until it was time for her to leave.

Elisa is having surgery today, and I'm thinking all the best thoughts for her. She posted something on her own blog about the surgery, and if you'd like to stop by and wish her well, the comment thread is open.http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/915003.html

Pirate Sites: Help GA Hauser and Other Authors and Publishers Take Down Astatalk.com

I've posted about this topic already, to the point of frustration. But m/m romance author, GA Hauser, has been working hard to stop these pirates, and I wanted to post something about it again. Here's a link to her blog, where she discusses this in more depth http://gahausersblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/game-of-blame.html

What are book pirates? They own web sites where people can go to download e-books for free. This means that no one makes money except the pirates. The authors make nothing. The publishers make nothing. And if no one makes any money by publishing e-books, in time there won't be any published.

Downloading e-books from book pirates is illegal. It's stealing. You can be prosecuted. But more than that, it's also morally and ethically wrong.

Right now, ravenousromance.com is having a huge e-book sale. All e-books are only $1.79 each. This is cheap. You can't get books in WalMart this cheap. So why would anyone want to steal them?

Here's a link to one of the worst book pirate sites. When authors ask them to take down their books, they absolutely refuse to listen. http://astatalk.com/takedown-policy/

And here's a facebook link where you can become a fan to stop this site from pirating books. http://www.facebook.com/#/pages/Close-down-Astalavista-pirate-site/226369672766?ref=mf

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Interview with a New Blogger: I'LL DO TRICKS FOR YOU

A lot of long time bloggers know that I used to interview personal bloggers all the time for different web sites. I miss doing it. So I decided this year I'd start doing it again as a hobby.

And the first interview I'm doing is with a great guy named "Ty." He just started blogging, and already he's writing like a real pro. He's young, but he's smart as hell. This is all I'm going to say about him. You have to read the interview and check out his blog to learn more. Here's a link to his blog: http://illdotricksforyou.blogspot.com/ Check it out. You won't be disappointed.

How long have you been blogging?

Since November of last year.

How did you get interested in blogging?

Reading my brothers blog and seeing how people reacted to him.

Have there been others bloggers who have influenced you?

Honestly I never read any other blogs until I started my own.

What are some of the good things you get from personal blogging?

That's a good question and I'm not sure I got an answer. I thought maybe making some new friends that were like me.

What are some of the frustrations?

How easy it is for people to lie to you and how you think you've found a good friend and they slam the door in your face.

As you build a following, what are you learning about blogging?

I'm learning not to trust so much, its easy for people to sit behind a screen and tell you what they think you want to here.

Do you have a goal with your blog?

No goals I just thought it would be good to write about my day to day life.

You have a lot of gay followers. I know you don't like labels, though. Can you explain this, how you feel about labels, for people who haven't read your blog yet?

I don't understand why people have to label themselves or other people. I think this is a problem that just causes other problems. Why do we have to have labels we should be open and free to love whoever makes us happy. I think if we didn't have labels there would be a lot less hate in the world.

I also know you're into racing. Will you be blogging about racing?

After the drama that has been going on in the last few posts on my blog there will be more racing posts than anything. For now I think putting myself out there personally is not what I want. So more racing post and less personal.

Can you tell me three things about yourself that you haven't yet mentioned on your blog?

1. I don't like scary movies.
2. I don't like Pepsi.
3. I'm not a virgin.

Monday, January 4, 2010

VALLEY OF THE DUDES


I've been waiting to see the cover of this book, and I just got it a minute ago. This one hasn't been released yet, and I'll post more about it later this week, but I wanted to get the cover up today.
I don't have links or anything just yet. But for readers who have been asking for longer books, this one is well over 65,000 words. When I post about it later, I'll go into more detail about the writing process that was involved.

If You're a Fan of TAKE ME ALWAYS...

TAKE ME ALWAYS is part of the readers list over at Preditors & Editors. I'm a huge fan of this web site. I've had it listed on my sidebar since I started blogging. And they are doing a list of books this month, where readers can vote for their favorites, and TAKE ME ALWAYS is on that list. So if you get a chance, click over and cast a vote: http://www.critters.org/predpoll/novelerot.shtml

Ravenous Romance Books on Sale

I'm not sure how long it's going to last, but all books on ravenousromance.com are on sale for $1.79.

And I can tell from my e-mail in-box that readers are taking advantage of this sale and stocking up for many long nights of reading pleasure. I've received more comments and letters this past week then ever.

So if you haven't taken advantage of this, go to the main page of the web site and browse the list.