Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Last Boyfriend by J. S. Cooper; New Adult Fiction; Wild Animals Lurking

The Last Boyfriend by J. S. Cooper New Adult Fiction

While I was perusing the interwebz this weekend for new adult fiction I stumbled across a very interesting author, J. S. Cooper, who has written a book titled, The Last Boyfriend. In fact, it's next on my TBR list for a variety of reasons, one of which is the spectacular cover.

If you have not checked out her facebook page, I highly urge you to do so. She seems like a nice person, with an honest voice, and her updates are very informative. In fact, there are several you'll love.

She's also giving away a new mini iPad in a promotional event you can read more about on FB, too. As I said, I highly encourage you to check her out. At the very least you get a chance to win a mini iPad, which is my own particular reading device choice of the moment right now.

From facebook:

Want to win an iPad Mini or a swag pack from The Last Husband? Then click below to enter my rafflecopter! Don't forget to like, share and comment on this post!!

The Last Husb...
and is the sequel to the New York Times and USA TODAY Bestseller The Last Boyfriend. 
Here's a link to the promotional event, and here's one to her fan page.  And this is a link to where you can find her book, The Last Boyfriend, on Amazon.

Wild Animals Lurking

This seems to be the summer for wild animals lurking for food and mischief...in Bucks County, PA that is. And I don't think it's just isolated to Bucks County or Pennsylvania because good friends in Princeton, which is about forty-five minutes away, have told me they've spotted a few bears there, too. And, I would imagine there are plenty of other places where wild animals have been spotted.

Another black bear has been spotted in Solebury Township (Bucks County).
Last Saturday evening around 7 o’clock, the black bear was spotted down by the Delaware River, near Armitage and River Road.

You can read more here.

I run anywhere from three to five miles every single morning along the Delaware Canal in New Hope, which is about a five minute drive from my home in New Hope. Trust me, I'm aware of things like this at all times. I never assume anything and I make sure I'm prepared for everything. And I've learned the best approach with any wild animal is to stop, stand still, and don't make any sudden moves. If you stand still and ignore them, the odds are they'll continue on without incident. But if you get aggressive, they are going to attack you and it's not going to be pretty.

Here are a few things to know when approached by a wild animal (or any wild creature anywhere, as the case may be). I think this one is of particular importance...with bears, of course.


Understand the bear's motivations. A little bear psychology can go a long way—your response to an attack should be shaped by the bear’s motivations. First, if a bear appears to be stalking you (disappearing and reappearing, for example), or if a bear attacks at night, it most likely sees you as food, and any attack will be predatory. If you surprise a bear on the trail, if the bear has cubs, or if the bear is eating from or protecting a carcass, the bear will most likely be acting in self-defense.

 







 


  






 

 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

If I Were Paula Deen's Literary Agent

If I Were Paula Deen's Literary Agent

There has been a great deal written and discussed about television personality and cookbook author, Paula Deen, in the past two weeks. And one of the things I was watching closely was what would happen with her upcoming cookbook with Random House, and how Deen's literary agent would react.

In spite of how much I hate the N-word, and anything even remotely related to racism, I've tried to remain objective while posting about Paula Deen. And this post is strictly about books and publishing and I'm not offering any subjective comments now on Deen's situation. But since this is a publishing related post and it deals with Deen's cookbook, I did want to comment on Random House canceling her book.

Random House has canceled the publication of Paula Deen's upcoming cookbook Paula Deen's New Testament, as well as four other cookbooks Deen was on contract to write with imprint Ballantine, the publishing house announced in a statement Friday.

Random House was not the first to break ties with Deen, but they certainly did wait until almost the very end to see how things were going to play out. I've also read they allegedly may have canceled her books partly because major retail outlets have severed ties with Deen this past week, which basically means they might be worried they won't have a place to sell the books once they are published. That's only hearsay, and no one really knows if that's a fact so I'm not linking to anything related to that. And it doesn't even make sense to me because I've also read that Deen's unpubbed cookbook rose to number one on Amazon last week because so many people wanted to show their support to Deen. And the fact is that people are supporting her in spite of how many companies are dropping her.

The book was scheduled for release in October, and in recent days pre-orders have raised it to No. 1 on the online bookseller's sales ranks. Her 2011 cookbook, "Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible," has risen to the second spot.

As an author, I know that Amazon accounts for a good deal of sales, and if someone can't get something anywhere else they will go to Amazon...even if it's a cookbook they can't buy at Target or Wal-Mart. As a consumer I have done this many, many times when I've wanted something badly enough. As far as I know, Amazon has not refused to sell Deen's books. At least I don't think they have.

And if I were Paula Deen's agent I would be looking out for the best interests of my client and doing what is right for my client. That's what an agent does. I'm speaking strictly from a publishing POV right now. I've also been waiting to see what Deen's agent would say about all this.

"I am confident that these books will be published and that we will have a new publisher," Deen's literary agent, Janis Donnaud, told the Associated Press.

Publishing is a business and agents work for/with authors. On a pragmatic level, no one can argue that point. Publishing is also about freedom of speech, whether you agree with what someone says or not. I find everything about what Alec Baldwin says repulsive, but I do think he has the right to say it. Evidently, there are many people who are supporting Deen, people of ALL races, who don't think she got a fair deal. If that weren't true the sales ranks on Amazon wouldn't reflect these amazing numbers. And Deen's agent can't ignore that.

I wouldn't be surprised if Deen's agent didn't advise her to self-publish the books. Other literary agents have found ways to work these things out as a partnership of sorts so there's no conflict of interest. And it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. A publisher has every right to cancel a book if an author is in breach of contract for whatever reason (there are little clauses for things like this). But an author...any author...also has the right to get his/her books out to their readers as well. With all the options out there now for authors and literary agents, I think this might be just one more example in the future of another self-publishing success story.



Brother vs Brother; Frat Pack; Scott Brothers Entertainment

There's a new TV show coming out this July titled, Brother vs Brother, and it looks like it was inspired somewhat from two members of the infamous Frat Pack, Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller. At least that's what Jonathan Scott, one of the stars of the TV show, tweeted today. I'm a HUGE Owen Wilson fan, but I've never actually seen a Ben Stiller movie, so that's as far as I can go in that direction.

Aside from all this, I am looking forward to Brother vs Brother on HGTV. I've been a fan of their show, The Property Brothers since it started, and I think this new show is going to be interesting. There's a chemistry between them that most brothers don't share.

Are you Team Jonathan or Team Drew? Watch web-exclusive videos, read our bloggers' competition recaps and tell us which brother you're rooting for!

I'm usually in the corner of adorable Team Jonathan, but I digress.

If you just can’t seem to get enough of brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott, then you’ll love what’s heading your way this summer. Each week on Property Brothers you’ve witnessed their playful jabs and friendly competitiveness. Well now, you can watch them go head-to-head on HGTV’s newest show, Brother Vs. Brother. The brothers will lead two teams, Team Jonathan and Team Drew, and work to add value to two homes. The last team member standing will win a whopping $50,000 cash prize! - See more at: http://blog.hgtv.com/HGTVersus/category/brother-vs-brother/#sthash.T8BLhR7y.dpuf

For those who are not familiar with the Frat Pack, you can read more here. I find it refreshing to see that something like Brother vs Brother promo photo was inspired by Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller. It rings of the kind of parody I enjoy most, and also the kind of parody a lot of people don't always understand. In any event, I think it's going to be an interesting show.

Here's a link to the their web site, where you can also read about JD Scott as well. I find their honest tweets and facebook updates refreshing, especially those regarding the recent SCOTUS rulings JD posted. It's nice to see they aren't afraid to speak up and talk about what they believe is right. We don't see enough of that lately.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Cover Preview: Cowboy In Love Bad Boy Billionaire Series

Here's a cover preview for an upcoming book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, Cowboy in Love.



The entire book is set in Texas, and it gets very emotional in more than one part. The main character is still grieving for his deceased husband, and doesn't know how to move on with his life. I'll post a release date soon.

Here's a link to a free excerpt and a book description, and some info that explains more of the book in detail.

 

Alec Baldwin Gay Slurs; Free Excerpt Tea Dance




I really do like to post more positive things on Fridays, but I just couldn't ignore the recent gay slurs from Alec Baldwin again. And in light of what's been happening with Paula Deen all week, I think what Baldwin did is highly relevant when it comes to the different standards we set.

Evidently, Alec Baldwin didn't like something a reporter wrote about him, and he went off on that reporter on twitter. There are links to this everywhere. This is from gawker:

I'm gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I'm gonna fuck...you...up. http://t.co/eoHfGGjD46
— ABFoundation (@ABFalecbaldwin) June 28, 2013

Here's a link, with screen shots. I don't like sharing screen shots because they belong to the author of the article (it's like a photo), so full credit is due with this link. And if you haven't read these tweets in full, you might want to seriously check them out.

Here's another link to back the first one up, with more examples of Baldwin's hate speech toward gays, in detail. And that's what it is. Hate speech from a nasty, privileged hateful man.

Angry about a Daily Mail story that reported his wife, Hilaria, had tweeted during James Gandolfini's funeral, Baldwin let fly a series of tweets that took a homophobic turn, calling reporter George Stark a "Toxic little queen."

What I find most interesting is that Alec Baldwin has done this before. And once again his hate speech was directed at gays, and the UK. In this article he gets us all.

The Twitter messages were directed at the editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News, British-born journalist Colin Myler and read:

“Ever since that English Queen took over the Daily News, they lie like the Post…” and

“Her Highness Colin Myler… Please don’t do to the News what you did to NOTW…”

And finally, this article mentions Alec Baldwin's hate speech toward gays, and what I brought up earlier in this post about Paula Deen and the double standards we set in the media.

 "This is the kind of incident that shows the hypocrisy of the liberal media. Paula Deen says something bad decades ago and has her whole career destroyed," he said. "Alec Baldwin fills his career with embarrassing moments – saying awful things to his daughter, getting kicked off an airplane and now, the ultimate PC sin, anti-gay comments. And his career will continue unharmed."

Read more:
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/06/28/alec-baldwin-calls-reporter-toxic-little-queen-says-wife-did-not-tweet-during/#ixzz2XWTyrqVm

I would take this even a step further. I think this is a double standard against gays in general. What else could you call it? What Paula Deen did was wrong, but she admitted it openly, talked about it openly, and literally begged for forgiveness on national television. And even with all that, her empire has been crumbling all week...and it might continue. Random House still hasn't made a decision about her book release in October in spite of what I hear about all the pre-release sales.

What Alec Baldwin did was far worse in my opinion because he threatened someone with bodily harm and vituperative gay slurs, but I don't see the same media frenzy with out of control vicious Baldwin that surrounded Paula Deen. And I don't see the studios, networks, and advertisers with which he's associated firing him and ruining his entire life. Why not?

What this suggests to me is that you can say anything you want about gays and get a free pass, but if you make other politically incorrect comments off the cuff, in private years earlier, you're finished. And the worst part of it all is now we'll have to suffer through more of Alec Baldwin's pinched face sneers and superior unwarranted attitude on good old boy TV shows like Letterman where Baldwin will turn this entire thing into one big funny-ha-ha joke and get away with it.

Photo here.

Free Excerpt: Palm Beach Stud

On a more positive note, I wanted to post a free raw (before final edits) excerpt from an upcoming release in the Bad Boy Billionaire series titled, The Palm Beach Stud. This particular excerpt deals with gay culture and gay tea dance, which I posted about earlier this week here.


Brady stood up and leaned back into Farman’s chest. He kissed Farman on the cheek and said, “I’ll do that.” Brady failed to mention they really hadn’t done anything different at all. They’d basically done the same thing they’d been doing since they’d met. The only thing different was they’d done this on a Sunday morning instead of a Friday or Saturday night. All at once, the thought of doing this same thing for the rest of his life sent a wave of panic through Brady’s entire body. It ended with a sting in his gut and he took a deep breath.

          Then Farman patted his bottom and turned to leave the room. On his way out, he stopped and said, “Speaking of breaking up the routine, do you mind if we skip brunch today?”
          “Skip brunch?” Brady almost fell off the bed. They’d only skipped brunch that one time a few months ago when Farman had come down with the flu.

          “I promised Lucky I’d come over and show him a few things about foursquare,” Farman said. “We can all go to tea dance [J1] later, just like we always do.” Brady had been the one who had introduced Farman to the entire concept of tea dance when they’d first met. Up until then, Farman didn’t know tea dance was a big thing in gay culture, or that gay men all over the world went out on late Sunday afternoons to gather at gay clubs to do anything from dancing, to drinking, to watching strippers.

          He hadn’t heard Farman make these plans with Lucky. They must have discussed it while Brady hadn’t been paying attention. This didn’t bother Brady as much as it should have bothered him. He shrugged and said, “It’s fine with me. It will give me a chance to go over a few things about the wedding with Mother.” The truth was Brady had never been a huge fan of brunch. He preferred to eat later, and most of the time during brunch he forced a salad down his throat in order to please Farman. If anything, it was a relief not to go to brunch.

          “Excellent,” Farman said. “I’ll go shower. I told Lucky I’d be over sometime after ten this morning.”

          Brady turned toward the master bathroom and said, “I’ll shower and clean up and then I’ll make some coffee and breakfast if you want.”

          “Just coffee for me,” Farman said. “I’m not that hungry this morning, and I don’t want to keep Lucky waiting.”

          Brady just smiled and shrugged. He wondered if Kevin knew about their plans. As Farman headed to the guest bathroom, he went into the master bath. Although Brady knew how to cook, and he wouldn’t have minded making breakfast for Farman, cooking wasn’t something he loved doing either.  He almost suggested they shower together, but then stopped and closed the bathroom door. When he realized he wanted to shower alone that morning without Farman, he felt a wave of relief.

* * * *

                    When they returned to the house in Brady’s car, they found Michele and Brady’s dad standing on the front steps. Brady parked under a tree and sat there gripping the wheel for a moment. “What’s he doing here today?” He hadn’t expected to see Rick this soon again. He’d been hoping he wouldn’t see him ever again after what he’d done at the dance club the night before.

          “Who is that?” Farman asked. Brady hadn’t mentioned anything to Farman about Rick yet. He’d told him the basics: that his dad was gay, he was a semi-pro race car driver, and that he lived the life of an aging circuit queen traveling from one city to the other where trendy middle-aged gay men tried as hard as they could to cling to their youths.

          “It’s my father,” Brady said. “I ran into him last night at the club by accident. Mother invited him to our wedding.” He decided not to mention what Rick had done to him the night before. It was too revolting to revisit.

          “He seems so young,” Farman said. “He’s very attractive.”

          Brady rolled his eyes. “He’s pure compost on the inside.”

          “Well.”

          Brady climbed out of the car and Farman followed. When they reached the front steps, Michele looked at Brady with a guarded expression and said, “I heard you bumped into your father last night at a night club in South Beach.”

          Brady forced a smile so Farman wouldn’t see his real feelings. “Oh yes, mother. Did Rick tell you how interesting it was? I have to admit, it was the surprise of a lifetime.” He glanced at Rick with absolute disgust.

          “I heard,” Michele said. “Your father came here this morning to explain.”

          Rick looked at Brady and said, “I’m not staying. I only wanted to apologize again. But I hope I get to see you again while I’m in town.”

          “I guess I’ll see you at the wedding,” Brady said. He still hadn’t introduced Farman—on purpose. Farman had begun to rock back and forth, as if eager to meet Rick.

          Rick frowned and looked down at the pavers. “I was hoping we could get together before that, but it you don’t have time I understand.”

          Michele reached out for Rick’s hand. “I’ll talk to him, Rick. We’ll work something out.” She’d been urging Brady to get to know his father better for years, in spite of everything Rick had ever done to her.

          Farman had grown tired of waiting, so he leaned forward and extended his hand to Rick. “I’m Farman Lexington. I’m the happy groom who is marrying your son.”

          “I’m sorry,” Brady said. He patted Farman on the shoulder. “Farman, this is my long-lost father, Rick James.”

          “It’s very nice to meet you,” Rick said, shaking Farman’s hand.

          Farman lifted his chin and spoke with his Ivy League voice. “Likewise, I’m sure.”

          Then Kevin opened the front door and looked at everyone. He wore nothing but rumpled boxer shorts. He had a huge mug of black coffee in his right hand, and his hair was all messed up on top. “Well, well. What’s going on out here?” He set the coffee down on top of a Grecian urn in such a precarious way it looked as if it would fall off. He walked up to Rick and hugged him. “No one told me my favorite ex-father-in-law was here this morning.”

          Rick hugged Kevin and said, “I’m leaving. I’m driving up to Daytona this morning to meet a few old friends.”

          “Don’t let us keep you,” Brady said. He wanted him out of the house. He also wanted Kevin to put on a robe because his junk moved around in the boxer shorts in such a vulgar way each time he made the slightest move.

          Michele rolled her eyes and she sent Brady a vicious glare.

          Rick seemed eager to leave, so he said, “I really do have to get moving.” Then he said goodbye to everyone and stopped when he reached Brady. He hugged him, even though Brady made no attempt to return the hug, and said, “I hope we can talk while I’m in town. It would mean a lot to me.”

          Brady stepped back and squared his shoulders. “We’ll see.” Then he turned and walked into the house and left the rest of them outside.

          A moment later, Michele walked into the kitchen and glared at him again. “How could you be so heartless? He’s your father, and nothing is ever going to change that.”

          Brady noticed Kevin had followed her, with his junk moving around even more in his boxer shorts. “He’s never been a father to me, and you know that better than anyone.”

          “So he tried to get into your pants last night,” Kevin said. “It was an honest mistake. You can’t blame him. I did the same thing the first time I saw you.” Kevin had been even more aggressive than Rick had been the night before. They’d met in a club and he’d literally pulled Brady out to his car, shoved him into the backseat, and pulled his pants down.

          But Brady didn’t want to listen to any of this. He turned to Kevin and said, “Go put on a robe or something. You shouldn’t be walking around that way in front of my mother.”

          Kevin laughed.

          Michele said, “Give me a break. I have two sons. I’ve been married more than once. I’ve seen it all and Kevin has nothing that’s going to shock me.”

          “Where’s Farman?” Brady asked. “He was right behind me outside.”

          Kevin smiled. “I sent him out back to the pool. Lucky was out there waiting for him. They are supposedly going to play foursquare or do something like that. I wasn’t paying attention to them.” Evidently, he knew about their plans.

          “Where are Jackson and Lawrence?” Brady asked.

          Michele said, “Jackson drove down to Key West.” She frowned, which meant he’d gone to meet his married lover, who had a house down there. “He’ll be back in a day or two. I’m not sure. And Lawrence is still in bed sleeping.”

          “I’m going to change and go for a swim,” Brady said. He wanted to get away from Kevin and he wanted to stop talking about his father. He figured that if he was really lucky, and if history repeated itself as it usually did, Rick would forget all about the wedding and not show up at all.

          “I’d like to discuss a few things with you first,” Michele said. She smiled at Kevin and patted him on the arm. “If you’ll excuse us, dear, I’d like to talk to Brady in the conservatory.” She spoke in a rare tone, one that she used whenever Brady had done something wrong.


 







Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gay Marriage: Most Of Us Are Still Outlaws

Gay Marriage: Most Of Us Are Still Outlaws

I've been going back and forth with a friend on Cape Cod this evening trying to explain the recent SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage. This friend lives in New York part time, and was married in New York to his husband, but his *main* legal place of residence is in Pennsylvania where same sex marriage is NOT recognized. So basically he's in the same position Tony and I are in as residents of Pennsylvania where same sex marriage is NOT recognized on a state level...unless he establishes full time New York residency.

My friend was thrilled, like we all were thrilled, to hear the ruling about same sex marriage. And then he e-mailed me and said Tony and I should get married in New York so we can get the federal recognition at the very least, even if we cannot get the state recognition in PA. All that sounds wonderful, but there's an important point my friend missed. If you are a same sex couple and you live in a state, and you have residency in a state, where same sex marriage is NOT recognized, you are not eligible for federal recognition. The court made a point of explaining this.

This article is the best I could find so far, and this section sums it all up very neatly:

2. Where you live matters more than it ever did.

Those lucky enough to live in states that recognize their marriages are upgraded to full state and federal benefits based on the DOMA ruling. Those who don’t live in such states remain in much the same situation as before.

Geography could play a big role in how the federal government implements the Supreme Court’s ruling. Social Security, for example, recognizes marriages based on the policies of the state where a beneficiary lives, says Peter W. Martin, a Cornell University law professor who specializes in the entitlement program. That means that two men married in Massachusetts but living in Florida, which bans gay marriage, likely wouldn't get spousal benefits.

The Supreme Court’s DOMA decision could create stark contrasts. In Pennsylvania, for example, a same-sex couple gets no recognition at all. If they get married out of state, they can't even file for divorce in Pennsylvania, which is a major inconvenience, says Julia Swain, a partner at law firm Fox Rothschild LLP in Philadelphia.

You can read more here. It also states that the Obama administration could work aggressively to give out as many federal benefits as possible, which I'm hoping is the case.

But I honestly don't know how to get that point across any clearer, as things stand right now as I write this post. Yes, the ruling was historic and it brought us all one step closer to full equality. Yes, I'm thrilled it happened and I'm thrilled for same sex couples who live in states where they are fortunate enough to be recognized. However, Tony and I, and millions of other gay couples in this country, are basically still screwed and we are still outlaws.

And if you live in a state where gay marriage is not recognized yet (like PA) and you think that by getting married in a state where it is recognized you're going to be recognized on a federal level because of this ruling, you'd better check out all the legal details. If it were, Tony and I would have been in New York today.

So those of you who think the fight for equality is over should take a closer look at this ruling, and even though it is a time to celebrate and things are moving forward, it's not time to take down the equality banners just yet. There is still a long way to go for many of us.


Gay Content; More Paula Deen; Equal Rights Blog Hop

I posted yesterday about something that happened to me during final edits for an upcoming book about tea dance in gay culture, and I just wanted to elaborate on why I'll probably vet gay content...or gay cultural content...even more now.

But I'm not going to go overboard either, and I also wanted to get into why it's important not to add too much information in fiction. Tea dance for me and thousands of other gay men of all ages...it's not an age thing or a generational thing; I know gay men that range from age 21 to 91 who go to tea dance in Sunday afternoons...is something we don't even think about twice. I e-mailed good friends yesterday to back me up and they agreed with me. But I do understand how many people who are not gay, or familiar with all the details of gay culture, would not know anything about tea dance. So I added a few lines to the book in an appropriate place to explain tea dance.

But only a few lines. I didn't go into a long dissertation with multiple paragraphs on tea dance or the history of tea dance. I didn't want to stop the story to do that, I didn't want to lose the reader, and I think the explanation doesn't disrupt anything in the book. If I had gone into a long explanation of tea dance I would have run the risk of boring the people who do know what tea dance is, and even boring those who don't know what it is. In other words, the book is about a Palm Beach rake (bad boy), it's not about tea dance in gay culture. And it's important to stay focused on the story and not the elements surrounding the story.

As for all gay content in general, I'm going to be thinking differently now whenever I write something into a book where I mention something dealing with gay culture that I take for granted. With all the blogs and information I see out there at a glance, I honestly did think someone, somewhere, had posted about tea dance and I thought it would be redundant to explain it in the book. But I'm not going to assume anything anymore. There are blogs I see sometimes that post up to five five or six times a day about gay history and gay couples, but now I'm starting to wonder how deeply those posts go. In other words, I'm starting to think all these articles flashed on blogs and social media are nothing more than excerpts and quotes from other practical academic sources with very little original content that's based on any personal...or solid...experience about gay culture.

One of the things I find most difficult, as a gay writer, is finding good solid information about anything online dealing with gay culture when I need a resource. For example, in this article/post that deals with gender power in m/m romance, everything is based on academic information you can find in a text book in any community college. It's a good article; it can't be disputed. I completely agree with it. However, I find it lacking like most other gay content I find online. And that's just a very small example. The majority of information I read online always seems to skim over gay content, with haphazard pieces about gay couples in history, or famous people who may (or may not in some cases) have been gay, always leave me wondering why no one ever digs deeper. It's one thing to post about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas on the surface and say they were gay, but it's another to really get into a least a small part of the dynamics behind their relationship.

When I wrote the Titanic historical gay romance over a year ago (which will be released soon with Ryan Field Press as a .99 e-book) I found basically nothing about gay men in the Edwardian era when I was researching. And that's because the word gay with regard to sexuality didn't even exist back then. If they weren't referred to as homosexuals, they were queers and fags and a variety of other pejoratives I would rather not repeat here. And no one talked about it openly, so no one recorded anything. And the best we can do now is guess about what it was really like.

But things have changed, and gay content isn't that difficult to find anymore. The big problem I see right now are the sources where the gay information is offered is often lacking in substance, and lacking in content because it's not coming from people who know how to dig deeper...or want to take the time to dig deeper. As a result, nice people take for granted that's all there is and they don't question anything because they don't realize they aren't getting all the information. And that's where it's important to vet gay content these days. In other words, don't just take what you see on a blog that posts tons of gay articles daily and think it's valuable information. It's information, and it's most likely correct, but it's not going to tell you about things like gay tea dance. I'm going to try to work harder on this in the future.

More Paula Deen Issues

It was announced yesterday that now Wal-Mart and Caesars Entertainment will be backing away from Paula Deen. And there might be more to come.

Walmart and Caesars Entertainment joined Smithfield, a food company specializing in pork products, which dropped Deen on Monday. The Food Network also decided not to renew Deen’s contract after her remarks.

QVC told TMZ.com it was “closely monitoring these events and we are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen. In the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC.”

Equal Rights Blog Hop

A blogging buddy of mine sent me information about a blog hop for his new web site that's focused on equal rights.

From my inbox:

The Equal Rights Blog Hop
As most of you know, equal rights are something that the GLBT community (or whatever acronym you prefer) has been fighting for across the world for some time now. The right to marry whomever we love. The right to be protected against discrimination in the workplace. The right to be protected from acts of violence that stem from who and what we are. We are making gains in some areas–many more countries are recognizing same-sex marriages as a legal right. We are losing ground in others, such as the increase in state-sanctioned violence against homosexuals in Russia and transgendered people in Greece.

July the 4th marks the celebration of Independence Day in the United States. We invite you to take place in a blog hop to celebrate our own march toward independence!

Queer Town Abbey is hosting a blog hop July 4th through 7th and we want YOU to participate! We’re calling on writers across the GLBT genre to join us: our theme is “What does being a member of the GLBT community mean to you?”

Please write a blog post on this topic and post it on your site on the 4th July. Feel free to also promote your books, too. Consider offering a prize to readers who comment on your post, as this will help ensure that people circulate the entire blog list.

This is a serious subject but we want you to have fun too! Share with us what being a member of this fabulous community means to you while taking the opportunity to introduce yourself to new readers and potential fans.

For more info: http://queertownabbey.com/join-the-equal-rights-blog-hop-july-4th-through-7th/




 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gay Marriage Ruling; Tea Dance Gay Culture



Just to be clear on the gay marriage ruling today in the Supreme Court, I wanted to post something short for those who don't always understand these things at a glance (like me).

The victory means the federal government must recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples married in the 12 states that allow same-sex marriage, plus the District of Columbia, and give them the same benefits that they had been previously denied under the struck-down law, the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA).

This means those who are fortunate enough to live in states where same sex marriage is legal are now protected by the same laws as straight married couples. And what used to be a small victory for gay couples who lived in states that did legalize gay marriage is now a huge victory or them and for equality.

84 year old widow, Edith Windsor, is a new hero of mine.

Windsor launched her lawsuit after getting a bill for $363,000 in estate taxes after her wife, Thea Spyer, died in 2009 – two years following the couple's marriage in Canada. She noted that if her spouse had been named “Theo,” she wouldn't have received that bill.

Windsor will now get that money back as a result of this ruling.

Tony and I have known more than a few gay couples who have been faced with these taxes upon the death of a spouse. In many cases it has wiped the survivor out. Unfortunately, Tony and I still live in Pennsylvania where gay marriage is not legal, and if that stands we may be forced to leave our home and move to a state where it is legal. So there's still a long way to go for most gay couples, and there's still a lot to do before we are all considered equal. But I think now, after this ruling today, things will move faster in a lot of other states.


Tea Dance Gay Culture

This morning I received copy edits from the publisher for one of my Bad Boy Billionaire Books, The Palm Beach Stud, and I thought it would be the routine revises I've come to expect. But this time I noticed something unusual. The book is set in Palm Beach, FL, and I'd mentioned the characters were all going to Tea Dance on a Sunday afternoon, which is still popular at clubs in South Beach...and other gay venues all over the country. I didn't elaborate on this because I didn't think I had to.

However, the editor left a question mark in tracker, and then she highlighted every other place I'd mentioned Tea Dance. So I was curious, and I put a question out on facebook to see how many other people didn't know about Tea Dance in gay culture. And I found out there are many who don't know. So I figured I would put it in a post and give links right now. I also gave a strong explanation of Tea Dance in the book and sent it back to the publisher with the revise. I probably should have known better, but I thought everyone was familiar with it. I'm just glad the copy editor caught it before it was released. One more reason you need an editor.

This is from Urban Dictionary:

Tea dance, often abbreviated as just "tea", is a term for "happy hour" used among men and women in the gay community. Not necessarily just one hour.
The term can also be qualified by "hight" and "low" to qualify the time of day it occurs. Low tea typically takes place earlier in the evening. High tea is later. And in some larger gay resorts, such as Fire Island, there is even mid-tea which takes place between the two.

In places like Provincetown, MA, Tea Dance is something gay tourists look forward to...sometimes every day of the week. In New Hope, there's a Tea Dance at The Raven restaurant/bar every Sunday all year long...even in the winter. We go from about 5 in the afternoon until about 7 in the evening. This link to Wiki also gives a good explanation, and gets into the origins of Tea Dance. I know more than one gay couple where Sunday revolves around Tea Dance...or as they say, "Sunday Tea."



Paula Deen Again; Danny Cevallos on CNN; Nook Partnership; Scotus

Update 2: The Supreme Court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California by holding that defenders of California's gay marriage ban did not have the right to appeal lower court rulings striking down the ban. Link

Update: SCOTUS strikes down DOMA as unconstitutional.  "DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment."

Paula Deen gave a highly emotional interview on NBC's Today Show this morning about the issues she's been facing recently with racism and the N-word. I've posted earlier here. This next link will lead you to CNN where the interview was discussed with Marvette Britto, president and CEO of PR and brand strategy Firm, The Britto Agency, and Danny Cevallos, criminal defense attorney from Philadelphia.

The accusations against Deen stem from a lawsuit filed by a former manager of Deen's restaurants in Savannah, Georgia. Lisa T. Jackson's lawsuit alleges that Deen and her brother, Bubba Hier, committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of Jackson's five-year tenure at Deen's Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba's Oyster House eateries in Savannah.

Marvette Britto didn't seem impressed with Deen's interview, or the way Deen handled the issue. Unfortunately, the clip didn't include what Danny Cevallos had to say, and I was very curious to listen to him. Cevallos started doing these pieces on local Philadelphia news channels not too long ago, and since then he's gone network. I wouldn't be surprised if Cevallos wound up with a show of his own eventually...CNN might want to take note of this and help try to boost those hideous ratings. Because you're not going to increase them by cutting Cevallos out of a clip like that and only giving one side of the story.

Nook Partnership

B&N will stop making the Nook, but the good news is that they are working on a deal to get other manufacturers to produce what I'm guessing would be the same device as the Nook. So for those who love their Nooks I would imagine it's good news.

So instead of making and selling its own tablets, the company is planning to move to a “partnership” model.

Essentially, it’ll try to get other companies to build tablets that come with NOOK software preloaded. You’ll probably be able to buy those devices in Barnes & Noble stores if and when when they’re available. Who knows? They might even have the NOOK name on them. But they won’t be built in-house.

I'm not familiar with the Nook, but I know people who have them and they love them.

Scotus Gay Marriage

We're waiting patiently.

Those facts in combination mean that shortly after 10 a.m. the justices will announce their rulings on challenges to two laws that define marriage to include only unions of a man and a woman.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Anne Rice Over Paula Deen

Anne Rice Over Paula Deen

Update Below *

In a new twist surrounding the Paula Deen deal, author Anne Rice has weighed in on the topic with a new brand of criticism that gets into "lynch mob culture."

This is what Rice posted on facebook:

"What's happening with Paula Dean [sic]? Is it fair? I never heard of her until today, and wow, this looks like a crucifixion," Rice wrote, adding: "I may be wrong but aren't we becoming something of a lynch mob culture? Is this a good example of that?"

I guess it's plausible that you can live in the US and not know much about food culture, cookery, or personalities like Paula Deen. But not everyone agrees with me:

Meanwhile, Jeri Milburn quipped: "More shocking than these allegations against Paula is the fact that Anne has never heard of her until today!"

You can read more here. And you can check out Anne Rice's facebook page yourself to see how people are responding. It's a very interesting thread to read.

Suggesting this might be "lynch mob culture" is an interesting choice of words for Rice to use, given the historical significance of lynching in the south many years ago, and given the fact that she is an author and she's aware of how important it is to choose words with care.

I grew up in a household where the N-word was never used. We weren't saints. I often use the word fuck throughout a given day. I even write fuck here sometimes on this blog. I've called a few people chicken-fuckers. I've said worse than that on a bad day. I've written explicit sex scenes in books that would probably shock most people, including one that had a burping dick. I do think we can be too politically correct in the country sometimes. I'm afraid to use the word black, so I use African American or people of African descent so I won't offend anyone. But I don't use the N-word, and I never hear it used in my circles. And on those rare occasions when I hear someone use the N-word it always makes me cringe and I will usually ask him or her not to use it in my presence...or I'll just leave, right after I tell them to go fuck themselves.

As a side note, I grew up in a small southern NJ town in place that's referred to as Sleepy Salem County, at the foot of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. There's a strong southern influence there, and many of the streets are named after southern towns and states. I lived one blog away from Virginia Avenue. The Maryland border is about a half hour away. The Delaware Memorial Bridge is considered the gateway to the south. I'm in my forties, and from what I recall people often used words like "colored," and "negro," and as bad as that sounds now they meant no harm by it. But only the worst of the worst used the actual N-word. I have a true story to tell about this, which I'll post at a later date. It still makes me cringe to think about it.

Update * This is from Rice's facebook page, from the comment thread where she's been replying all afternoon:

Thanks for so many wonderful and thoughtful comments on both sides of the issue. Wish I could read every single one but they're moving too fast for me to cover all. I remain of the same opinion still. This is a public lynching. We live in dangerous times on many levels. Today no one can afford to say the slightest thing that is "politically incorrect." I mean nothing. We all have to be extremely careful. I feel sorry for this woman. ---- I have read the law suit, and if the statements made there by the person suing are accurate or truthful, obviously Paul Dean is a plain spoken woman, somewhat course, somewhat vulgar, and perhaps even what we call ignorant. But I'm not sure a person's career should be destroyed because one is course, or vulgar or ignorant. America has been built by many such people who were hard working and fair minded while being vulgar and course at the same time. I will be thinking about this one for a long time. And I will NOT be watching the Food Network. Don't anyway and won't start. They're a little too "politically correct" for me.

And I hope this is my last update about Rice. I've had just about enough, too.


MTV Catfish; Paula Deen's Agent; Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

There's an article in this week's Time Magazine about the MTV show Catfish. I do subscribe to the print version of Time, and I will quote, but I can only link to part of it because Time Magazine makes you subscribe for fresh content online.

For those who might not know, a Catfish is someone who uses a fake ID online, mostly on social media to hook up with people, scam people, and basically screw around with their heads to fuck them up emotionally. (You won't read that part in Time Magazine, but it's really what Catfish do.) It can be both serious and painful, and ruin someone's life.

The gist of the show revolves around helping some poor soul who is having an online relationship with someone who seems to be hiding something. The article in Time mentions Manti Te'o and his catfish experience, which I posted about here a few months ago. I've posted about catfishing here. And what I find most interesting is that so many people still aren't aware this can happen to them, and that it does, indeed, happen way too often on social media, and not just in romantic relationships.

I've reached a point where if I have any doubts about anyone who sends me a friend request on facebook, I send them a personal FB message first and ask to know more about them. I don't want specifics. I only want to know basic information that tells me they are legitimate. This past week someone with a name Mt. Snow Mt. Snow (I swear that's the name) sent a friend request, but has yet to reply to my personal message. At this point, I have not accepted the request. I did notice that this Mt. Snow Mt. Snow had become friends with other familiar names in m/m romance...only m/m romance...which leads me to believe it's another author with a fake name that resembles one of the four seasons. However, I've reached a point where I don't take chances anymore.

In any event, Catfish: The TV Show looks like a fascinating show, and if you're not familiar with the old wild west tactics of the Internet, I would recommend watching it so you know how to protect yourself against the scammers and liars of the Interwebz. And not just for romantic online relationships. I think this is a show that could help you vet who you can and cannot trust online these days with regard to all social media friendships. My rule is you can't trust anyone on the Internet until they prove to you they can be trusted. Below I'm going to post about my new release in the Bad Boy Billionaire series. It's titled, The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal, and it gets into catfishing and online manipulation.

From Time Magazine, link above:

The thrill of mystery isn't new. Neither is lying. Catalina Toma, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who studies online dating, has found that deceptions are frequent but subtle: a 2008 study she co-wrote found that 81% lie about their age, weight or height. Big Fraud Catfish are outliers. (Schulman gets e-mails from people in healthy online relationships and people who have un-masked their Catish independently, but those folks don't make it onto TV.) Even so, Fabrications are about psychology, not technology. "People lie about these things in face to face dates. They lied about these things in video dates back in the '80's," Toma says. "I don't necessarily expect those patterns to change."

I only agree with this part of the article slightly, and I think Toma isn't as familiar with the Internet as I am, and she's underestimating the serious situations people are experiencing online. When you meet someone face to face you at least get the upper hand of putting a face and voice and personality together...even if that person is a liar. When you meet someone online, whether it be for romance of just plain friendship, you're at a disadvantage in more than one way. The possibilities to scam are endless, and social media like facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads promotes this brand of fakery and anonymity to the point where no one can be trusted. I personally think there should be legal guidelines and laws that protect people from social media scams, and all the fakery we've seen since the early years of the Internet. If people who used facebook were forced, legally, to sign up with their real names, with proof, I think half the issues on facebook would disappear. Of course the membership would probably drop to a third of what it is now and stock would plummet as a result. But that's the risk of running a business built on a proverbial house of cards.

As a side note, I'm wondering who this MTV show is being marketed to. Tony and I have a guest house on our property that we rent out. For the past ten years, consistently, we've rented to young college graduates in stable professions...new adults. In every case, none own a TV or watch TV. So I'm guessing that unless younger people are streaming this show somewhere, the show is more focused on an older crowd that still does watch TV...cuz we know they aren't reading Time Magazine.

Paula Deen's Agent

A good deal of Paula Deen's fame and fortune came through her cookbooks, and while reading about her recent scandal I grew curious about who her literary agent is. So I did a quick search and came up with this:

JANIS A. DONNAUD & ASSOCIATES, INC. was founded over 18 years ago by Janis Donnaud, who had previously been Vice President and Associate Publisher of the Random House Adult Trade Group.


The agency represents, develops and packages a wide range of commercially successful properties. It negotiates publishing agreements with the top trade houses in the U.S., licenses all subsidiary rights, arranges foreign editions and translation rights, and licenses film and performance rights. The agency’s varied list is concentrated mainly on nonfiction, with an emphasis on the culinary, narrative non-fiction, memoir, health and medical books, and women’s books.

Paula Deen- the #1 TV Food Network star for which the agency has represented more than ten books, including the new Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible;

This article gives a more personal side.

 Knowing that a book's success doesn't depend only on New York or "East Coast-West Coast" reader preferences, Donnaud landed one of the least big-city clients around when Paula Deen signed with her.

And this one made me smile. Not because of anything related to Janis A. Donnaud. I'm sure she's a fine agent and she's in shock over the Paula Deen debacle. This is a link to Absolute Write that goes back ten years. I've always maintained that Absolute Write is the essence of online ridiculousness, and you can only trust about a fourth of what's posted there. Some of these old comments are highly entertaining.

Here's an example of the kind of amusing nonsense you'll find at Absolute Write in any given thread:

The hot agents don't need websites. They already have all the business they want, and can get more any time they feel like it just by letting it be known that their lists are open. Among the top agents, the ones who have websites at all do them as celebrations of their clients, not of themselves.

She's hot because the editors who know her matter, she knows what house is looking for what kind of works, and she can tell a good/marketable manuscript from one that's less good. Editors trust her. She's probably also a good negotiator for contracts.


This is a classic example of what you'll generally find on AW. Information that's only partially true and needs to be taken with that proverbial grain of salt. I find it about as relevant today as Miss Snark, Victoria Strauss, Preditors and Editors, and agents who charge reading fees.

Bad Boy Billionaires: The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

A good deal of the subplot in this book gets into social media, online scamming, and catfishing for romance. In fact, it becomes deadly this time. I'll post more in the coming weeks. But this excerpt shows how the main character made his billions. I thought it would be interesting to have a character who is a billionaire bad boy with a slightly good side, too. And it's my fictional version of how I would love to see things really happen with social media someday.

To create a relatively honest social media web site where everyone used real names and there were no sockpuppets or fakes wasn’t always realistic. Most of the time it seemed impossible. One way Shannon tried to do this was by only allowing users of lovemetender.com to sign up with one e-mail address and one password. In other words, the e-mail address used to sign up could only be used with one specific password, and users were not allowed to create multiple accounts with that e-mail address. He also stated in the terms of service that multiple accounts with fake names were not allowed and that anyone who did this was in violation of the terms of service and could atomically be banned from the site forever.

            Unfortunately, most people who know how to navigate the Interwebs have more than one e-mail address. And there was no way to battle the corruption one hundred per cent. The best they could do at lovemetender.com was to handle each complaint and do an investigation as they came in. Shannon had a department in one wing of the building that only focused on this kind of corruption. Each complaint was taken seriously, by trained professionals. Each person who lodged a complaint was treated with respect and they always received a prompt reply from someone at lovemetender.com. And each time a user with multiple fake accounts was spotted he or she would be banned from the web site forever. Or at least until they figured out a way to change their IP addresses.









Monday, June 24, 2013

SCOTUS Update on Gay Marriage

The most recent article I read says that SCOTUS will rule on gay marriage on Tuesday now. Most say the same-sex marriage cases won't happen until last.

The justices did not rule Monday in the legal challenges to Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage, or the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids federal benefits to same-sex couples.

The court is expected to issue rulings again Tuesday starting at 7 a.m. Pacific time.

You can read more here, and get more updates tomorrow here.

I find it interesting just waiting for the rulings. It feels as if there's that proverbial quiet before the storm. Those who really care about this issue, and those who are affected by it the most, seem cautious to even speak about it.




Paula Deen the N-Word; The Q-word; Supreme Court/Gay Marriage


(Update: It doesn't seem to be ending for Paula Deen. More sponsors may terminate their relationship with her, and Smithfield Foods has terminated their relationship with her and issued a striking statement.)

(Update 2: And now there are more allegations of racism surfacing about Deen and her family. An attorney for the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition said current and former Paula Deen employees told him the famous cook and her brother discriminated against black employees, one of whom was consistently referred to as "my little monkey.")




According to one article I read this morning, Paula Deen's employees will now be affected by the category five shitstorm that happened when she admitted to using the N-word.

Paula Deen’s TV career is toast after the Food Network announced Friday that it would not be renewing the popular shows “Paula’s Best Dishes” and “Paula’s Home Cooking” after her contract expires at the end of June.

But is she really "toast?"

Tons of fans, of all races, have swamped her facebook page with support. I read another article this weekend that said fans and supporters lined up in the hundreds outside her restaurant in Savannah. Fellow chefs have come to her defense. There are far too many to link to or mention. But here's one I found that's less slanted than most.

"I was shocked. I thought she'd get a fair trial," Wilson, a nurse from Jacksonville, Fla., said Saturday after stopping to buy souvenirs at the gift shop Deen owns next to her Savannah restaurant. "I think the Food Network jumped the gun."

Here's a link to Deen's facebook page. I don't follow her.

Of course I can't help thinking about how all this is related to the Q-word...Queer. I've been open about how I find the word Queer cringe-worthy at best. It brings to mind negative images from my past and present, and I know for a fact there are still people calling gays "queers" in a very negative way. There are bad jokes about queers, and offensive metaphors and similes about queers. I know many other gay men and women who agree with me (a lot e-mail me in private because they are afraid to talk about it openly). However, I've learned to live with the Q-word because I don't seem to have any choice in the matter. I don't hold it against anyone who uses the queer word the "right" way. There are people who use the word because they claim it will take the negative stigma away. I get that. On a certain level I agree with it, but I'm a realist, too, and words are strong.

In the same respect, there's been this very same debate over the N-word. I remember Oprah Winfrey devoting an entire show to it once a while back. Frankly, when I first heard that Paula Deen admittedly used the N-word I started to wonder about how often she used the Q-word, too. It stands to reason. Then I started to wonder how she would use the Q-word...in what context. Clearly, from what I've read, Deen was not using the N-word in a positive way.

Evidently, there's a double standard, though. It's okay to offend me and thousands of other gay people by using the Q-word because it's politically correct to do this, but it's not okay to use the N-word at any time, or in any context. Because in spite of all the lobbying I've seen to take the negative stigma away from the N-word by using it openly, no one has yet to remove the hideous racist images that the N-word is associated with. It's still offensive in any context, especially if you use it and you're not of African descent. And I think what happened to Paula Deen is a good example of this, and how strongly so many of us feel about the racist implications associated with the N-word. But there are some who can get away with calling me a queer and I'm supposed to smile and take it because they don't mean any harm. But they are also the same people who would never use the N-word. If that's not a double standard I don't know what is.

I'm starting to think that maybe it is time to remove the stigma and negative associations to both words...queer and the N-word. Unfortunately, I just can't bring myself to type the N-word out no matter how hard I try.

Supreme Court/Gay Marriage

This is the day many of us have been waiting for. The Supreme Court will be ruling on gay marriage, and we'll find out whether or not the massive fight for equality continues on.


As the term draws to a close at the end of this week, the nine justices still have not released decisions in two highly anticipated gay marriage cases—Perry v. Hollingsworth and Windsor v. United States—as well as two key cases involving race, Shelby County v. Holder and Fisher v. University of Texas.

At 9:15 a.m., the experts at SCOTUSblog—SCOTUS stands for Supreme Court of the United States—will begin analyzing what the Court might do in the liveblog below, and when a decision is handed down, this liveblog will likely be the first place to break the news.

I have no idea how to predict this one. When you've been kicked around and disappointed so many times, you learn to anticipate with caution, and never to assume anything. You are also prepared to stand up fast, and keep on fighting if that's what you have to do.

Photo







Sunday, June 23, 2013

Don't Tell Mama NYC



Although I often write about how I am not a huge fan of cabaret and torch songs, there are always exceptions to the rule, and Don't Tell Mama is one of them. But for me, it's not as much about the music genre as it is the memories, because it was one of the first places that I ever went that would be considered a gay venue...or close to a gay venue. It's actually mainstream, with a strong gay influence. But I was young; I wasn't ready for the novelties of a full fledged gay bar downtown...at the time.

And I found a sense of comfort there I hadn't experienced anywhere else. Don't Tell Mama is a sort of cabaret, restaurant, and entertainment destination in the theater district in Manhattan where some big name stars can show up at any time. It was one of the first places where I ever saw gay people acting openly as gay people. I was there more than once when celebrities came in just to watch the shows. In fact, in my Bad Boy Billionaire book, The Actor Learning to Love, I based one of the scenes on a place very similar to Don't Tell Mama because one of the main characters is a pianist/cabaret singer. I don't always base scenes in books on personal experiences. However, it seemed a shame not to write fiction about my own experiences at Don't Tell Mama at least once. There was one point when going to Don't Tell Mama actually became habit forming. A group of us would go there every weekend for over a year.

Established in 1982, don't tell mama is celebrating over 30 years as a world famous entertainment destination. Located on renowned Restaurant Row in the heart of New York’s theater district, don't tell mama is one-of-a-kind - a veritable nightlife mall with four individual spaces: a piano bar, a restaurant and 2 separate cabaret showrooms: a cineplex of cabaret!
Countless luminaries have come through our doors such as Liza Minnelli, Paul Newman, Joan Rivers, Bette Midler, Rosie O'Donnell, Chita Rivera, Kathy Griffin, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Mario Cantone, & Cuba Gooding Jr., to name but a few!
 
Even though I'm only an hour from NY, I haven't been there in a long time, but I'm thinking this summer might be perfect to revisit an old haunt. And if you are in the NYC area this summer for an event or a conference, I would highly suggest checking out Don't Tell Mama. It's one of the few remaining spots in the theater district from the old days.  
 
There's also one on the west coast, but I've never been there.
 
 

Gay Film "I Do;" Marriage; David W. Ross



We used to have a fantastic indie video store in New Hope that always had plenty of gay indie films that closed about four years ago, so when I spotted the gay film, "I Do," with David W. Ross on Verizon on demand last night I rented it without even looking at the previews.

And I wasn't disappointed this time. The basic plot revolves around a nice looking British guy, David W. Ross, who has been living and working in New York since he was seventeen years old. The only family he has left are his brother and sister-in-law. I'll stop there, because I don't want to give out any spoilers. But as the film progresses the British guy finds himself fighting the INS in order to remain in the US. He ultimately decides to marry his best lesbian friend in order to get a green card. Then when he least expects it, he falls in love with a guy he meets at a party...who happens to be a legal US citizen but is also from Spain.

The plot is actually much more complicated than what I'm stating now, and as I said I don't want to give out any spoilers. But the issue of gay marriage comes into play because the gay British guy falls in love with a guy he wants to marry, who happens to be a legal US citizen and a legal citizen of Spain, but he can't marry him because gay marriage is not legal in the US.

They mention gay marriage being legal in New York, and I think they did this on purpose. The fact that gay marriage is legal in the state of New York is absolutely worthless in this case, just as it is worthless in many other aspects in all states where gay marriage is legal. It's great on an emotional level, but when it comes down to the pragmatic issues in life we all face eventually it leaves gay couples with very little protection. Because the US government will not recognize a same sex marriage, the character in the film is unable to get a green card if he married a man he loved anywhere in the US. The key word here is federal.

This is just one reason why I say I'm happy but I'm not jumping up and down whenever gay marriage is passed on a state level. Until same sex marriage is legal on a federal level gay men like the guys in the film, "I Do," are still going to face the challenges of inequality on life changing levels. I actually know a couple in Florida where something exactly like this happened to them. They now reside in Germany.

In this film, even though I won't say what happens, the British guy is left with two options. He can remain in the US and marry a woman and pretend to love her so he can get his green card. Or he can leave the country, go to Spain with the man he loves, and live there where gay marriage is supposedly legal.

It's an interesting film to view, especially right now with SCOTUS ready to hand down rulings this week on same sex marriage. I have no idea what to predict at this point.

As a side note, David W. Ross is excellent in the film...he starred in it and he wrote it. And, this is a film about gay men, written by a gay man, starring a gay man for those who are interested in the details. I'll watch it again many times.

You can follow Ross on facebook, here.

David W. Ross is an English musician and actor. After moving to London at the age of 17 and seeking work as a film extra, his photo was spotted by Ian Levine, a boy band producer, and Ross was signed to A&M Records U.K., as one of the four members of Bad Boys Inc. The group released one self-titled album, which spawned five hit singles, including the Top 10 smash "More to This World".

Photo attribution here


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Licensing Gay Romance for Fan Fiction

Licensing books, authors, or other creative material for fan fiction is becoming even more popular on Amazon. They recently secured licenses for books written by Hugh Howey, Barry Eisler, and a few others. Amazon already has licenses with the likes of Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, and Pretty Little Liars.

This concept of making fan fiction available for commercial sale is interesting because everyone seems to have an opinion about it. Although I've never written fan fic, I see nothing wrong with it and I've had many of my own readers tell me how much they love gay fan fic based on TV shows like Queer as Folk.

Amazon plans to launch its Kindle Worlds store later this month with more than 50 commissioned works, opening the self-service submission platform at the same time.

It will pay royalties to both the authors and the rights holders of the world, with the author receiving 35% of net revenue for works over 10,000 words. For works between 5,000 words and 10,000 words, usually priced under $1, Amazon will pay the royalties for the world¹s rights holder and pay authors a digital royalty of 20%.

As of yet, I have not seen any licenses secured for gay romance, gay fiction, or gay erotica worlds on Amazon. I could be wrong about that, and maybe there is more to come from Amazon. But what surprises me a little is that no author has taken it upon himself/herself to do this alone, without a third party. (Maybe someone has and I don't know it...I just haven't heard about it.)

So I'm seriously thinking about doing this myself, with my own books and erotica worlds, so to speak. I'll be getting the rights back to over thirty published works at the end of this month when loveyoudivine.com goes out of business. I'll be re-releasing those books as indie books with Ryan Field Press quickly. I also have five other published works out right now that I control completely, including two books in the Chase series. If any fan fic authors are interested in writing fan fiction based on any of my gay romance books or characters...or erotic worlds...and selling this fan fiction commercially, please contact me here, rfieldj@aol.com

I can't do this with books I have out with publishers, but I can do this with books I control. And I do know a lot of fan fiction authors who like to work this way. I'm really not certain about whether or not there's a market for this with gay erotica or gay romance, but if anyone is interested, please feel free to contact me to work out an arrangement.