Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I like editing and reading his work. If I didn't, I would not be doing it. And when he told me he'd written a m/m romance novella, THE WINGS OF FATE, and wanted me to edit it, I jumped at the chance.
I fell in love with the story, and I just submitted it to one of my favorite e-publishers. I'm working as his author advocate, but I'm just as excited about getting this story published as I am about getting my own fiction published. Though the concept of author advocate is new, it's slightly different from acting as a literary agent. I don't take queries and I don't read unsolicited work. I go after my clients and ask them for permission to act as their advocate because I love their work. I've been doing this quietly for a while. But I wanted to go public with this one because I love the story so much.
So here's hoping my instincts and my contacts prove me well. I'd love to see Curt break into fiction. And I think m/m romance readers will love THE WINGS OF FATE.
The second part of this post is about facebook manners. I have two facebook accounts: one for work related publishing posts, and another for personal family oriented posts. I try not to combine the two because I don't think readers are interested in my Aunt Bessie's pot roast, and I know for a fact Aunt Bessie isn't interested in steamy m/m romances (smile).
Though my experiences on facebook and all the social networks have been positive, there's always that one "friend" who doesn't know where to draw the line. I have a lot of patience; I'll go the extra mile and give the benefit of the doubt. But when it becomes abusive comments, I won't think twice about blocking a facebook friend from my account.
It happened this week. A book reviewer who has been kind to me with reviews started posting unusual comments on all of my posts. At first, I thought this facebook friend was just being campy and sarcastic. But it started getting obnoxious, to the point where I was embarrassed for him (Where is this coming from?). But I didn't say anything. I tried to be polite. And then last night I "shared" a post with an author I know fairly well. It was one of those harmless facebook posts that authors do to promote their books to readers all the time. It wasn't one of my books, but I'd read this one and wanted to help the author promote it. Within ten minutes this book reviewer/facebook friend started posting obnoxious comments on the thread and I was forced to delete them, and then block this person from my facebook page.
I hated doing it, but there's a line that shouldn't be crossed...even when it comes to camp and sarcasm. If I get backlash from this and I start seeing bad book reviews from this reviewer, I'll live. Because submitting to this kind of obnoxious behavior on facebook or anywhere else just isn't worth it.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The one thing I've noticed about e-books is that they don't seem to go away. Once they are released, they are around forever. Now that all my favorite authors are being released in digital format, I can get whatever I want whenever I want it. There are certain books, written by certain authors, I'll only read once. But there are other books I'll read over and over again, depending on my mood. John Irving is one. I've read most of his novels at least ten times. Anne Tyler is another. I've read Back when We were Grownups so many times in print I recently ordered the e-book because the print book is falling apart. It's one of those books, for me, I can take anywhere. And I'll open it anywhere and start reading because I already know what's going to happen.
And for new authors who are working with e-publishers, I think it's a great advantage to be released in digital format first. I was trying to explain this to someone the other day who was upset because his book wasn't selling as well as he wanted it to sell. With e-books, the book is always around, the authors don't have to depend on re-prints or a set amount of time, and they can continue to promote their books forever if they want. And as more people discover e-books, and it becomes a passion, new authors will be able to build fan bases much longer than previous authors were able to do with their print books.
Friday, August 27, 2010
While reading the comments, I started to think about my past experience in publishing and how the lbgt genre, as a whole, has grown so fast in the past ten years I barely recognize it. If I'd died in l999 and come back to life in 2010, I'd be so shocked I'd probably drop dead all over again. When I first started submitting work to publishers, I was still in college. The Internet was not taken seriously and the only way to find submission guidelines was to buy those thick publishing books like Writer's Marketplace. We used typewriters and word processors; there were ink stains on our fingers. Back then, I kept a regular subscription to Writer's Digest Magazine to keep up with the latest happenings in publishing. But it wasn't easy. And I rarely ever saw anything mentioned about lgbt fiction.
As a matter of fact, there was no lgbt genre. Back then it was just called "gay/lesbian." And it wasn't even considered a genre. It was more like something on the fringes of the fringes publishing, and you had to go into a major city bookstore to find it. I bought my first copy of The Front Runner in a little book shop near 7th Avenue South and Christopher Street in The Village because you couldn't find it anywhere in New Jersey. There were only a handful of literary agents who publicly stated they repped "gay/lesbian" fiction. And I know for a fact there are still a few literary agents out there who are gay in their personal lives, but still refuse to admit they are gay within the publishing community. Their associates don't even know they are gay or they have a life parnter. In many ways, being gay is still a well-kept, unspoken secret in some circles.
But I have seen some wonderful changes in the past ten years. "Gay/Lesian" has evolved in so many ways I'm hearing it's hard for bookstores to classify the sub-genres. And a good deal of these changes, all very positive, have come about because so many women have been discovering the m/m genre. They've been reading it, writing it, and supporting it in ways I never imagined I'd see in my lifetime. And as a gay man who still sees a great deal of discrimination around, from marriage to lgbt people who are still terrified to come out and admit who they are openly, I'm thankful for all the support I've received from these women authors. And I hope the support continues over the next ten years, so that the genre evolves in ways new authors today never could have imagined right now.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
First, I'm all for anyone who wants to write m/m fiction. I don't care what their gender is, with whom they sleep, or what their sexual preference is. This is partly because I'm not a fan of putting labels on people, and partly because I think good writers should be able to write on any topic, in any genre, and about anything if they work hard enough at it, regardless of their gender or sexual preference. I'm not a historical fan; it's just not my genre. But I have written a few historicals and I know I can do it.
I also don't like putting authors into boxes. As an openly gay male, I've been known to cross genres myself. I use pen names so I don't confuse readers, but not because of my sexual preference. And this ludicrous thought process that just because I'm gay I have to only write m/m fiction passes me by completely. Hell, a good number of gay men and women wrote mainstream literary fiction long before there was even a genre called m/m fiction and they marketed their books and writings to the straight community and no one ever said a word. Hello: Tennessee Williams; Gertrude Stein.
And now, all of a sudden, I'm hearing that women authors who write m/m fiction are getting slammed and bashed all over the internet. And I don't think that's fair.
To be honest, when I first heard that so many straight women were writing (and reading) m/m romances, I was a little surprised. I've been writing lgbt fiction for almost twenty years and it just never occurred to me that straight women would be interested in writing gay romances. But then I read a few of their books and I liked what I was reading. G. A. Hauser dives right into her books with the kind of energy I look for in fiction. And the sweetest love story I read all year was written by a new author, Michele Montgomery.
Personally, I've been extremely annoyed with some of the things I've seen and read about straight women (or anyone who isn't gay) writing m/m fiction, and I wanted to make it clear that I have always supported them, and will continue to support them. After all, as a gay man I've been fighting for equal rights all my life, and I'm certainly not going to discriminate against anyone else.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
But after reading two agent blog posts this evening, I'd like to follow up on my guest blogger post right now.
These agents went into detail describing the differences between traditional publishing and self-publishing. But they failed to mention one important factor that all authors and potential authors should know about. And that's e-publishers. They made it sound as though the only alternative to traditional publishing is self-publishing and they totally left out e-publishers.
But there is an alternative to traditional publishing and self-publishing. And that's submitting your work to an e-publisher. I come from a background of working with traditional publishers, and when I decided to make the switch to e-publishing I wasn't sure what to expect. But what I found was not all that different from traditional publishers. It's just as professional, if not more because authors are treated very, very well.
I'm contracted to do a certain amount of books, just like with a traditional publisher. When I submit the finished books, they then go to an editor, and then to a copy editor, and I don't pay for these services either. When the books are released, my e-publishers work hard to distribute and market, always helping me along the way, all over the world. I get letters from readers in places I've never even heard of.
So e-publishing isn't all that different from traditional publishing. And self-publishing is not the only alternative to getting your book published when traditional publishers turn you away based on purely subjective reasons.
I thought it was important to post about this, especially while the publishing industry is going through so many changes and no one knows what to expect next. And trust me, those who are hanging on to traditional ways, aren't going to tell you what I just did. For some reason, whenever they talk about e-publishers the words seem to stick in their throats and they start choking (huge smile).
Monday, August 23, 2010
There is, in fact, a Cowtown, New Jersey. I grew up five miles away from there, in a small southern New Jersey town on the Delaware River called, Penns Grove. This is not the New Jersey most people think they know. Penns Grove is located near the Delaware Memorial Bridge and it's been nicknamed "The Gateway to the South." Actor John Forsythe was born there, Bruce Willis grew up there. And last time I heard (my mom knows all the local gossip), Bruce's family still lives there.
And there's a large rodeo/farmers market/livestock auction/country western place not far from Penns Grove called Cowtown. And though I now live in Bucks County, PA, I still go back all the time to visit and I still make trips to Cowtown. Like I said, it's not like the New Jersey people think they know. It's more like being in New Orleans, or Texas, with a strong southern atmosphere. Even the roads are named after southern states. The main road running through Penns Grove is Virginia Avenue.
I'm posting this as background story because I've already had a few e-mails about Cowtown and the book hasn't even been released a full day yet. People are questioning whether or not there is a Cowtown. They seem worried it's not going to sound real enough because most people haven't heard of a rodeo in New Jersey (smile). Well, take it from me, because I grew up there, went to school there, and spent many a Saturday night at the Cowtown Rodeo. And if you don't believe me, just follow the links I've provided and you can see for yourself.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
But the fact of the matter is that right now the only thing authors and publishers can do is keep on top of their books and make sure they continue to file abuse forms to have their books removed from the sites. I know first hand how daunting this can be. Sometimes it only takes minutes for a book to be taken down and then added again by someone else. And if you're like me, and you have over forty books out there, it becomes a part time job to keep filing abuse forms.
I'm writing this post in part because I've been receiving a lot of e-mails from new authors asking about book pirates. Most are shocked They have just had their first book published and they've never even heard of book pirates, illegal downloads, and filing abuse forms. But more than that, they are even more shocked when I tell them there's nothing they can do except keep filing the abuse forms. And though it's a vicious circle that never ends, at least they are doing something to protect their copyrights.
I also receive e-mails and messages from readers who actually download free books on these pirate sites. They are a bold crowd, indeed. One just sent me a long message stating that the only reason he goes to these sites for free illegal downloads is because he likes checking out the e-book first to know whether or not he'll want to buy the print book. In other words, this reader doesn't think e-books are important enough to take seriously as valid stand alone books...at least not compared to print books. He views e-books as samples, with a lesser value. Evidently, this person hasn't been keeping up with what's going on in publishing. I doubt he's invested money in an e-reader either. And though he seems like a nice guy, aside from the fact that he's not getting the point behind e-books in general, he's way off base from a legal standpoint. Even if his argument were true, which it isn't, he's still stealing books. If he went into a restaurant and ordered an entire meal just to see how the food was there, and then refused to pay until the next time he returned, the owner would call the police and he'd be arrested. In New Jersey, where I come from, the owner would probably take him out back and break both his legs, too.
So while the issue continues to frustrate authors and publishers, the only thing we can do is keep up with our books and file abuse forms. We need to take a few hours each week to learn as much as we can about these pirate sites and continue to fight back. And though it seems futile right now, I do think we'll eventually find one or two book pirates and punish them as an example. I know there are now many authors working with the law, undercover, and they are getting to know the people who download books illegally and they are going to scoop them up eventually. A free ride can only last just so long. And then you have to pay for your actions.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I can't thank Dawne Dominque enough for coming up with this wonderful cover. And I can't thank Dalia at loveyoudivine enough for doing such a wonderful job on the edits. The release date is set for September 3rd, and the sell copy is below.
Poor young Jackson isn’t thrilled about his new job, working the night shift in the town’s telegraph office. He’s not only terrified of being alone, but panic stricken about being alone in the dark. He misses his old job, where he took care of a ranch full of big strong cowboys, including setting up their baths each week and catering to all their needs. He only took the new job at the telegraph office because the money was good. But when he starts to dread going to work at night, he decides to write a letter of resignation and beg for his old job back.
Then a few of the cowboys who’ve been missing Jackson just as much as he’s been missing them stop by to see how he’s doing. They miss their baths; they miss the way he used to dry them off with gentle strokes. And Jackson is more than willing to take good care of them in the back room of his new office, where he discovers he’s not as lonely as he thought he was and his new job isn’t all that bad after all.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
'Scrivo per i gay, romantici, e innamorati'di Federica Bianchi
Parla lo scrittore di romanzi erotici Ryan Field, autore di cinquanta libri di indubbio successo. 'Il mio lettore tipo? Quello che non separa il sesso dal sentimento'(13 agosto 2010)
Ryan Field ha cominciato a scrivere romanzi erotici con uomini come protagonisti vent'anni fa, quando lavorava come redattore di Playgirl magazine. Adesso ha pubblicato oltre 50 libri, alcuni dei quali con pseudonimi che tiene gelosamente segreti. Il suo ultimo lavoro si intitola "Shakspeare's lover".
Come ha cominciato a scrivere romanzi erotici per uomini?
«Ho iniziato quando avevo 18 anni e facevo l'università. Mi ha fatto inziare a scrivere la mancanza di libri che desideravo leggere. Esistevano già allora i romanzi erotici per uomini ma mancava loro la componente romantica: senza romanticismo l'eros perde significato. Così ho deciso di provare a scriverli io stesso».
A quale tipologia di lettore si rivolge?
«A chi crede che sesso e amore siano inseparabili. E penso che i lettori siano sempre più in cerca di questo connubio. Ritengo anche che i lettori cerchino romanzi con un finale lieto che li sollevi dallo stress della vita reale. La lettura di un romanzo, non importa quale sia il tema, deve aiutare a fuggire dai problemi. E dalle lettere che ricevo mi sembra che la fuga dalla realtà sia proprio ciò di cui i lettori sono avidi».
A cosa fa particolare attenzione?
«Alla reazione dei lettori. Mi piace sapere cosa pensano, e accetto volentieri le loro opinioni. Ricevo lettere dalla Colombia, dal Medio Oriente, sia da uomini che da donne, da posti in cui i lettori stanno inizando ora a scoprire il genere del romanzo rosa con uomini come protagonisti. Imparo molto da cosa mi dicono».
Quanto c'è di suo in quello che scrive?
«Molte delle scene erotiche dei miei libri si basano sulla mia esperienza di uomo. Non direi la verità se dicessi il contrario, e non mi vergogno a dirlo. Io adoro gli uomini a cui piace il romanticismo, e sono stato abbastanza fortunato da conoscere molti uomini forti e romantici nella mia vita. Soprattutto italiani. Gli uomini italiani sono amanti potenti, passionali e articolati che sanno come combinare sesso e romanticismo. Ma la trama dei miei libri è pura finzione. Quando scrivo un romanzo voglio essere trascinato via dalla realtà esattamente come i miei lettori. Mentre scrivo mi capita spesso di immedesimarmi in uno dei personaggi».
Chi sono i suoi punti di riferimento della letteratura erotica?
«Sinceramente non ne ho nessuno. Cerco di non leggere altri autori così da non esserne influenzato. Ma sono un fan di Anaïs Nin. È meravigliosa: un classico. Leggo anche molti blog che parlano di storie d'amore tra uomini. Adoro la critica italiana Elisa Rolle, di cui leggo quotidianamente il blog». Che ruolo hanno i lettori digitali nel genere di letteratura che scrive? «Grazie ai lettori digitali molte persone, sia negli Stati Uniti che nel resto del mondo, che prima non avevano accesso al mio genere di romanzi adesso possono acquistarli. E chi legge romanzi erotici non sempre lo dice agli amici. Per molti è un mondo segreto che non vogliono o non possono condividere. I lettori digitali aiutano a mantenere questo segreto. Si può leggere un romanzo erotico sull'aereo senza che nessuno se ne accorga. È una cosa molto civile».
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thanks to 23 informative amazon reviews, I just received this dog grooming kit in the mail today. The set I've been using on my two poodles for the past five years have seen better days, and if it hadn't been for the helpful reviews I read on amazon for the kit I just purchased, I wouldn't have known what I was getting. I'll be using them this weekend on my red poodle. And since I mentioned it here, I'll do an update post and I might even leave a review of my own to let other people know how they worked for me.
January 5, 2011
If you've purchased any of my books from amazon and you've read any of the reviews by book reviewer, Amos Lassen, please don't forget to click "Was this review helpful to you?" after you've read his reviews. This goes for all the books he's reviewed, not just mine. And he's reviewed plenty from what I can see. Here's a link to his list of reviews on Amazon.
I just learned that if readers click "Was this review helpful to you?" after they read a review, the reviewer gets listed as one of the top 50 reviewers, and some sort of free gift card from amazon.
These reviewers work hard. They don't get paid to do this. They do this because they love doing it. And as a reader, I find most amazon reviews very helpful...good or bad. I find myself looking for certain popular book reviewers just because I've liked their reviews so much. So please support Amos Lassen, and all the other book reviewers on amazon by clicking one little button to show your support.
Friday, August 13, 2010
First, here's the new cover for a brand new release, KEVIN LOVES COWBOYS. Dawne Dominique did this one, as she does all my covers for Loveyoudivine.com, and I couldn't be happier with it. I provided a few suggestions, and she came up with this all on her own. And how she knew that scroll pattern was my all time favorite pattern in the world was just pure luck.
Second, my stand alone e-book, IT'S NICE TO BE NAUGHTY, has been on one of the fictionwise bestseller lists for well over a week. I'm not boasting about it for the sake of boasting. But this book has a byline that reads, R. Field, instead of Ryan Field. And that's because this isn't a m/m romance or lgbt fiction. The main characters in this story are straight and I didn't want to confuse my m/m romance readers. I love writing lgbt fiction and m/m romance, however, I have been vocal in my support to all the straight authors out there writing lgbt fiction, especially the women, and I like knowing that I can write a story with straight characters that actually sells copies just as much as a straight author can write lgbt fiction. Personally, I like to think that if you're a professional career writer you can write a good story about anything, and your sexual preference and gender shouldn't stop you from doing this.
Third, I just found out yesterday that the anthology, BOYS OF THE BITE, with one of my short stories, THE DEVIL'S HALF ACRE, has been sold to Red Silk Press in collaboration with ravenous romance. This is great news for everyone, and it means the book and the authors will get a lot more exposure. Here's the announcement as it came to me.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I'd like to thank all the people who e-mailed me about it, and also apologize for any inconvenience they experienced. Let's face it, on a hot summer weekend, when there's nothing else to do, it's frustrating when you can't even buy that e-book you've been wanting to buy because some jerk decided to play games with the site.
There are still a few glitches, though. I've been told not all of my books are available, including the newest release, GAY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. But this will all be worked out fast, and I'll post when everything is back to normal. Until then, any books can be purchased on amazon, allromanceebooks.com, or fictionwise.com. One of the great things about working with ravenous romance is they have very creative and vast distribution networks.
But I know, a lot of people prefer to buy directly from the publisher's web site. I tend to do this myself. So it will be back to normal as soon as possible. And I'll post about it here.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Update: I just found out there is a problem with the server. Here's a quote from the publisher:
"Yes, there is a problem with the site that is generated by the server. We're trying to get them to fix it."
I'm posting because I've had tons of e-mails from readers asking what's wrong with the ravenous romance web site. And to the best of my knowledge, there are web issues. What this means, I don't know. I'm not great when it comes to web issues. And I apologize to any readers who might be having problems.
But I'm sure the site will be fixed and back up and running soon. And until then, please check out the limited offer for free ravenous romance books over at http://www.allromanceebooks.com/, where there's a list of great books. The offer isn't advertised well. So you'll have to go to the allromance home page, do a search for "ravenous romance" under "publisher" in the top right corner of the page. And when you get to the ravenous page, scroll down to see which books are free. It will say "0.00."
Sorry for any inconvenience.
Friday, August 6, 2010
First, I'd never even try to go up against the original Pride and Prejudice. It's the penultimate romance as far as I'm concerned, and to try to top anything so perfect would be both insane and impossible. But I did want to write a book about gay pride, same sex marriage, social classes, and how prejudice affects the lgbt community as a whole, and also how it is handled within the lgbt community.
Shirlene wanted to know if she needed to read the original Pride and Prejudice to understand the storyline in GAY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. And the answer is no, because this isn't a sequel to the original book and it's not fanfic. My book is set in the present, in South Beach, FL, and there's nothing historical about it. I don't write historicals, and rarely read them, mainly because they aren't my thing. And I hate to think of readers wondering about a book before they purchase it...no matter what our favorite dedicated online romance reviewer thinks about authors posting about their books on their blogs (smile).
Below is an unpublished excerpt from GAY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I hope it shows this is not a historical and that the only thing that resembles the original Pride and Prejudice are certain aspects of the theme regarding marriage and social class.
“Why is the marriage thing so important to you?” A hint of frustration floated through his voice.
“Because it is,” Tristan said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted, even before same-sex marriage became a hot political topic. When I was a child, I’d listen to my uncle’s friends talk about their relationships. If they were in permanent monogamous relationships, they always said they were married. They even referred to their partners as their husbands, or wives if they were women. I didn’t even know they were using these words loosely until I was about ten years old. I thought they really were married. They lived like all the straight married couples I’d ever known. And then, when I found out that gay men and women couldn’t get legally married, when my uncle explained the cold hard facts of life to his little gay nephew, I was so devastated I tore up all the wedding magazines I’d been saving for years.
“As I got older and legalized same-sex marriage became an issue within the lgbt community, I started to realize that I deserved to fall in love and get married just as much as heterosexual couples deserved it. And I made a decision a long time ago that I wouldn’t settle for less. Call it pride; call it being stubborn. But I won’t settle for less.”
Thursday, August 5, 2010
But when Tristan and his uncle leave New York and settle in South Beach, Tristan discovers all this isn't as easy as he always thought it would be. While his uncle is trying to set him up with a wealthy businessman to secure his financial future, Tristan is sneaking around with the hot guy across the street, Miller Wiley, whom his uncle doesn't like. Though Miller does, in fact, come from one of the wealthiest families in Florida, Miller isn't openly gay, he is more interested in just fooling around than getting married, and he has an overbearing, powerful mother who expects him to marry a socially acceptable young woman instead of a poor gay guy like Tristan.
Through a series of complicated events that revolve around a brand new charitable organization called MEE (Marriage and Equality for Everyone) and a sudden, unexpected death, Tristan and Miller try hard to overcome the emotional and social forces that are so determined to keep them apart. At times, it looks as if they'll never find happiness. And though it kills him, Tristan never backs down, insisting to Miller and everyone else he won't settle for anything less than a real marriage built on a solid foundation of love and respect.
Will Tristan and Miller's love rise above the social, political, and economic barriers that seem destined to keep them apart? And is it possible for a gay guy from the wrong side of the tracks to find happiness in a same-sex marriage with a carefree rich guy who doesn't seem to know what he wants?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I'm thrilled about this step forward. There's still a long way to go. But at least we've made it this far. I read that President Obama and Gov. Schwarzenegger both support the decision and believe that banning same sex marriage is unconstitutional.
But this isn't the end...not yet. It's going to be challenged in the 9th Federal Circuit Court. After that, it will probably go to the Supreme Court, where it will affect all fifty states. But at least we're moving forward instead of backward.
He was forty-five years old by then, but said he was in his late thirties and no one ever questioned him. His brown hair was still thick and he parted it on the left so that a chunky wave fell freely across his forehead as if he’d just been for a long drive with the top down. He’d worn it that way since he was in high school. When he wore a sweater, it was usually tied around his shoulders. He tried hard to keep up with things, but he’d never been able to shed that preppy look of the l980’s.