Help Support Bent-con and Come out for the Festivities

I made a pledge to Bent-con’s Kickstarter campaign. Can you?

Bent-con is a really important organization that supports the creative community and its fans. From the organizers:

BENT-CON is the premiere convention that celebrates and recognizes LGBTQ (and Allies) contributions to pop-culture and geekdom. BENT-CON is committed creating a space where EVERYONE is safe to share and express their particular brand of creativity and fandom proud and out loud!

Here’s their Kickstarter video:


This year’s convention, November 7th – 9th in Burbank, California, will be its fifth annual. As a non-profit venture, the event relies on contributions from the community to promote and advertise, which in return benefits the artists, writers and fans who participate.

I went to my first convention last year. Beyond the wonder of discovering a vibrant segment of the LGBT community (I had tweeted: I have died and gone to gay geek heaven), I was really impressed by the range of programs and the plentiful interaction between convention guests and fans.

This year, in addition to being part of Bold Strokes Books exhibition booth, I will be leading one panel “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Atlantis” and speaking in another “Gay Wizards and Lesbian Sorceresses”. Be sure to say hello if you have a chance to stop by.

And if you haven’t done so, please consider making a contribution to Bent-con’s Kickstarter.

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Werecat #3 Cover Reveal

WerecatTheFugitiveRETAILCover700x1066p96dpiRGBComing soon: My third installment in the Werecat series.

This one is titled: The Fugitive. The story picks up from Jacks’ flight from New York City to try to outpace The Glaring. Here’s the back cover blurb:

On the run after killing a Hunter from The Glaring, Jacks travels to the Bahamas with his only clue to what the secret society’s assassin was after: his maker’s key to a safety deposit box at an offshore bank. A thirty-day legal procedure holds Jacks up from uncovering what could be a hidden treasure.

Meanwhile, Jacks meets an alluring ex-pat from South Africa named Maarten who hosts a nonstop pleasure cruise for disaffected werecats who have no interest in the politics of their kind. With his nerves scratched raw from living on the run, it’s too tempting of an escape for Jacks to turn away. But while he’s cruising the Caribbean and spending nights in an orgiastic cuddle pile, The Glaring lays siege to New York City in a night of terror. Jacks’ boyfriend Farzan fights for his life and tries to reach Jacks overseas.

Jacks needs to emerge from a binge of drugs and flesh to defend his boyfriend. But can he give up the chance to be with his own kind for the first time in his life? When the secret in the safety deposit box is revealed, Jacks realizes that it’s up to him to get it before The Glaring uses an arcane magic that could destroy humankind.

I’m really happy with the cover art, and I must thank Maggie Ward from Vagabondage Press. We went back and forth with some ideas, and she found an excellent model to represent Jacks’ loyal and long-suffering boyfriend Farzan. He’s pictured on the right.

 

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The Seventh Pleiade Into the Final Round of the 2014 Rainbow Awards!

2014 Rainbow Award Finalist

Very happy to share that The Seventh Pleiade has advanced to the final round of competition in the 2014 Rainbow Awards!

From their website, the Rainbow Awards “is an annual contest celebrating outstanding work in LGBT fiction and nonfiction. Hosted and owned by blogger Elisa Rolle, the contest is open to all authors of work containing LGBT fictional characters and work chronicling the true stories of LGBT persons.”

Finalists, and the eventual winners, are selected by panels of authors and readers. The Seventh Pleiade was nominated in the category of Gay and Lesbian Young Adult.

Winners will be announced in early December. My best wishes to all of the finalists!

 

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“Why I Write” series at The Good Men Project

Author Dixie Gillaspie (Just Blow it Up: Firepower for Living an Unlimited Life) is asking writers the simple question: Why do you write? over at The Good Men Project.

The responses have been varied as you might expect coming from a diverse array of writers. They have also been very personal and candid. Christine Benvenuto chose to write about her divorce in order to reclaim her life. Christian Clifton writes for connection and self-improvement. Michael Kasdan writes to better understand the world around him.

My contribution to the project came out just this past weekend: To Create Fiction That Tells it Like it Really Is. (Well, at least according to me!).

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Photography from Bold Strokes Books’ Mixed Grill

Some photos from last night’s event at Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, courtesy of my honey Genaro.

photo

Featured books on display

Me, reading from The Seventh Pleiade

Me, reading from The Seventh Pleiade

Me, reading from The Seventh Pleiade

Full length shot of me so you can see my cool jeans

All of the authors

All the authors, from l to r, Daniel W. Kelly, Nora Olsen, Andrew J. Peters, David Swatling, Joel Dossi-Gomez, Jeremy Jordan King, Trinity Tam and Nell Stark

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Twenty books that have stayed with me

Fight Evil. Read Books.

There’s a Facebook meme going around where you get tagged by friends to list 20 books that have stuck with you over the years. I thought that subject fit equally well on my website where I sometimes talk about books and authors who have influenced me.

It’s not precisely a list of favorites. As I understand it, the point is to call up the titles that come to mind the quickest. They’re books that made the strongest impression on you in some way.

I read about 20 books each year, and I’ve been doing that for oh, about 35 years. So this task wasn’t easy. Also, my forty-something brain isn’t as sharp as it used to be. I broke the rules a bit because I didn’t want to focus entirely on books I read recently just because those are the freshest ones in my head.

In the end, I chose books that represent different periods of my life as a reader, and I focused on the ones that still recall vivid scenes, characters and/or imagery. They’re books that I feel like I know like the back of my hand, and some of them I read 30, 20 or 15 years ago.

In alphabetical order by title:

American Gods, Neil Gaiman

The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

City of Night, John Rechy

Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger

The Front Runner, Patricia Nell Warren

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling

The Hotel New Hampshire, John Irving

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula Le Guin

Mordred: Bastard Son, Douglas Clegg

Mysterious Skin, Scott Heim

Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs

Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger

The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco

The Persian Boy, Mary Renault

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster

Saul’s Book, Paul T. Rogers

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller

The Wicked Years series, Gregory Maguire

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

 

Yeah, I gave three slots to J.D. Salinger. Go sue me. :)

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