Monday, December 31, 2012

Blog Hop

I was tagged in a blog hop by my friend, Drake Braxton, author of  the critically acclaimed Missing which was just nominated for best gay romance for the 25th Annual Lambda Lit Awards. Congratulations, Drake!

 To view his page, click here.

The purpose of the hop is to promote upcoming works, and as I have nothing close to being finished, I decided to promote my latest one, so on to the questions:

  1. What is the title of your latest book?
    • It is called  Out of the Past.
  2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
    • One night I had a dream that I felt would be a great story. It had all the components; great characters, a shady little villain, nice romance and sex.
  3. What genre does your book full under?
    • It is a m/m romance, with a bit of mystery/action.
  4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
    • For Paul, the schoolteacher, I always had T.R. Knight of Grey's Anatomy, in mind as I wrote. For Javier, the love interest, I would like to see Eddie Cibrian in the role.
  5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
    • Paul Vanderwall is not looking for love, but after a stint on jury duty, facing a hunky Latin lawyer for the duration of the trial, he is forced to confront issues out of his past in order to move forward into the future.
  6. Who published your book or was it self-published?
    • It was published by Seventh Window Publications.
  7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
    • It took me about 5 months to complete.
  8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
    • It is very similar to Missing, by Drake Braxton, in that they are both m/m romance with a little mystery and suspense, some action and sex.
  9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
    • It was a dream I had which I think was the Universe telling me that I should be writing as I have several other ideas floating around in my head taking up space.
  10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
    • Cher is woven in and out of the plot, cat lovers will also find something in the book for them, and maybe a hint of something supernatural. 
I tired very hard to find some others to tag, but only one person was able to participate. Please look for Jeremy G T Reuschling's blog next week.

For Jeremy's website click here.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Conversation with Kergan Edwards-Stout

I met up with friend and fellow author, Kergan Edwards-Stout, for a conversation about Love, Loss, and Art. I'd like to share our chat.

Please click here to read our conversation:

Kergan's award winning book, Songs for the New Depression, is available from and other fine retailers. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday, 10/14/12

Here are six sentences from my debut novel, Out of the Past, available now in ebook form from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and

I walked in with trepidation and found myself in a small foyer. I wasn’t sure if I really believed his claim of also not being ready to sleep with me either. A man this hot could get anyone he wanted, and whenever he wanted to. He was hot tonight. He was wearing a dark turquoise guayabera with black 501s and huaraches. He had a silver chain around his neck.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday, 10/7/12

Here are six sentences from my novel, "Out of the Past," available now from Seventh Window Publications.

He led me into the bedroom, which was lit only by the soft glow of cedar and pine scented candles. He embraced me again, and tenderly kissed my face, my forehead, my eyes, my cheeks my mouth, while caressing my back. My heart pounded, my breathing became shallow, and my knees weakened. 

Stepping back, he slowly began to unbutton my shirt, all the while kissing me. He slipped his hand into my shirt and ran his hand over my chest. I shuddered with pleasure when his hand found my nipple ring.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A New Interview

Brandon Shire, author of acclaimed novels; The Value of Rain (2011), Listening to Dust (2012), and most recently, Afflicted (2012), sat down with me to discuss my novel, Out of the Past, available now. I am very grateful for this opportunity to talk with him.

For the interview, please click on the link below:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interview with Me

Please check out this interview with me by Ken Harrison of Seventh Window Publications, who saw something in my novel, Out of the Past, and wanted to publish it. I am very grateful for his faith in both me and my story, and for this interview. Thank you, Ken.

Please click on the link below:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday, 9/30/12

Here are six more sentences from my upcoming novel, "Out of the Past," scheduled for release on October 1, 2012, from Seventh Window Publications.

I drove to his place, which turned out to be a townhouse, found a parking spot, and walked up to the door. As I went to ring the bell I hesitated. The butterflies were now flapping their wings violently against the sides of my stomach. Yet, even with the butterflies there was still something unknown urging me onward. Gina and Reggie were right; I didn’t have anything to lose at this point. The doorbell rang; it seemed some invisible hand had pressed my own hand forward to ring it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 9/23/12

Here are another six sentences (slightly modified) from my upcoming novel, "Out of the Past" coming in October 2012 from Seventh Window Publications.

The bell was about to ring and Gina and I needed to get supplies for our afternoon lessons.  She and I had spent hours talking about my potential coffee date, which now was real.  Gina had pushed me into meeting Mr.-Hot-Attorney, and now he had a name, Javier Villalobo.  And now I was getting anxious; was he going to call? Did I not impress him? Now that we actually had met what had I done wrong to scare him off? 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

To Pseudonym or To Pseudonot?

This is a cross post from my other blog, Jeff's Journey, under the title Visibility. I posted it here as well to address the Readin' and Writin' aspect of pen names.

I recently had a conversation with a fellow writer and good friend regarding the use of pseudonyms. In the past, female writers would write under male names since writing was a male dominated field and this was the only way for women to get their writing to the public. Some male writers would use female pen names when writing traditional romance novels; after all, men aren’t supposed to be romantic. As recently as 1997, a female writer was encouraged to use a pen name as it was believed her book would not appeal to its target audience; 10-14 year old boys, because it was written by a woman. She refused but consented to use her initials and Joanne Kathleen went on to write one of the most successful series in literary history, Harry Potter.

Because of past attitudes, we older gay men had become accustomed to compartmentalizing our lives, which many of the younger gay generation have not experienced to the extent we have. We had one identity at home, another at work, and a third (or fourth) within the gay community. We struggled to keep them all separate for fear someone would discover our secret. In today's world, while it is a bit safer to come out, some prejudices still abound as do our own memories and fears. A colleague confided in me that a well-respected, educated parent pulled her son from his class out of fear the teacher's homosexuality would be contagious and infect her child; or worse, he would molest the boy! This took place in September 2011!

Many writers who write across genres use pen names so as not to confuse their readers. Anne Rice is one such writer. Ms. Rice has written a large number of books with vampires and witches as her protagonists as well as two other wonderful historical pieces, all under her own name. Many artists try their hand at different media as a way to grow creatively and writers are no exception. Ms. Rice decided to try her hand at something a little 'different' and wrote erotica under the name Anne Rampling and, in my opinion, some hard core sado-masachistic pornography under the name A. N. Roquelaure. She later came out as the author of all those works.

Charles Dodgson was a brilliant mathematician and wrote several mathematical treatises. He was also an accomplished wordsmith and loved playing with words and language. He wrote several classic pieces under the nom de plume, Lewis Carroll.  Would the readers of his mathematical works have chosen to read his literary works? I seriously doubt any readers of his books would have chosen one of his mathematical tomes for a light read, not that his literature is light by any stretch of the imagination.

As the gay community struggles for equality, visibility does become important. Some people undecided on marriage equality were ultimately persuaded in favor of the issue by meeting same-sex couples who then shared their stories of mistreatment. Over history, visibility of LGBTQ people has indeed changed minds. Yet, we never know and cannot comprehend the pain, the sorrow, or even the joys of our brothers and sisters and therefore, we may never understand why some choose to come out and others don't.

A gay author may choose to use a pen name, or not, depending on a few factors. How out is the author to him- or herself? To his or her friends or family? Is the writer trying to reach a variety of audiences? Would the audience buy the book knowing the author was LGBTQ?  And I’m not even going to touch the ‘gay authors can’t write straight characters’ line. Of course we can, many of us have been masquerading as straight for years. With proper research and preparation, I believe any writer can write characters of any race, gender, age or orientation.

The Pride Parades of today continue to serve the purpose of visibility. The first ones were held in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles on the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Today, Pride Events are held throughout the year on every continent except Antarctica, and have become major events complete with committees and regional coordinating organizations.

Visibility can take on many forms. There are those who like to be in the front lines, and those directing from behind, and there are even those of us who have been in the front and still want to continue our visibility, but now on a more quiet platform. I’ve been on the front lines. I’ve marched in parades, I’ve been part of political groups. I’m ready for a change.

I am one of those men who compartmentalized his life early on. I was not out at work, until I was out to myself. I came out to my family in stages, so I kept some secrets from many people. Now, I am out to almost everyone, except my students and their parents, though I believe some of them suspect, and may even know. Some of the compartments I used to live in are; man, gay, Caucasian, teacher, writer, homeowner, pet parent, divorced. I move in and out of the compartments as needed. I have spent the last thirty years putting myself together, with the last two being some of the most difficult and rewarding.

As I embark on this new path of author, I’m choosing to use my name for all my works. I’m choosing to use it because I am tired of compartments. I am the only male teacher in my grade level. I am the only white male teacher in my school. I am the only openly gay staff member at my school. I am the only openly gay homeowner in my community. I am the only teacher homeowner in my community. I am tired of being the (fill in the blank). I don’t want to be known as a gay writer, nor do I want to be known as a writer who happens to be gay.

Photo courtesy of GJ Spiller Photography.
I want to be me.

I just happen to be a gay divorced Caucasian homeowning male teacher pet parent who writes.

Six Sentence Sunday, 9/16/12

Here are another six sentences, from my upcoming novel, "Out of the Past," due out next month from Seventh Window Publications.

In my earlier packing I had avoided one of the two closets in my bedroom, whether deliberately or subconsciously, I don't know. I now approached that closet with sadness, but a sadness laced with purpose. I had to do this to move forward.  I moved aside some boxes on the top shelf and retrieved a small box from the back of the closet. Trembling, I opened it. Tears began raining down my face.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday, 9/9/12

Here are six sentences from my soon to be released novel, Out of the Past, coming from Seventh Window Publications.

“Where do you think you will go?” she inquired.
“I’ve no idea; he said he would get back to me.”
“Paul, I am so happy for you.”
“Gina, we’re only going for dinner;  we’re not getting married, or moving in together.”
“I know, but it’s a first step,” she said, cradling my hand in hers.
It was a very scary first step, but also one I wanted; no, I needed to take.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Interview with Ken Harrison, of Seventh Window Pubs.

My friend and fellow author, Kergan Edwards-Stout, interviews my publisher, Ken Harrison of Seventh Window Publications. Ken mentions my upcoming novel, When Love Calls Your Name.

 To read the interview, please click here:

Kergan Edwards-Stout is the author of the award winning novel, Songs for the New Depression, available through and other fine retailers.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday, 08/26/2012

In preparation for the release this fall of my novel, "When Love Calls Your Name"  from Seventh Window Publications, I am running these six sentences. I originally posted them on my other blog, Jeff's Journey on March 18, 2012.

Chaos theory states that something as inconsequential as a butterfly flapping its wing in South America could ultimately cause large-scale events, possibly even a hurricane in China.

I had heard of the so-called Butterfly Effect; Ray Bradbury described it in A Sound of Thunder, and Ashton Kutcher even starred in a movie entitled The Butterfly Effect yet I never expected to experience it myself. 
My “butterfly” arrived in the form of an envelope from the Superior Court telling me I had been assigned to the courthouse in San Fernando, about 25 minutes from my home in Lake Balboa, a small community in the San Fernando Valley, north of downtown Los Angeles. However much I disliked jury duty, I was resigned to my fate, and  had postponed the inevitable until winter recess from school and now I had to serve.  I called in to register like a good boy, and then waited until the day I had to call in to see if I needed to report.  Damn, I did have to go in on Monday.

Review: "Missing" by Drake Braxton

I review the debut novel, Missing, by Drake Braxton:

A foreign-born gay man goes missing in the United States. Not quite the most interesting premise for a story but, when the man is the legally married husband of a male US citizen, it becomes a bit more complicated what with same-sex marriage recognized only in a handful of states. Move the setting to rural Alabama, hardly a bastion of tolerance, either for gays or for the foreign born, and you have the premise of Missing, the debut novel of new m/m romance author, Drake Braxton.

Blain Harrington attends his high school reunion with his gorgeous Brazilian-born husband who suddenly goes missing during the reunion. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was first attracted to the book as it was being marketed as an m/m romance. And yet, Braxton bends the rules by bringing many suspenseful moments into the story thereby creating a romantic thriller or perhaps a thrilling romance. There are plenty of plot twists to keep the reader involved in the plot and many a moment for the romantic to shed a tear with just the right amount of sex to titillate. For me, it was quite the page turner on all accounts; the suspense, the romance, the sex, the trifecta! I am anxiously waiting his next release.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday 8/19/12

Here are six sentences from some future project....

"I still don't know if I can trust you," she countered.
"Nor do I know if I should trust you," replied Rolf.
"But I do," Graydon said, walking over and taking Rolf's hand. "We will help you rescue your friend."
"My betrothed. She was kidnapped before we were to be wed."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday, 8/12/12

Here's six sentences from an unfinished project of a very different nature for me.

“I hope I am not being forward,” he breathed, “but I have wanted to kiss you for a while now.”
“A while tonight, or…”
“A while since I first saw you in the store. You are an incredibly sexy man.”
“But I am older than you.”
“Yes, I know. I have always found older men to be sexier. I’d love to take this upstairs.”
“The ziti will get cold.”

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"My Secret"

I wrote this poem ca. 1985, as I was coming out.

"My Secret"

You think you know my secret?
How much to you think you know?
How much do you really know?

Do you know of my pain?

I can't be one of those...
I'm not like that.

A yearning to be with him...
I can't...
He's cute...
But I can't...
I want to...
I can't...
I need to...
It's wrong...
But he's cute.

Do you know of my rejection?

You can't play here.
You're a faggot.

Girls, don't fall for him,
he's queer.

See the new guy over there,
he's a fag.

Get away from me, faggot.

Do you know of my ultimate rejection? 

No son of mine is...

My brother's a what?!

Get out of this house and
don't come home for Christmas.

Do you know of my loneliness? 

Can I see you again?
Oh, I see.

What do you mean it's over?
We had two months and now it's over. Why?
Just because...

Does anyone want to dance with me?

I go home...

Would someone just hold me?

Do you know of  my agony?

No homosexual will ever enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
Charman Falwell
Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!
Kill a queer for Christ!
Stone him!
But God loves everyone. 
Not sinful, blasphemous, loathsome homosexuals He doesn't.

Do you know that part of my secret?
I didn't think you did.

Do you know this part?

Do you know the joy of discovering yourself?

Pieces of a puzzle scattered over a vast tabletop,
some hidden from view,
some of the floor,
some missing and maybe lost.
A picture finally complete,
No gaps, no holes, 
The corner pieces in place,
and the edges, too.

Finally together
After all these years

Do you know the feeling of pride
as you unashamedly march
in The Parade 
carrying a placard
"God Loves Me GAY!"
with your head held high?
Do you know the love
of sisters and brothers
cheering you on
applauding you
as you stand in front of the Fundies
who shout obscenities
at you
because you celebrate
Do you know that love?

Do you know of my success?

Mom, Dad, what's the matter?
Is someone sick?
Has someone died?

You want me to come home for Christmas?
May I bring...?

I can?!
We'll be there.

Mom, Dad, I love you.

Thanks, I know you do.

So, you think you know my secret?

I don't think you do at all. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Review: Marengo by Carey Parrish

Take a very diverse cast of characters -a meddling, busybody landlady but who has a heart of gold, and her tenants: a gossipy, single, middle-aged, flamboyant gentleman; two very handsome American journalists stationed in London; a seemingly too-proper male and one beautiful, single, divorced female. Mix that with the spring unveiling of a world famous jewel designer’s line, add some unexpected twists and turns and you have Marengo, by Carey Parrish. The book begins slow which gives the reader time to get to know the characters but as it progresses, like a proverbial roller-coaster, it builds, twists and turns leaving the reader wanting more. In some points it seemed a little formulaic and I anticipated many plot twists, I was surprised I discovered I was wrong and he took me in a different direction. It is a fun read and very enjoyable.

Review: Well With My Soul, by Gregory Allen

Well With My Soul by Gregory G. Allen tells the story of two brothers, Jacob and Noah Garrett. One is gay, the other straight. One is liberal, the other conservative. Both are on their respective paths in life and as is often with brothers, their life paths take them in different directions. As it true with siblings, they have their own interpretations of their life growing up together and how their parents treated the other brother, which in my family has been very revealing.
The story itself is an emotional ride through the ups and downs of sibling rivalry, filtered through the gay/straight and liberal/conservative lenses. Jacob is lured off to New York by the dream of a successful career in modeling and show business with all the glitz and glamour that goes with it. With Jacob off in New York, Noah feels duty bound to stay home with their mother, hurt by Jacob’s rejection of their small town comfortable life in the American South.  As the story progresses, the brothers find their paths cross and have taken some unexpected twists, much like life itself.
The story itself is a look not only at the relationship between the two brothers as they examine their own relationship with the other, but also their relationships with the significant others in their lives, and most importantly, their relationship with themselves.
Allen’s storytelling is touching, at times very light-hearted and at other times very deep, but always provoking.  The story resonated with me in such that I began to examine my relationship with my brothers.  A definite must read.

Review: Songs for the New Depression, by Kergan Edwards-Stout

In Songs for the New Depression, Kergan Edwards-Stout takes us back to the days of the AIDS pandemic. We follow Gabriel Travers on his journey to find love and (self-) acceptance but we follow him in reverse beginning with the current third of Gabe’s life and then backwards to the first third just after coming out in high school.  This is an emotionally engaging read, often difficult at parts especially for those who have watched a loved one being ravaged by an incurable illness. It is very moving and poignant yet balanced with the right amount of humor as not to leave the reader depressed, or make light of Travers’ quest. Edwards-Stout pulls the reader in with his very real characters, scene descriptions, and keeps the reader turning page after page. A must read.

Review: Proud Pants, by Gregory Allen

Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir, but Gregory G. Allen is just that; unconventional. This is a very touching memoir of a man recalling his difficult life; a life filled with addiction, abandonment and anger issues.  He recalls his life, slipping back to the past, returning to the present, like a patient slipping in and out of consciousness. It is gripping and at times difficult to read, but very moving and deeply touching. All in all, a must read.