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It’s been a strange couple of years for all of us since I last posted: not just because of COVID, but more importantly, the profoundly destabilizing, disorienting force the pandemic has been in our culture.

What do I have to show for my two-year silence?

Well, without going into all the detail: life-threatening diagnoses, two life-changing surgeries for me and one for my hubby, writing a 120k word fantasy, traumatic estrangement from a beloved family member, finding a literary agent, parting ways from said agent, pulling my books from a dishonest publisher, getting said books ready for indie release, querying agents until I saw Query Tracker in my sleep, selling our house and moving, music lessons, radiation therapy, and diving into a new writing project that I’ve carried in my heart for years, and falling more deeply in love with my wonderful husband as we approach the 20-year mark in …

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Writers Digest

 

I’m offering a full scholarship to a Writers Digest workshop.

I’ve just signed with a literary agent — again. First time around was pretty disappointing. This time, though, signing with Amy Collins of Talcott Notch Literary, it already feels very much like entering the dynamic, collaborative business relationship it’s supposed to be. We’re taking action, and I’m elated at the possibilities ahead.

I first made contact with Amy in March through a four-day workshop put on by Writers Digest University, called “First 10 Pages Bootcamp”, where she was one of the instructors.

The workshop, which costs $200 US, seemed to be the next step in my seemingly endless agent querying efforts — after all, if I’d queried dozens and dozens and dozens of agents with my first pages and no one had shown real interest, I had to find out if there was something in those pages …

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Since Friday I’ve had interviews and articles posted on fellow author blogs, part of my effort to get the word out about the release of The Companion.

Thinking that some of those posts might be interesting to you in the meantime, me and my 500-lb gorilla marketing buddy are sharing the links to a few of them.

Raine O’Tierney                       Vastine Bondurant                  Tara Lain

Thanks to Raine, Vastine and Tara for hosting me on their blogs.

It will probably be a while before enough reviews come in to give me a feel for the book’s general reception, but The Companion already has two reviews so far, with others scheduled to appear later in the week. Here’s the first, from Portia de Moncur at MM Good Book Reviews. Thank you, Portia! My gorilla thanks you, too!

Another interesting and very different review is at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews, where I also …

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The CompanionJuly 23, 2014 — release day for The Companion, coming to you today from Dreamspinner Press. You can read the first two chapters here.

Well, I’ve got a great cover, an interesting (I think, anyway!) story, promotional blog posts organized. Hopefully some review sites will pick up the book and say nice things about it, causing millions of eager readers to buy their own copies.

I’d like to say that the project is now out of my hands, but in current-day publishing the burden of ongoing publicity sits in the author’s lap like an eight hundred pound gorilla, and he’s there for the life of the book.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. More like a friendly five hundred pound gorilla, very into hugs, sharing bananas and checking my hair for lice. For me the gorilla, friendly as he is, takes a lot of attention and energy, even …

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For years, I had a quote pinned up on the wall of my workspace attributed to congressional historian Daniel J Boorstin: “The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance, but rather the illusion of knowledge.”

With Mercury about to station retrograde October 4th, this is the ideal time for me to deliberately relax my grip on certainty, check my reality compass and make some room for discovery.

I’d like to share with you something of my respect for disillusionment – the loss of illusion. Discovery is an essential part of any plot, from clues in a murder mystery, to trust (misplaced, real or withheld) in a romance, geographic exploration in an adventure, or finding inner strength in the Hero’s Journey. While the need for profound discovery is always present in our stories, the context for the discovery is infinitely changeable. …

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Just coming up for air after a wildly eventful two weeks. Not sure what happened astrologically or in some other energies I don’t manage, but it was like a dam broke and washed down my river without doing a stick of damage. Instead, cycles that have been in “pending” mode for months all sprang forward as if the Cosmos had flipped a switch.

Unnerving — and exciting! So here’s the executive summary:

LammyFinalist_Small_Web_v3Wednesday, Mar 4 I learned that my novel The Companion is a finalist in this year’s Lambda Literary Awards. A week later I’m still giddy about it, and probably will be for months to come. For someone who writes gay fiction, this is huge, and would have made a stellar week all on its own. It’s the equivalent of being nominated for an Oscar for us. Bob and I immediately bought tickets to the awards ceremony June 1st …

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After a week of dithering about whether it was “the sensible thing to do” (Of course it’s not! It makes hardly any sense at all, financially or logistically.) I’ve decided to attend the LLF-sponsored finalists reading in L.A. on May 15th. I had a big coupon from Southwest Airlines and deccided to splurge. Even if it isn’t the sensible thing to do, it feels right and I’m excited at the prospect of meeting and reading to a completely new audience.

So if you’re in West Hollywood, or feel like driving distance to attend, I’d love to see you there!

It’s on Friday May 15, 7:00 pm at the County of Los Angeles – West Hollywood Branch Public Library, 625 N San Vincente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA, 90069

It feels deliciously extravagant to be flying from one coast to the other to read from The Companion, as if I were …

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Letter to a new Generation of Gate Keepers

I’m writing this letter to you in the fervent hope that you will come to believe something. If you don’t believe it now because it seems too crazy or impractical, I ask that you put the idea aside gently, making room for the possibility of believing it at some time in the future. This idea is the single most important thing that I can give you. When you do believe it, you will see with new eyes and new heart as the world offers unexpected possibilities to you—possibilities invisible to most.

You have been given a great and sacred gift—you are gay. Some peoples called us “Two-Spirited,” and held an honorable place for us in daily life. You might be surprised how many cultures viewed men like us with respect. That, as you well know, has not been the historical experience in …

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Letter to a new Generation of Gate Keepers

I’m writing this letter to you in the fervent hope that you will come to believe something. If you don’t believe it now because it seems too crazy or impractical, I ask that you put the idea aside gently, making room for the possibility of believing it at some time in the future. This idea is the single most important thing that I can give you. When you do believe it, you will see with new eyes and new heart as the world offers unexpected possibilities to you—possibilities invisible to most.

You have been given a great and sacred gift—you are gay. Some peoples called us “Two-Spirited,” and held an honorable place for us in daily life. You might be surprised how many cultures viewed men like us with respect. That, as you well know, has not been the historical experience in …

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In 2009, Arsenal Pulp Press published a collection of essays framed as intergenerational advice to queer youth, called Second Person Queer, edited by the inimitable team of Richard LaBonte and Lawrence Schimel.

I was glad to have an essay in the collection, “Letter to a New Generation of Gate Keepers”, in which I sought to address what I see as the sacred, spiritual gift of same-sex wiring. It was the first time I’d raised these thoughts in public, and they helped clarify my sense of purpose in writing fiction: to explore the power and beauty of same-sex attraction, and the possibility that gay men hold a particular responsibility within the spiritual ecology of humankind.

It would be presumptuous of me to speak on behalf of those wired differently from me — I’m a cisgendered gay man — but I can speak up as one such. I do hope others will …

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Blood & Dirt 02 -Ebook FinalIt’s been a long time coming (because it took months longer to finish than I had originally planned), but the digital version of my new Russ Morgan mystery Blood & Dirt is scheduled for release from Wilde City Press on August 19th! The print version will follow within days. I’m happy to say it will include Enigma, the first Russ Morgan story, which was too short to have a print run of its own.

I’m thrilled it will be out in time for UK Meet 2015 in Bristol. Thanks to Wilde City Press, I’ll have print copies there to flog. Um, I mean, sign.

I’m also grateful that readers spoke up about Enigma, which I envisioned as a one-off story, never imagining that Russ might have more stories to tell. Sometimes the author really is the last to know that a story might be the beginning of a series. …

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