Hot n Horny in the days before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

I asked acclaimed gay novelist  Elliott Mackle to stop by and tell us about his Captain Joe Harding historical romance series. Several of my own fans pointed me in his direction and nominated the books for a 2014 LGBT Book Gem so, here he is, as requested. 

Welcome Home frontcovI’ve said elsewhere that my Captain Joe Harding series is based on four years of Air Force service during the Vietnam era. That’s essentially true, but with reservations. For instance, each of the three novels includes at least one fatal plane crash. During my time in uniform I never witnessed a crash or even a serious mishap. I was a food service officer, not a pilot or air traffic controller.

But most officers, then and now, are assigned what’s called ‘additional duties.’ Among mine, at a Strategic Air Command bomber base in California, was occasional duty as a Disaster Control or Safety Officer. My tasks included driving down three miles of runway, and twice that of taxi way, sometimes at night, checking to make sure no parts had fallen off an aircraft. The potential to damage another plane was real and serious–as happened later, in 2000, outside Paris, when a Continental airliner shed a piece of metal engine cowling that damaged, and doomed, an Air France Concorde taking off right behind it.

I was trained to inspect flight lines, missile sites, maintenance areas and alert facilities, and to investigate and report on problems such as outdated fire extinguishers or incomplete training records. If an accident occurred, I knew to take charge of rescue operations until a higher-grade or better-qualified officer arrived. [Read more...]

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Killing your Muse?

I just want to know if it’s illegal. Especially after she throws in a change that makes me go back and re-write the first thirty chapters…? Bitch.

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You Don’t Have to Be Gay to Like Gay Fiction

Special Guest Post By Rick Bettencourt with an eBook giveaway.

Bettencourt, Rick Author B&W-WEBI’ve always been fascinated with things that cross genres. Cross dressers…cross culture…cross walks. No, wait. That last one. Never mind.

I’ve always liked to mix things up a bit. For instance, I’m not a country music lover, but I like Carrie Underwood’s music—and, of course, what gay man doesn’t love Dolly Parton?

When it comes to reading, I’m also diverse. My Kindle is packed with everything from sci fi to romance to personal growth to books about books. Oh, and you’ll even find some straight novels in there. “Well, of course,” you might say. “Most books involve heterosexual characters—mirroring life. Why shouldn’t it?” But, what about the other way around? Straight people reading gay books? Here are a few reasons why you don’t have to be gay to read gay fiction. [Read more...]

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The Awkward Conversations of a Gay Romance Writer

A lot of my posts are on the serious side, so I thought we’d have some fun and asked fellow authors what kind of reactions they got when someone they knew found out they wrote gay romance. These answers come from both male and female authors alike. Feel free to add the nuances of your own ‘outing’ in the comments. We can always use more lols.

 1. You write M/M? Isn’t that like…gay smut?

Not necessarily no, some of it is highly erotic; some of it is based more on love and passion.

[An awkward pause.] Have you had the kind of sex you write about?

[To mom/other relatives/kids]: No, I’m a paragon of Southern gentlemanly virtue.

[To a really hot man-hunk]: You want a test run? That can be arranged. Let me call my agent.

don't hate

2. OMG, what if your boss finds out?!

[Read more...]

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Gay and Homeless in Amsterdam

Welcome author David Swatling to the blog with his new suspense novel, Calvin’s Head. It is available for pre-order from Amazon and Bold Strokes Books.

Calvin's Head In July 2012, with an early draft of my debut novel tucked under my arm, I pitched the story to agents interested in crime fiction at ThrillerFest in New York City. I always began the same way: “Amsterdam. Summer of 1995. I’m homeless, living in my jeep with my dog, Calvin. True story.”  The rest didn’t seem to matter so much. “You were actually homeless?” they interrupted. A flicker of excitement appeared in their eyes. Could be a strong marketing tactic. Homeless author pulls himself from the gutter… But when I told them the homeless protagonist in the book was a young gay man, interest appeared to diminish. The agents politely asked me to send a submission, and several weeks later I received a series of encouraging rejections. [Read more...]

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The Editing Process (Animated)

Some days are not for editing

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Curated e-Books by Women, for Women

So I came across Shebooks and thought what a great idea it was. I’m sure there are other subscription sites like it out there, which curate books for a particular audience and are successful with it. But this site particularly caught my eye because it deals mainly with shorts and flash fiction (which I’ve just started writing).

There’s no doubt that readers enjoy long books and series, but many times you just don’t have the time. You need a quick book fix, like right now. After poking around some, what really struck me was the quality of the reads available. This isn’t mediocre fan fiction you’ll find on a lot of other sites, these are solid authors who know their craft. I was impressed.  The only drawback I saw was that the books are only available via tablet or smartphone, but as they grow, maybe that will change.  Check them out, let me know what you think. (I’d like to see something like this for lgbt fiction.)

For those of my female author friends who write MM, I didn’t see any on site, so this may be an opportunity for you to branch out. Especially as the genre grows. Check their FAQ for details.

 

 

Affiliate links.

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Tears, Therapy, or Hot Gay Romance?

Invariably, as with most authors, I’ll have a potential reader contact me and tell me that they have just discovered my books. Often, they will ask about which book they should read first. Usually I’ll forget to ask how they found me (which is important) and get right to the point.

What kind of book are they looking for? What are their tastes like? Do they want sad, happy, smexy, sweet, or downright tear-jerking? (I wrote this post to make it easier for readers to decide.)

NOTE: For the month of July, all my books are 50% off on Smashwords.

I typically don’t follow genre conventions, write PC, or scribble comfort reads. So I have to be careful when I make a recommendation. Readers looking to me for those types of books are sometimes disappointed.  I don’t like disappointing readers, or anyone, but the reality is you can’t please everyone. You have to be happy before you can even attempt to make someone else happy, and I am partial to following my own path when it comes to writing.  I like to explore faults and frailties and prejudices. I like to challenges opinions and assumptions, especially when they conform to a cultural dogmas posited by our society, our media, and our politics.

So let’s get to it. Here’s the breakdown with the conventional ‘wisdom’ I’ve tried to challenge. Only readers can decide if I have been achieved these goals, so I make no promises. You must decide for yourself. (Click the covers for more info.)

 

The tear-jerker

Listening to Dust - gay fictionI get more personal email about Dust than any other. Tweet this! This book is about love and loss and how homophobic violence shatters people. It is also dedicated to a friend I lost through homophobic violence, so it is probably the most personal of all my books.

CHALLENGING: The idea that tragedy can’t display the true depth of love. We want shine and glitter; we want pretty packages and forever-loves and HEAs, but life isn’t like that. [Read more...]

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Summer Book Sale – 50% Off

waiting

I know you’ve been waiting, so here it is!

Celebrating Summer Book Sale

I’m over at Smashwords with thousands of other authors and ALL my books are 50% off for the entire month of July (but only at Smashwords). Enter the code SSW50 during checkout and you immediately get 50% off. How great is that?!

Brandon Shire on Smashwords

Brandon Shire's books

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Coming out in the 1970s (video)

Coming out in the 1970s Documentary from Gabriel Gasca on Vimeo.

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