#ThrowbackThursday – The Value of Rain

Four years ago today, I published my first novel. Since then, it has gained much acclaim, even with its dark subject matter.  It is not fluff and was never meant to be. This is a dark journey, one which some people have taken in real life.

A few of those travelers survived, most did not.

 

gay fiction

Blurb:

When love is locked away, it turns to vengeance.

Charles is 14, and after being discovered with his first love he is forced into a mental hospital to ‘cure’ his sexuality.

For the next ten years, Charles endures mental and physical torture as part of his treatment. When he is finally free, he begins a relentless quest for vengeance against the woman who abetted his commitment – his mother, Charlotte.

The Value of Rain chronicles a journey from hate to the unexpected beginning of redemption and reveals the destructive nature of families, secrets and revenge.

Reviews:

The prose is fluidly elegant, a symphony of phrasing that will stop you dead in your tracks with its sheer audacity and style. Mr. Shire brings to the literary landscape a unique and compelling voice and a storytelling style that grabs you by those inelegant short hairs and refuses to let go. It is sensual and distancing, allowing emotional respite without permitting release. It is literary, intelligent, and quite simply the best book I have read in years.
– Sand in My Shoes Reviews

Powerful and haunting. Best in LGBTQ Fiction 2011.
– Indie Reviews

Possibly one of my all time favorite books.
– Bittersweet Reviews

Beautiful, stunning, brutally real. A Top Read 2011
– The Reading Life

Available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo

or

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The Value of Rain – Best in LGBT Fiction 2011, Top Read 2011

Chronicles a journey from hate to the unexpected beginning of redemption and reveals the destructive nature of families, secrets and revenge.

Listening to Dust – 2012 Rainbow Award Winner – Best Contemporary Gay Fiction

A book about love found, love lost and the devastating effects of homophobia.

Summer Symphony – Finalist – 2015 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards

A bisexual man’s perspective of what it is to lose a child. It is the story of how two men with exceptional talent and passion find answers in music and what they learn about strength, grace, and the endurance of love.

Retro Reads… and a Giveaway

I’m over at Prism Book Alliance talking about two of my more literary fan favs, Listening to Dust and The Value of Rain. Feel free to stop by, enter to win a gift card, and join in the conversation at Prism.

Read their review of Listening to Dust.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00066] Listening to Dust - gay fiction

Tears, Therapy, or Hot Gay Romance?

As with most authors, potential readers contact me and tell me they’ve just discovered my books. Often, they’ll ask 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 you looking for? What are your tastes like? Do you want sad, happy, smexy, sweet, or downright tear-jerking?

I wrote this post to make it easier for readers to decide which book they wanted to read.

Note that 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, 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 challenge 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’ve achieved these goals, so I make no promises. You must decide for yourself.

(Click the covers for more info.)

The tear-jerkers

Summer Symphony by Brandon ShireGrief is such a highly personal emotion that it’s hard to encapsulate in words. In the West we talk around it, we avoid it, we steer our children’s eyes from it. But do we ever really face grief head on, or acknowledge what it does until it’s actually upon us? I tend to think that we don’t.

CHALLENGING: The false idea that male grief is subordinate to the concept of masculinity, especially when it comes to the loss of a child through stillbirth.

Listening to Dust - gay fiction

I get more email about Dust than any other novel. 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. This book is for readers who aren’t afraid to cry.

[Read more…]

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

Best Gay Contemporary Fiction – LGBT Rainbow Awards

Rainbow Book AwardsIn case you haven’t heard, the Rainbow Book Awards were announced and I am very proud to say that Listening to Dust tied for third place in the Best Gay Contemporary Fiction category.

The Value of Rain came in with an Honorable Mention in the same category at #7 and received and Honorable Mention  at #5 for Best Gay Debut Novel.

 

  Listening to Dust - gay fiction gay fiction - the value of rain

Congratulations also go to:

Wayne Hoffman – Sweet Like Sugar 

Ken O’Neill – The Marrying Kind

Lewis DeSimone – The Heart’s History

You can see the extensive listing of all Rainbow Awards and Category winners here: 2012 LGBT Rainbow Awards

Music in the Writing Process

music, fiction, writing tips, writing processIt’s always been my practice to have music playing while I write, but then again, there is always music playing in my home so that shouldn’t seem odd. For me, the written word, like a musical score, has a certain syncopation to it, a vibratory tone that underscores what you read as you read it.

Often my writing is described as lyrical, and this is something I (unknowingly) have striven for over the years as I put words down. The writing always had to not only sound right, but feel right too, and that feeling wasn’t just from word choice but from sentence & paragraph structure which lent itself to a vibratory undertone. [Read more…]

What does writing LGBTQ literature mean to me?

Rain Book reviews Blog Hop

Welcome Blog Hoppers

This is actually a tougher question than it seems.  When I first signed on for this blog-hop I said, Oh that’s easy! I know why I do it. But the question wasn’t Why? It was what does writing LGBTQ lit mean to you?  I spent many, many days tossing this around because writing has been such an intricate part of my life for so long that it has never really had a singular meaning. [Read more…]

The Value of Rain – Year One

gay fictionWho would have thought we’d be sitting here one year later? Not me that’s for sure.  As most of my regular readers know I was prodded into publishing by some of my few, but very close, friends. J.S., who you met on my social sites while I was away, simply chuckles at this because he was one of those people.  He’s the one that dug through manuscripts saying What about this one?  Or Do you remember that one you wrote about…?

I specifically recall the conversation we had about dipping my toe into this publishing pond. How adamant I was about my own privacy, the lack of time I had to devote to it, and a million other excuses; anything I could think of that would take this ridiculous idea from his head. I know I told him that I had never allowed him to read my writing for this.  And of course his question was Why did you then?  I was stumped, my tongue a rogue little knot that could not find an excuse. Damned thing. [Read more…]

On the Whimsy

dont rain on the paradeSo when I started this out I was being convinced by friends that I ‘just had to publish.’

It won’t be much, new book tech, kindle, nook and all that… Yeah, right. I had to figure out a whole new language, find book marketing bloggers that weren’t trying to pedal me some bullshit scheme about how they were going to make me the next NYT bestseller, and then there were all those querky tech problems  that I still have no clue about. [Read more…]