What Writing GLBTQ Litature Means To Me: Rainbow Blog Hop

What writing GLBTQ literature means to me.

When I heard of the opportunity to participate in the highly anticipated RAINBOW BLOG HOP, hosted by Rainbow Book Reviews August 24-26, 2012, in honor of launching the Rainbow Book Reviews website (http://www.rainbowbookreviews.com/index.php), I jumped at the chance to participate with fellow writers. Below is information posted via the website in the “about us” section for those unfamiliar with the new GLBTQ book review site:

“Rainbow Book Reviews is a site dedicated to GLBTQ-related books, reviews, and authors who write about topics of interest to us and our friends.

We have a wide range of activities for you to check and participate in, if you wish. Feedback is always welcome. We publish new releases on a daily basis, have a team of reviewers who try to help you understand what to expect from a book, we publish monthly author interviews, and have author pages with in-depth information. You can also find out about the many great publishers who publish GLBTQ-related books.

We want to make sure the site offers what YOU (the reader!) want to see, so please contact us with any ideas or feedback at info@rainbowbookreviews.com. For individual staff members, please see the overview below.”

As a participant in the RBH, I was given the task to describe what writing GLBTQ literature means to me. Right off the bat (does this date me?) I am asked to reveal my thoughts about referencing very complicated question. I will be as totally honest and forthwith in order that you – the reader – may gleam some sense of what makes me tick; why I write at all.

I have been writing stories most of my life, beginning around age seven or eight, I’m not really sure. What I do know, however, is the person who first influenced my writing and encouraged me to further explore my “active imagination”, my beloved grandmother, who I affectionately named “Mana” when very young. It was my attempt at mimicking my mother who called her mother, Momma. When she readied for bed each night, I would sit on the side of her bed reciting the stories I had dreamed up – she never once questioned the reasons or motivation driving my need to create make-believe, fictitious imagery of people or animals of whom became characters of my words. I’d jot a few pages longhand on paper while at school during lunch or recess to read to Mana during out nightly ritual. Those times spent with my grandmother are my most treasured memories even today after having lost my best friend three years ago at the young age of seventy-nine years old.

So, getting back to what writing gay literature means to me: at first glance, it’s opportunity to share ideas, historical or current happenings of circumstance. My earlier pre-teen stories covered popular genres of the day based largely upon what I was reading at the time (I was a voracious reader in elementary school – even winning the coveted “top reader” award each year at the local library during summer break) or had watched on television, which influenced my imagination. I remember the one book and movie that was the catalyst pushing me to start writing my first story: To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, originally published in 1960 (my birth year) and adapted to screen in 1962 (starring Mary Badham and the legendary Gregory Peck), the novel won the Pulitzer Prize and the movie earned Gregory Peck an Oscar for his supreme performance. I didn’t see the movie until I was older (my mother had worried the film was too “heavy” for a young, impressionable boy) and read the book as an assignment for school. I knew then I wanted to write stories. In fact, my first quasi-serious attempt putting pencil to paper was a hysterical fantasy titled “The Ship”, about a pirate ghost ship off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. I even named the main character of the story Atticus, the same as Gregory Peck’s character.

At second glance during my formative years, many stories flowed from my pencil, encouraged both by my grandmother and teachers in school. Born and raised in south of Georgia, USA, my family could not afford to purchase books for me (I come from a blue-collar family that worked in the cotton mills on the Chattahoochee river) so I lived in the school library checking out as many books as allowed. I read everything from fiction to non-fiction, biographies and history. I couldn’t get enough. I wrote fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery and thriller stories during those years and always wrote for the love of telling a story, which I shared with my family and some teachers. My favorite memories of grade school was each spring when English or History class teachers would read books to us the final week of school. One mesmerizing novel I recall was titled “Island Of The Blue Dolphins”, by Scott, O’Dell, about a young Nicolero Indian girl stranded on an island off the coast of California for eighteen years. The story remains with me even today; the power of the written word is unmatched.

I didn’t realize I was “gay” until later in my teens (this was the late ‘70s), so writing gay stories wasn’t yet a priority. Majoring in English when I went off to college was a no-brainer, even minoring in Broadcasting (go figure!). While seeking my under graduate degree, I wrote fictional stories for the campus newspaper, often turning them into serials that had attracted a decent readership. I finally came out my second year in college, and my writing began to focus more on gay characters, considered risky in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s of the south. The first homoerotic novel I read was “Good Times/Bad Times” by James Kirkwood. The novel about the relationship of two young men in boarding school affected me deeply and I began seeking out gay-themed novels once I realized they existed, often perusing the bookstore shelves for hours, too embarrassed to ask the store clerks.

Then I came across the cover of a paperback novel showing a young man sitting on the bench in a locker room. The book was the groundbreaking, “The Front Runner”, by Patricia Nell Warren. This novel became catalyst of my writing gay-themed stories. I devoured every novel I could find by Ms. Warren, moving on to other gay-centric novels thereon. What was so important to me during the early years of my emerging sexuality was reading fictional stories that resembled me, what I was all about or could be. I relied on these stories for self-discovery, unable to speak to my parents or other family members about my being gay.

Fast forward thirty years and third glance; I have been writing stories for several years that have always featured a gay protagonist, concentrating mainly in the mystery/suspense, thriller genres, many with romantic tendencies. But, it wasn’t until as recently as 2008 that I began to submit my stories for publication. Though frightened and unsure, I wanted to share my writing with others besides my family and friends. I am a gay author and I write stories of mystery/suspense and romance novels where the main characters are gay. I don’t feel this fact defines or limit my characters, but more often provides excellent opportunities for exciting plots. Many diverse writers have influenced my written style, such as David Baldacci, John Grisham and Michael Crichton, along with the groundbreaking gay novelists Patricia Nell Warren, Michael Nava and Felice Picano. Some of my current favorites and influencers are gay mystery writers Greg Herren, David Lennon and John Morgan Wilson – and many more.

Finally, writing GLBTQ literature means being true to the gay culture, to create realistic, (in my case, fictional) characters that represent the gay community correctly. Knowing some readers just coming to terms with their sexuality might be reading my stories, I research meticulously to ensure accuracy and strive to present positive role models within my writing even as my characters face bigotry and intolerance, dating, falling in love…and usually, murder! My characters must grow through challenges and experience, be representative of the gay community, whether negative or positive, and not all my stories end with a HEA.

I will continue to write as long as I enjoy creating stories, and I am happy to be able to share my writing with others. Recently, I released an erotic thriller, False Evidence: Murder Most Deadly 1 – the first novella of a two-part murder-mystery. I am currently writing a gay, murder-mystery, police-procedural, featuring closeted Atlanta Homicide Detective, Kendall Parker, which I hope to get published sometime in 2013. I am also a Juror for the 2012 GLBT Rainbow Awards sponsored by Elisa Rolle, (http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/tag/rainbow%20awards%202012), which I am greatly enjoying.

Links to my titles:

Amazon Purchase Link:
http://tinyurl.com/FalseEvidence-AmazonKindle

Lyd :
http://tinyurl.com/False-Evidence

PRIZES, PRIZES, PRIZES!

Click on the link below to read more about prizes and give-aways for the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop:

http://rainbowbookreviews.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/the-rainbow-book-reviews-blog-hop-is-here/

In celebration, of the Rainbow Blog Hop, I am giving away two (2) copies of my latest novella, False Evidence. Just respond with you name to be entered into a random drawing set for Saturday, Sept 1, 2012.

I would love to hear your thoughts and what reading/writing GLBTQ literature means to you!

Multi-Published Author, J.M Snyder stops in to chat about her lateste releases…

Please welcome multi-published author and friend, J.M. Snyder as “guest blogger” for the week!

I’m J.M. Snyder, author of gay erotic and romantic fiction. I began in self-publishing, but am now working with e-publishers Amber Allure, Aspen Mountain, and Torquere Presses. My short stories have appeared online at Ruthie’s Club, Tit-Elation, and Amazon Shorts, and in anthologies by Alyson Books, Aspen Mountain Press, and Cleis Press.

 This month, I have four paranormal releases just in time for Halloween.  They are: 

A More Perfect Union

A More Perfect Union

 * A More Perfect Union, published 10/12/08 by Amber Allure Press

http://jmsnyder.net/books/bstates/union.html

 

 Book 3 in Between States a historical paranormal series set during the American Civil War. This is novella is the last story in the series, and all three will be released in a paperback collection in January 2009.

  Once a Yankee soldier, Brance Brenneman has left behind the War Between the States and gone into hiding with his lover, former Confederate Caleb Chilson. Deserters intent on keeping to themselves, they find a nice, sparse acre of land where they can finally settle down. Life falls into domesticated routine for both the brooding Yank and the excitable Rebel. Together they struggle to create a more perfect union forged of love and their shared shapeshifting secret. 

 

But the discovery of another bobcat encroaching on their territory brings out the possessive alley cat in Caleb, eager to defend his home and his mate. Will the newcomer destroy what they’ve worked so hard to attain? Or is there room enough for the three of them deep in the wilderness of Pennsylvania? 

The Arc Position

The Arc Position * The Positions of Love Book 11: The Arc Position, published 10/19/08 by Amber Allure Presshttp://vic-and-matt.com/positions/pol-11.html

Book 11 in The Positions of Love, a contemporary series about lovers Vic Braunson and Matt diLorenzo. Every time they make love, Matt inadvertently gives Vic superhuman powers. There are a total of 12 stories in this series, which will be released in a paperback collection in December 2008. *** It’s Halloween, and Matt’s coworker Roxie has invited him to a costume party on that spookiest of nights. He’s afraid he’ll have an uphill battle convincing Vic to tag along, but to his surprise, his lover jumps at the idea. Matt chooses a pair of police uniforms for them to wear, and looks forward to a little sexual role-playing once the party is over. Nothing like a pair of handcuffs and a game of good cop/bad cop to get the blood pumping. A Haunted Love But Roxie calls with a pool emergency an hour before the party starts. Because Vic isn’t in costume yet, Matt goes on ahead alone. When his lover shows up for the party, Matt’s surprised to find he’s not dressed as a cop. Instead, Vic’s latest superhuman power has created a costume of its own, with comic results.

* A Haunted Love, published 10/31/08 by Aspen Mountain Presshttp://jmsnyder.net/books/haunted.html

A Haunted Love
A Haunted Love

This novelette originally appeared in the e-book anthology, Cupid’s Arrow, also published by Aspen Mountain Press. Nick works as a re-enactor at a Colonial America site. One foggy night he meets David Henry, just about the sexiest man in colonial garb Nick has ever seen. Because Nick’s missed the last bus into town, David invites him to stay the night with him at the colony’s inn. Though there’s definitely a spark between them, David is gone when Nick wakes. When David’s claim of working as an apprentice at the glass shop doesn’t pan out, Nick begins to wonder about the guy he’s met and the ghost stories circulating around the colony, stories he always believed untrue …

* One of Use, published 10/31/08 by Torquere Presshttp://jmsnyder.net/stories/st_oneofus.html

The Sip...
The Sip...

This short story appears in my self-published collection, Shorts, and was also published online at Ruthie’s Club.

 Connor Allen is a young man who sports a nasty bite that seems to grow worse during the full moon. A former classmate, Rand, tells him it’s a werewolf bite. At first Connor thinks he’s joking, but as the moon rises, he finds himself undergoing a painful transformation. Rand knows just how bad it can be the first time a man changes, so he distracts Connor in a way that pleases them both.

 

For more information on these releases, please visit my website at http://jmsnyder.net or click on the links above.  I host monthly contests to five away free copies of all new releases (http://jmsnyder.net/contest.html), and I give away additional freebies through my Yahoo! group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jmsnyder/)

 

Thank you, Jon, for hosting me today!

 

Any time, J.M!  Keep keep us informed as the holidays approach…  Thank you for sharing your latest releases with the readers of my blog. 

 

If you have a question for J.M Snyder, current or past releases, please post then here for response…

 

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Nex week, I have a very special “treat” for you – or is that a “trick”??

 

Gremlins are coming…check back next week as Gremlin’s author/graphic cover artist Anastasia Rabiyah chats about her new release, appearing in the print anthology, Gremlins – from loveyoudivine.com

 

 

Famed Horror writer, Rick R. Reed chats about his new novel!

It’s always with some trepidation that I open an e-mail from a cover artist with a subject line that indicates a JPEG of a brand-new cover is within. It’s a suspenseful moment, wrought with tension, and one in which you get to see if your baby is going to have the beautiful face it deserves…of if it’s gonna be ugly as sin, dooming it to a life of shunning and ridicule, much like my own life.

I think my baby has a beautiful face…and boy, am I relieved. Check out the cover design below for my October release, Dead End Street, my first young adult horror novel. Cover artist Trace Edward Zaber did a great job making a cover that’s simple, evocative, and creepy…all at once.

But mothers always think their babies are beautiful. What do you think?

Here’s a little “elevator speech” about Dead End Street, which will be released in October, just in time for Halloween (or the holidays, which is a heavy handed way of saying that it would make a great gift for son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandkid, or your own inner teen).

They were five misfit kids who had banded together in their small Ohio River town. Over the years, they had organized various clubs and now they had formed the Halloween Horror Club. The premise was simple: each week, each teen would spin a horrifying tale and at the end of five weeks, the scariest story won a prize. The twist: the stories had to be told in the infamous and abandoned Tuttle house, where, fifteen years earlier, an entire family had been murdered in their beds. The idea seems like a good one, until the kids begin to realize they may not be alone in the Tuttle house, which backed up against the woods. There seems to be someone—or something—watching them. Is it Paul Tuttle, the teenage son who disappeared fifteen years ago, the night his parents and sister were killed? Or is it someone even more sinister? 

With each story (each a completed short, original horror tale that stands on its own), the tension mounts…and so does the anger of this mysterious inhabitant of the house. He is enraged at having his space violated. And his rage could mean a real dead end for those who dare to invade his home…

Read the first chapter of Dead End Street here:

http://www.rickrreed.com/upcomingbooks.htm