Sunday, January 29, 2012

Play Along

Music referenced in the novel, Every Time I Think of You, a YouTube playlist; 19 songs. There are some neat live versions of the songs, and a few classics.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Full Disclosure

When my work, both day job and author writing, and my fandom combine, it's always interesting.

It's rare that I recommend an arts event via my work for the Bay Area Reporter that I wouldn't -and eventually do- see/hear/experience myself. Often, I'm just too busy to go out every night or day to see everything. But sometimes, I do spend a bit more copy promoting artists I would have experienced and enjoyed any way.

Eric Himan is one such artist. Even before I enjoyed his rousing performance at the Closing Ceremonies of Gay Games VI in Chicago's Cubs Stadium back in 2006, I'd been a fan.

Doing an interview for one of his recent appearances was great, although most of his San Francisco area gigs have been in small bars.

Himan also now does a funny cooking show online, when he's not touring the country. You can read about that in my latest interview with him for BARtab.

Himan will perform, along with Mia Dyson and Hotels & Highways, at a benefit for The Trevor Project at San Francisco's Cafe du Nord, Sunday, January 22. Along with it being a cool benefit for a worthy cause, what makes this special is that Himan will be performing with his Bandmates, doing original songs and unique covers of pop songs.

Here's one of Himan's many great songs, "Little Boy Blue," which deals with bullying:

So, the "full disclosure" part: that's what journalists add to articles when they have a personal relationship with their interviewees. Himan also recently recorded a lovely short version of the Babys song "Every Time I Think of You," which is also the title of my novel, of course.

The novel briefly deals with anti-gay violence, but it's not the main plot in the book (spoiler: Chapter 20), and I chose to dramatize it in a different way than most Young Adult and gay fiction novels do.

Anyway, I hope you'll support Eric, who has supported my work, and dozens of worthy causes, when he's not busy as a roving troubadour or online chef. Even if I'd never met him or written about him, or he'd never done this wonderful favor for me, I'd still be a devoted fan.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Arts, Access & Artie

I just noticed that December 3, 2011, the day Every Time I Think of You was published, was also the same day that President Barack Obama proclaimed International Day of Persons With Disabilities. How cool is that?

This was one of several interesting websites and news articles I discovered while working on some outreach for the book. I'm a strong believer in micro-marketing; that is, finding specific communities who would be interested in my work. It's not easy. A disability publication might not address LGBT issues. A gay publication may be uninformed about disability. For example, the Mayo Clinic released a trailer specific to sexuality issues for people with spinal cord injuries, which is great, but there's apparently no inclusion of LGBT people.

So, I keep looking for connections. Here's an article about a photographer who takes photo portraits of the disabled and poor in the Philadelphia area (Spoiler: Philly is included in a few chapters in my book).

Another Philly-specific blog I found is Rob Quinn's PhillyACCESS, which combines topics in media, sports and disability. I'm still trying to find a direct email address for his various sites and Facebook pages. I hope he'll give my book a look.

The inspiring and often hilarious Zach Anner had his new show Rolling with Zach air on Oprah Winfrey's faltering OWN Network. I'd consider getting cable just to see his show. Not only is he more daring than most people of any ability; I'm fascinated by seeing how he overcomes literal obstacles while traveling.

But the biggest issue of the month in arts and disability is the controversy over New Mobility magazine featuring actor Kevin McHale as Glee's wheelchair singing Artie. McHale is not disabled, but plays the undisputed most famous disabled fictional character on TV. Disabled actors and viewers are split on their opinions. (New Mobility's web server was down as of this post. Hopefully, it'll be up soon. Here's their Facebook page.)

Oh, and here's a clip of Zach's show:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chapter 5 (excerpt)
Every Time I Think of you

As a family, we generally eschewed the drone of the television, and instead listened to some of my father’s jazz or classical LPs. Dad chose a Stan Getz album. Mom’s preference ran toward older pop favorites; The Mammas and The Pappas, Doris Day, Dean Martin. Off to the side, my few rock albums filled the rack.
Everett, after dropping a few names like Coltrane and Gillespie, again doffed one loafer, tucked one leg under his other knee, and settled further back on the couch near me.
It took some reserve not to simply lay my head in his lap, I was that happy. My parents might have been initially miffed, surprised or even put off, more by any open display of affection than by it being between two boys, one of them their son. Learning by Everett’s example, I realized that perhaps joy contained might have more longevity.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Lots of people are talking about how the online book shopping experience has hurt independent bookstores.

For example, Toronto's Glad Day Bookstore is facing its end after decades of service as a pioneering store.

The Toronto Star reports that John Scythes, who bought the store from founder Jearld Moldenhauer in 1991, has put a sign on the counter inviting anyone interested in buying it to contact him. According to a staff member, he began looking about a month ago, reaching out first to friends and customers first.

Glad Day first opened in 1970, operating out of Moldenhauer’s apartment in downtown Toronto, and was a hub for the city’s burgeoning queer community. (Giovanni’s Room, the oldest gay bookstore in the U.S., opened in 1973.)

So, it was with particular concern that I developed Every Time I Think of You and its marketing campaign, as well as its sales availability, knowing it would be predominantly online. Sorry, indie stores, but I don't have the time to consignment-ship books this time around, nor do I have time for a book tour. It doesn't pay off.

Well, now you can buy it from Giovanni's Room, the historic LGBT bookstore in Philadelphia. It's the oldest bookstore in the USA, and it holds a particular place in my heart. Giovanni's Room hosted the first reading of PINS, my first novel, and it snowed that day in 1999, most of Philly's gay wrestling team came by, plus it was my birthday.

Anyway, there won't be an East Coast reading tour this time around. So buy my books and others through their website and they get a share of the sale. (Sure, it's still the big conglomo I published it with, but you get the idea.)

Every Time I Think of You, now at Giovanni's Room's online store!

Chapter 4 (excerpt)
Every Time I Think of You

Despite our ample supply of slightly dented cartons, cans and jars of preserves, cheeses and syrup, we refrained from excess consumption, mostly because of my mother’s frequently stated distaste for what she called, “Germanic cuisine.”

Mom sometimes served picture-perfect recipes from the old magazines she saved, all with a sense of humor about it. She’d even put up a few of her favorite culinary illustrations under magnets on the refrigerator. I suppose it inspired her. On special nights, hams appeared topped with pineapples and pink cherries, or roasts were adorned with amusingly trimmed potatoes. It wasn’t until I’d dined at boyhood friends’ homes that I realized such meals weren’t a joke to other people.