modern sensibilities

I have a guest post up at the RWANYC blog on having modern sensibilities but wanting to write history, which is sort of how Across the East River Bridge came about.

And right now, I’m twiddling my thumbs until midnight so I can get started on my NaNoWriMo novel, which I have been bravely sitting on for six weeks. (I seem to be writing… fantasy? That can’t be right. But it’s NaNo, so anything goes, I guess. I LOVE this idea, it’s all about New York through the ages and finding lost objects and… it’ll be good, I just know it. I want to start it!)

Halloween and Gay Day

The witching hour is almost upon us, or something—I’m using the excuse to make pies, basically—but I like Halloween. (Speaking of which, reminder! You can hop on over to the Dreamspinner Press site and do a little hunting through pages for my books to find my Halloween short, entitled “On the Stoop.” It’s a look at how totally weird Halloween is in the city if you grew up in the suburbs. Kids trick or treat at stores!)

Just to make things extra weird, it snowed in New York today, and not even flurries but full-on, big-flaked snow.

Before I climb into my costume to go off to a Halloween party tonight, I figured I’d let you know that I plan to participate in Gay Day over at Ethan Day’s Yahoo Group. I’ll be posting excerpts from Across the East River Bridge and also possibly from my upcoming Dreamspinner short, so stop by if you’ve got time tomorrow!

win a copy of Across the East River Bridge

I wrote a guest post for my friend Alexis’s awesome blog Parenthetical Observations. Go there and you can enter to win a copy of Across the East River Bridge, just in time for Halloween and all your novels-about-haunted-houses needs. The contest closes around noon EST on Friday (10/28).

(I’ve been flogging this everywhere, so it bears mentioning on my own website, huh? And check out Alexis’s blog while you’re there; it’s great, and I’m not just saying that because we are friends.)

c’est moi

Why, yes, I am apparently just narcissistic enough to post a photo of myself from GRL! I took hardly any photos, which I’m kind of regretting now, so I’ve been going through all the ones people are posting to the Yahoo group and Facebook and their blogs and all that. (For example, check out Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton’s travel blog.) This photo here I took from the Yahoo group (thanks, Susan!). So here I am, signing autographs on the Creole Queen at the big singing event. It’s almost like I’m a real author or something.

I seem to have brought back the same case of the sniffles that everyone else at the retreat got as a souvenir, but it was totally worth it. My brain is STILL buzzing.

Anyway! Things of interest: I made a post last week to the Loose Id author blog that is basically about how I’m a nerd (in this case, my relative nerdery about history was the inspiration for Across the East River Bridge, so, see, relevant!). I have a few other guest posts and things lined up for the coming weeks, so I’ll let you know about those.

By the way, Across the East River Bridge is now available from Amazon, a little early even.

I went to the first NYC NaNoWriMo event of the year on Tuesday and I, uh, handed out a bunch of the surplus bookmarks from New Orleans (so if you got here from a bookmark, hi!). I have what I think is a cool idea for a novel to write this November. M/M contemporary, but with some fantasy elements tossed in. (Someone at the NaNo meetup said, when I described my plot, “So magical realism.” And, yeah, that seems about right. Sort of a departure for me, but I think it will be fun to write.)

So that’s all the news that’s fit to print right now.

(I look so serious in this photo! Being an author is srs bsns, apparently.)

GayRomLit 2011

I’m back from New Orleans! I’m taking today off to recover, and much recovery is needed, because I had a blast and didn’t sleep much.

It was a really wonderful weekend. I’m still all giddy about it. I want to recap, but I’m inevitably going to leave out the names of some awesome people I met, so apologies in advance! I don’t mean to exclude you! I’m just very tired right now!

I also didn’t really take any pictures, but I want to see everyone’s! And I’ve been reading other attendees’ accounts, but please leave links to yours in the comments here, too!

Here’s my highlight reel:

• I left my apartment in Brooklyn at 4:30am Thursday after having slept only about two hours. Somehow I still came within a hair’s breath of missing my 6:45am flight out of JFK. Uneventful flight. My room wasn’t ready when I checked in to the hotel, so I checked my luggage at the front desk and went for a walk. I had beignets at Cafe Du Monde and then got stupid lost in the French Quarter. (My sense of direction in NOLA was screwy. The Quarter is a grid, but it’s tilted, so while normally I have a good sense of direction, I could not figure out which way was north/south/whatever.) I was saved mostly by the GPS on my iPhone. Eventually, I made it back and was able to prettify myself to go register for the convention and start meeting people.

• It’s a totally surreal experience to have a stranger walk up to you, squint at your name badge, gasp, and say, “I loved your book!” A surprising (to me) number of readers gushed about In Hot Pursuit. (Noah and Harry thank you!)

• I got to meet a lot of people at the opening gala. I grabbed a bite to eat afterward, and then we went to the Gentlemen’s Juke-Joint Junket at Lafitte’s in Exile (which claims to be the oldest gay bar in the country), where I talked to some bloggers (hi, Chris and Kassa and everyone!) and drank whatever the bartender was pouring. It was fun, but I was operating on very tiny amounts of both sleep and food, and thus I was HURTING Friday morning.

• Friday was busy. I had beignets for breakfast, then I sat in on some author readings, then I went to the Dreamspinner publisher spotlight and signed some books, then I hosted a lunch and ate a tasty muffaletta while chatting with readers (one of whom, Poppy Denison, got her first publishing contract that very afternoon, so congrats!), THEN I went to the Creole Queen riverboat for a big signing event, where I talked to a lot of people and signed a lot of autographs. I am a PRO at signing autographs now. After we got off the boat, I had dinner at Pat O’Brien’s with Ethan Stone and Laura B. After THAT, I planned to just go back to my room and crash, but there was noisy construction at the hotel, so I wandered out into the lobby to see who else was around. I wound up going out for a drink with Shae Conner, and we talked a lot about publishing and baseball. (After all that, I did, indeed, go to my room to crash. I think I conked out at 9:30.)

• Saturday was less crazy during the day. I went to a bunch of author social events. There was some great discussion during at least one of the socials about how amazingly supportive the m/m writing community is of each other. This has been true in my experience, and it was great to see that in action. (The whole convention was like that. It was great.) After the socials, I wound up going out for lunch and a little souvenir shopping with a few readers from Florida (hi, Dolorianne and crew!). When I got back from lunch, I was sort of at loose ends for the afternoon, and I wound up just camping out in the lobby and talking to whoever came by. (I’m trying to avoid name dropping too much, because I’m certain there are people I had wonderful conversations with that my sleep-deprived brain is not recalling. But people I remember talking to include Marguerite Labbe, Clare London, Rowan Speedwell, JP Barnaby, Marie Sexton, Heidi Cullinan, Damon Suede, and I’m sure some others I don’t remember.)

• Saturday night, there was a hurricane party, so I had a bit to drink and then went to dinner with Marie Sexton, Ethan Stone, Ellis Carrington, Heidi Cullinan, Damon Suede, and Laura B. We went back to the hotel for a wine and cheese party. After that, we went to a gay bar on Bourbon Street, where I danced and drank and stuck a couple of dollars into a go go boy’s undies. All in good fun. (I hadn’t been out to a club in quite some time, and it’s been even longer since I went to a bar/club at which people were smoking. I’m not one to get self-righteous about smoking, but all the bans on where you can smoke plus the high taxes on cigarettes means no one in New York really smokes anymore, and I was not used to it. I sound kind of raspy today as a result. It’s sexy.)

• We got back to the hotel around 2:30am Sunday, so I slept for a couple of hours and then got up at 7am to pack and go to breakfast. After saying good-bye to everyone, I had lunch with my cousin and her boyfriend (they live in NOLA). Then I was off to the airport!

A few other things:

• You know what’s really surreal? When an author whose work you love comes up to you and tells you s/he loves your work right back. This happened to me more than once!

• I now have a very lengthy list of books I want to buy. It is true what they say, I guess; there are a number of authors I met whose stuff I hadn’t read, but I liked them so much in person that I will now go buy their books. (I was really good about not buying books despite temptation or even really entering giveaways. It was hard enough to get the stuff I did acquire into my luggage when I was packing to come home.)

• One of the best things for me was just talking about the industry and the genre with fellow authors. I had been feeling a little isolated, and very few of my writer friends are even romance writers, so it was really great to talk shop, so to speak. I hadn’t really had an opportunity like that before.

• It was a small enough convention that I think I got to at least say hello to almost everyone there, which was nice. It’ll be interesting to see how it expands in the future.

So, that was the quick take on my trip. It really was an amazing experience. Thanks to all of the organizers (Ethan Day, Carol Lynne, JP Bowie, Lynn Lorenz, Amanda Young, William Neale, plus all the volunteers) for putting on a fantastic convention. And thanks, too, to all the readers who came out; certainly none of this would have been possible without you, either. I look forward to seeing many of you next year in Albuquerque!

Across the East River Bridge now available!

Across the East River Bridge is available for purchase today from the Loose Id website. You can buy it here!

When Finn’s boss sends him to a museum in Brooklyn, the last person he expects to see is his old rival, Troy. Although Finn and Troy have undeniable sexual chemistry, Finn still blames Troy for sending his career off the rails but Troy has research Finn needs. Troy also has an intriguing story; the museum he curates is haunted by the ghosts of two men who died under mysterious circumstances in 1878. Troy strikes a deal: he’ll help Finn if Finn helps him find out what happened to the men who died.

From diaries, police reports, and newspaper articles, Finn and Troy piece together the lives of the two dead men–and the romance that bloomed between them. As it becomes clear that the men were murdered, it also becomes clear that the ghosts are real and are capable of manipulating the dreams, thoughts, and actions of the living. When Finn and Troy start falling for each other, Finn worries that it’s all an illusion concocted by the ghosts to keep them working together to solve the mystery, but Troy is convinced the love between them is real. But how can he get rid of a couple of ghosts and prove it?

For more info on the book, check out the recently updated book page. From there, you can read an excerpt, view the book trailer, and get to the Special Features, which include photos, historical background, and suggested reading.

Across the East River Bridge releases tomorrow!

It’s hard to imagine a more serendipitous release date. I wrote a ghost story that is being published in October, when everyone is all excited about Halloween. I wrote an m/m novel that is being published on National Coming Out Day. I wrote a book that is being published two days before I leave for a convention/retreat at which I will talk about books with lots of people.

Across the East River Bridge has its first review already, too! 4.5 stars from Aunt Lynn at Jessewave.

We’re enjoying an Indian summer in New York right now—80°F and sunny, or at least it was until a few minutes ago. I took a long, somewhat aimless walk around the neighborhood and did a few last minute errands relating to my trip to New Orleans. It was really nice.

I need to at least start packing today, that’s still left on my agenda for the day. (I have piles of stuff everywhere. Clean clothes, guide books, my books, postcards, etc., etc. These would be better if placed in my suitcase, eh?)

The book is out tomorrow!

getting ready for New Orleans!

Just in the nick of time, the last of the goodies I ordered for GayRomLit showed up in the mail today!

I’ve got postcards featuring my two latest books, and I’ve got bookplates (by which I mean I ordered some stickers that I’ll sign for people to put in their books). The bookplates are a leetle bit smaller than what I was expecting, so I guess that’ll teach me to read dimensions more closely, but otherwise these look great.

And these bookmarks are traveling ahead of me:

I ordered enough so that every one at the convention gets a bookmark. (I designed them myself. I’m kind of proud of my design skills.)

I’m sort of alternating between Eeee! and Holy Crap! I’m really excited for the trip—I’ve never been to New Orleans before and have been wanting to for a while—but I feel like September lasted all of five minutes and suddenly it’s here and I still have a bunch of things to do.

Other newsy things:

I’m now on Kindlegraph, so Kindle users can request virtual signatures from me. My author page is here.

And Across the East River Bridge will be out on Tuesday!

Halloween Howl at Dreamspinner!

Dreamspinner Press is doing a super cool promotion this month. Here’s the official word:

To celebrate Halloween, Dreamspinner is inviting people to come trick-or-treating at our web site. Thirty-one of our fantastic authors have donated free short stories. Search through the different pages on the web site for Gary the gargoyle. Each time you find him, click on him for a free download by the author whose page he’s hiding on! And make sure to check out the end of each story for a discount code good any time in the next year.

Spoiler: I wrote one of those stories. There’s also a sale going on for the rest of the weekend. Visit the website! Happy shopping!