Release Day!

Blind Items is now available in ebook and paperback from Dreamspinner Press!

I did what Dreamspinner calls a virtual book signing, so the first 20 people to buy paperbacks through Dreamspinner’s website will get signed copies.

I posted 3 excerpts to Dreamspinner’s blog yesterday, if you want a taste:

Excerpt 1
Excerpt 2
Excerpt 3

And you can find more information here!

And an anecdote: When I started writing Blind Items I thought it would be a novel about friendship. It was veerrry loosely based on two of my closest friends when I was a teenager. I pictured Drew and Rey acting the same way we did. Mostly, this involved spending a lot of our idle time at the mall. In the novel, Drew and Rey have a regular thing called a Crisis Lunch. We didn’t have anything so formal, but I remember having a lot of intense conversations in the food court about the various things that plague teenagers in the New Jersey suburbs.

I picture that being the origin of Drew and Rey’s friendship in the novel. They were the sorts of kids who would kill time at the mall, and they grew up together to be the sorts of guys who have their Crisis Lunch at a cafe instead of in front of a fast-food joint, but the nature of their relationship has stayed pretty similar over time. They’re best friends, brothers. The heart of the story is Drew’s relationship with Rey’s cousin Jonathan. And because all three men’s lives are so closely tied together, when things with Drew and Jonathan start to buckle under the pressure of Jonathan’s father—an anti-gay, right-wing politician running for President of the United States—things between Drew and Rey start to go awry as well, and Drew might lose the two people most important to him.

So that’s the book. I hope you enjoy it! Happy reading!

Blind Items Countdown!

Blind Items will be available this Friday! I’m going to be traveling all day Friday—my brother is getting married this weekend. So I’m celebrating the book’s release a little early.

All day tomorrow (7/28), I’ll be having a book party at the Dreamspinner Press Blog. There will be excerpts and a little contest to win a copy of the book. So stop by anytime tomorrow, leave me comments, and polish off your trivia skills because you’ll need them for the contest.

Then you can buy a copy of the book for your very self on Friday! It’s available here!

a book!

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Look what came in the mail today! Yes that’d be a copy of Blind Items resting against my pillow. Classy, right? In a week, you will also be able to own a copy!

(It’s about a zillion degrees outside. Oh, summer.)

Blind Items is coming soon…

BLIND ITEM: What Brooklyn-based m/m romance writer has a new book coming out next week?

Oh, that’d be me.

The book is going to be out in both e- and dead-tree formats.

Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos is giving away a copy of Blind Items, which you can enter to win here.

I’m gonna be around the internets doing promotional thingies next week, and there will be a couple of other opportunities to win copies of the book.

Also, the first 20 people to buy print copies of the book from Dreamspinner will receive a signed copy of the book.

It’s available Friday July 29th! Here’s the official blurb:

Columnist Drew Walsh made his career by publicly criticizing conservative, anti-gay politician Richard Granger. So when a rumor surfaces that Granger’s son Jonathan might be gay, Drew finds himself in the middle of a potential scandal. Under the guise of an interview about Jonathan’s new job teaching in an inner-city school, Drew’s job is to find out if the rumors are true. Drew’s best friend Rey is also Jonathan’s cousin, and he arranges the meeting between Jonathan and Drew that changes everything.

After just one interview, it’s obvious to Drew that the rumors are true, but he carefully neglects to mention that in his article. It’s also obvious that he’s falling for Jonathan, and he can’t stay away after the article is published. Still, Jonathan is too afraid to step out of the closet, and Drew thinks the smartest thing might be to let him go—until Jonathan shows up drunk one night at his apartment. The slow burn of their attraction doesn’t fade with Jonathan’s buzz, but navigating a relationship is never easy—especially in the shadow of right-wing politics.

More info, including an excerpt, is available on the book page!

a pub date and an excerpt

Two big pieces of news:

1. My next, next novel, Across the East River Bridge is going to be published by Loose Id on October 11, 2011, just in time for GayRomLit! It’s a novel about two historians—long-time academic rivals—who are forced to team up to solve a murder mystery so that they can exorcise the ghosts of the victims, who currently reside in a museum one of them curates. The book is a real Tour of Brooklyn, as the two historians bounce around to different neighborhoods to research. It was great fun to write, and I’m excited for you all to read it.

2. I’ve updated the Blind Items book page with an excerpt. This scene is actually from Chapter 4, but it’s the first time our narrator, Drew, lays eyes on his love interest Jonathan. The book is out two weeks from today!!

I’ve got some promotional stuff on tap, including a couple of opportunities for you to win a copy of the book. Coincidentally, the book will become available the same day I leave for my brother’s wedding on the far end of Long Island.

Like probably a million other people, I am currently watching Deathly Hallows Part 1 in preparation for seeing Part 2 on IMAX on Sunday. I’m excited/sad.

afternoon walk

I feel sometimes like setting a novel in New York City is cheating a little bit. I do this sometimes because it’s easy to set a novel where I live—I know what things look like, I know the cadence of the speech of the locals, I know the patterns of life in the area. On the other hand, I think I’d want to set stories in the city anyway.

I took some time off last week, and took a long walk around Brooklyn one afternoon. When I was out, I realized that I was very near to the intersection in which my character Jonathan lives in Blind Items. This is a photo of the intersection of Dean and Bond Streets in the neighborhood of Boerum Hill. This is not one of my greater photographic achievements, as this shows mostly the concrete of the intersection, but you can see that there is a little cafe on the opposite corner of where I stood when I took the photo, and lining Dean Street are all of these gorgeous old red brick houses. (You can click on the photo to embiggen.) I imagined that Jonathan would be renting an apartment in one of those houses, living modestly and under the radar despite his famous father. Just as I imagined Rey the movie star would be living in a big brownstone in Park Slope and Drew in a run-down old building in Fort Greene. There’s a lot of Brooklyn in the novel, though the characters spend time in Manhattan, too. I like the way Brooklyn is less densely populated, though, more residential and a little less chaotic than Manhattan. It’s home to me, so it’s where some of my characters come to life, too.

Blind Items will be out from Dreamspinner on July 29th!

NY Senate approves marriage equality bill!

You’ve heard the big news by now. It’s pretty awesome, yeah?

I’ve been living in New York State since 2002, and the thing about politics in New York is that you have to get used to being let down. There’s so much corruption and nonsense, and even when the news broke that a bunch of Republican senators had switched votes and supported this bill, it still felt like the NY Senate would find a way to fuck it up. But then I watched the live stream of the senate session last night, and when the yeas and nays were counted, and that cheer went up? It felt like a pretty damn fine time to be a New Yorker.

My mother, who moved to New York a few years before I did, commented that it was a surprise to see Albany actually do something useful.

I’m reviewing the page proofs for Blind Items this weekend, and it looks like I’m going to have to make a couple of last minute changes to a scene in which my main character, Drew, laments that he can’t get married in New York. It doesn’t feel like such a hardship to change the scene. 🙂

cover art & marriage equality

My upcoming novel Blind Items has very pretty cover art now! More details when the release date gets closer! (Click on the link for a blurb. The book is due out this summer, I think in July. I just sent back the second round of edits, so I’m at the stage where it’s finally starting to feel like a real book.)

I’ve been watching the news about the impending state senate vote on marriage equality here in New York, and as more senators side with equality, it’s starting to look like a real possibility! New York already recognizes same-sex marriages conducted in other states, but the last time marriage equality came up for a vote, it failed (mostly because of some very outspoken conservative senators). A number of Republicans who voted against it last time have switched their votes. If you live in New York, here’s a list of swing senators to contact.

And one last small thing that I think is kind of neat: Mantastic Fiction is doing a GayRomLit book club, wherein they’re reading books by all of the authors who will be attending the GayRomLit convention in New Orleans this October. There are a few new books each week. (I’ll be at GayRomLit!) It might be a good way to discover some new authors.

this and that

Some bullet points!

• Brooklyn Pride is this weekend, although unfortunately, the weather is pretty crappy, gray and rainy. (You may recall that I went to the street fair last year—oddly, this year’s festivities haven’t been advertised hardly at all, so it looks to be a small celebration, though there is a parade tonight I might go watch if it doesn’t get rained out.)

• I’m also hip deep in the second round of edits for my upcoming Dreamspinner novel Blind Items and I’m writing a new novel that I’m really excited about, so that’s also taking up my time this weekend.

• Here’s a really nice review of The Boy Next Door.

• I recently joined the local RWA chapter, and it seems to be a pretty great group of people. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the national convention in a few weeks, which is a real bummer because it’s in New York.

• And right now I’ve got the Yankees game on, which mostly looks like watching it rain int he Bronx. Well, happy Saturday and happy Pride!

sports romances, current events, and other news

By a weird cosmic coincidence, I read Amy Lane’s excellent basketball romance The Locker Room the same week that Rick Welts came out. If you haven’t heard, Welts is the president of the Phoenix Suns, and his profile in the Times is pretty interesting, discussing how difficult it is to be gay and in the NBA in particular. This week some good discussion relating to homophobia in the pro sports world primarily given certain NBA players’ habit of using the word “faggot” as an insult.

What I especially loved about The Locker Room was that, while the characters struggled (rather intensely) with staying closeted in order to keep the jobs they loved, there was plenty of shop talk about basketball. I’m a big sports fan, so I like that kind of detail in books, and so many sports romances are completely lacking in detail—the hero is a pro athlete but his career is only referred to obliquely, for example, or he’s a retired player so the novel doesn’t talk about the sport at all. That’s not a problem here. I don’t really follow basketball, so I can’t speak to the veracity of the lingo, but games were described in detail, with points earned and types of shots taken, and other details describing the mechanics of the game.

Baseball is my particular sports-related passion. I’ve got the Yankees game on as I type this, actually. And yes, yes, I root for the evil empire, but I’m a New Yorker and I’ve been following the team since I was twelve, back during that period when the team was not so good. (They lost the first game I ever went to at Yankee Stadium, in fact.) I like all the nitty-gritty detail of the game: the stats, the rules, the history, and so forth. I’m working on a m/m baseball romance (that I might even finish one of these days!) about two players who fall for each other, so I’ve been thinking about how much detail to include. Because I could go on all day about batting averages and RBIs and OBP and so on, but of course, non-baseball fans might find all that difficult to follow. Then again, the best sports romances don’t inhibit your enjoyment of the story—I don’t follow basketball, but I enjoyed The Locker Room immensely. (Also, as far as my books go, Jase played college ball, and Noah mentions being a baseball fan.)

Although maybe I should start following basketball; they’re building that horrifically ugly new stadium for the Nets right in my neighborhood. And I grew up near the Meadowlands, so it’s like the Nets followed me from NJ to Brooklyn.

Completely unrelated: I’ve been watching the news about tornadoes tearing up towns through the south. The recent one in Joplin, MO, maybe hit a little closer to home for me than the previous ones. I have family in Missouri, albeit on the other side of the state, and I grew up hearing stories of tornadoes (there’s a rather legendary one about how my great aunt narrowly escaped one once). But more to the point, the entire town of Joplin was wrecked. I find myself wanting to do something, and if you have the same inclination, here’s a list of ways to help.

I’m hip deep in the first round of edits for my upcoming Dreamspinner novel Blind Items, so progress on the writing front is going well. No sports at all in this one, but it’s a very New York novel in my mind, about a writer who gets entangled with the subject of one of his stories. More on that as the release date gets closer!