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PFLAG LGBTQ Youth Group

A couple of months ago I agreed to speak with a local PFLAG LGBTQ youth group. At the time it was safely at a good distance.  But now, as it gets closer and closer, I’m starting to get anxious.  What can I possibly say to these folks that they would be interested in hearing?  I’m no longer their age.  Are we even going to be able to understand one another?  I hope so.

I’ve bought an assortment of YA books to take and give out to them, making sure to cover everything possible, including gay, lesbian, transgender, even an asexual novel.  And my own books, of course. Even though the event is still three weeks away, the box is packed and ready to go into the car.  I’ve checked Google maps. And I’m so freaking nervous. I’ve spoken in front of huge crowds before, but this one informal talk has me absolutely shaking in my boots (well, it would be, if I had any boots on right now).  I want to do well and give them something real to take away.

If I’m feeling this way now, I don’t want to think about what I’ll be like the night before the talk.

Posted in Books, Coming Out, Gay, Publishing, Writing

Great YA Literature

What I wouldn’t have given to have even a few of the incredible young adult, coming of age, coming out books available when I was a teenager.  When I was a teen, the only thing there was to read was Gordon Merrick’s The Lord Won’t Mind and John Rechy’s City of Night. Both are good books in their own way, but I was a teenager.  I wanted someone to simply answer the basic questions and tell me that I was not alone, that I was not the only one but was rather one of a very large family that was absolutely everywhere.  It gives me tremendous pleasure to see some of the great books coming on the market today for gay teens and young adults. Read, enjoy, feel the arms of the great family wrapping around you in support.

Posted in Books, Gay, Publishing

Audio Book

DontJudgeaBookByItsCoverAUDLG

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Cover Reveal

CaughtLG-Michaels

 

Coming December 11, 2014

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Dreamspinner Press Sale

Grateful_sale_DSPsite

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True Colorz

If you haven’t found it yet, definitely go to True Colorz and check it out.  It is collaborative effort to put together a web space dedicated exclusively to Young Adult LGBTQ literature. TC was started by a group of authors and readers who recognized the need for a site which exclusively features YA books and their authors. In addition to having a phenomenal reading list (arranged in alpha order), they also provide author bios, author interviews, book reviews, resources on bullying, and more information than I’ll be able to concisely mention here.

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Hope

John Goode is one of the most brilliant writers on the market today in all types of fiction, but especially his young adult literature.  Not only can the man write brilliantly, but his mind is just amazing.  Just a few days ago he wrote these profound words on the subject of hope.  The following is not mine – I’m quoting John Goode:

Hope is…

Hope is life.

Hope is the knowledge that the odds of you coming out to be you are so astronomical that it is easier to predict weather than to figure out how special it is you are here. Hope is the belief that you being here is not a random occurrence, that you are here because there was a shocking lack of you in the universe before you were born and now, it is filled. Hope is that the reason you are here will affect others in a positive way, that just by being you, people are made better. Hope is that no matter how dark it gets, there is always a light just around the corner. Hope is that no matter how lonely you may seem, you know that at the very least you are your own best friend. Hope is the belief in that things that have not happened yet will turn out to be good. Hope is also knowing that some of those things will turn out bad, but it is ok, because there is always more good than bad in the end. Hope is throwing a football of faith to a receiver you cannot see and knowing that even though it may take time, he will catch it and score. Hope is that you are wrong that things are not as bad as you think. Hope is that if it is that bad, it can’t stay like that forever. Hope is not that you turn out perfect but that you find people as messed up as you someday. Hope is not about winning the lottery, it is about having enough money to play. Hope is the candle that flickers in the night of your soul. Hope is that even if it goes out, someone will come by and light it again with their own flame. Hope is not wishing for the impossible, it is knowing the impossible can happen.

Hope is everything, even if you don’t believe it, because it believes in you.

John Goode

He told me that he wrote this for a friend who was feeling down.  Lucky is the person who has John Goode as a friend.

 

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Review of Go West, Young Man

Rainbow Book Reviews has published a review of my second book, Go West, Young Man, the second book in my trilogy about The Most Popular Guy in the School.  For generations, American have believed in going west to find new beginnings.  Decade after decade people have followed the trails west, although not all of them find what they’re looking for when they get there.  In my second book, Go West, Young Man, my two main characters, Mark and Bill, head west, in their case to get settled and then to start their first semester of college at UCLA.  Little did they know that going west would bring them not just a new beginning, but new experiences that they never would have anticipated, not to mention new challenges to their young relationship.

The Rainbow Book Reviews article is so incredibly sweet and supportive and positive.  It makes me feel good.  These books will never make money.  They were not written to make money.  They were written to tell a very simple story:  there is something more.  It is an age-old story that we often completely overlook in the heat of the moment. It can be condensed into a single word:  hope.  No matter how dark the hour might appear at the moment, that is not all that there is – there is something more.  The brilliant John Goode had a few words on the subject of hope recently.  I’m going to write a separate post on that and shamelessly quote from him since the man is better able to put words together than most.

 

 

Posted in Books, Gay, Publishing, Writing

Rainbow Book Review of Don’t Judge

I’m so excited!  Rainbow Book Reviews just reviewed the first book in my trilogy The Most Popular Guy in the School.  They liked my book, Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover!  I’m going to quote a bit from the review here just because the words are so beautiful:

What a perfect title for a novel exploring preconceptions, and the idea that not everyone is what they seem. Who would have guessed, for instance, that invisible Mark Mitchell would turn out to be such a force to be reckoned with? Certainly no one had any idea that Bill Cromwell, one of the most popular guys in the school, is actually broken inside. Yet, when these two very different boys are thrown together one Saturday morning whilst helping out at school, they forge an unexpected bond and unearth things about one another they never would have imagined.

Mark doesn’t have a problem with being gay. Actually, he’s proud of who he is and only wishes he could be open about his sexuality. Of course, it’s unlikely his fellow high school students would be quite so accepting. Rather than end up the victim of bullying, Mark chooses to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. It works. His classmates are barely aware he exists. Until, that is, he starts hanging around with Bill and finds himself attracting just the sort of unwelcome attention he has worked so hard to avoid.

On the surface, Bill is your typical jock: outgoing, self-confident, and drop-dead gorgeous. Few people know of his unhappy home life, spent with an abusive father and demoralized mother, starved of any kind of affection. Certainly no one has ever suspected he might be gay. In fact, Bill has concealed the truth about himself from the world for so long, he barely knows who he is anymore. So, when he meets Mark and is welcomed into the warmth and generosity of the Miller family, he is completely overwhelmed. Suddenly, he doesn’t feel so alone.

This is a poignant debut novel about courage and learning to live again after years of fear and abuse. First and foremost, however, it is a love story. Not a dramatic love story, perhaps. There are no tragic misunderstandings or bitter betrayals. Instead we have two boys, who, having spent their lives hiding who they really are, finally discover a soul mate in the other. If you’re looking for a sweet teen romance to warm your heart, I would recommend giving this book a go.

Posted in Books, Publishing, Writing

Library Editions

While I’m not entirely sure what it is, I now have all three of my books in The Most Popular Guy in the School series available in three editions:  e-book, paperback, and now Library Edition.  Like I said, I’m not totally sure what a Library Edition is, but it is available now on Amazon.com and is priced lower than the regular paperback edition.  I really need to order one to find out just what the difference is.

Posted in Books, Publishing