I just got done tapping a broadcast for Julia Widdop’s TV show called TVBackStory.
I’ll post the feed, once I get it, so you can watch it here.
In the meantime, you can read the article I wrote for her called, You Don’t Have to Be Gay to Appreciate This.
Updated click below to see the show:
My dog, Bandit, is writing again. I think I have inspired him. Oh, how sweet. Check out his blog here.
Also, for those of you who receive my email newsletter (a separate “exclusive” email), you can find a copy here.
Oh, nine days and counting till the release of Tim on Broadway in paperback—as well as my twenty-fifth (ahem!) birthday.
Why do I write the type of stories I do?
I like to consider the books I write a cross between inspiration and reality. My books tend to be more sensible than the typical romantic tale. While I’ve been pegged a writer of gay romance (mm romance or man-on-man romance), I don’t usually subscribe to the formula used in the more popular works in this category.
I originally intended the title of this article to not include the parentheses around gay fiction—thus Why I Write Gay Fiction. But, the more I thought about it I realized the genre isn’t so important; it’s the content that matters. Yes, I’m gay. So a lot of what I write is just me being open about a life familiar to me.
I like to write about characters who you could actually know. Perhaps they’re in the cubicle next to you at the office, or make your coffee at Starbucks. Are my stories escapism? Not quite. Happily ever after? Only if it’s justified. Gorgeous characters? Like life, some are attractive and some are not.
Tim on Broadway, for instance, is about an overweight guy crazy about theater. Not exactly romantic fodder, but he’s real. Obese people want love too. I like to write about characters, places and situations that my readers can relate to. Even if you’re fit, trim and beautiful, you’ll be able to relate to Timothy Benton’s flaws. No one is perfect.
So, why do I write gay fiction? As I stated, it’s partly because I am gay. But I also feel strongly about portraying LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) characters who are real, and exposing them (no pun intended) for others to understand.
Most of my readers aren’t LGBT. I take that as a huge compliment.
I believe books involving gay characters need to be more mainstream. How many bestsellers have you seen primarily involving an LGBT life? I believe the more realistic our lives are portrayed, the more likely the acceptance. We’re really not all that different after all.
While the tolerance of homosexuality has made substantial advancements—particularly over the last few years—there are still children afraid of being themselves because there’s a genuine fear of their family disowning them, or that they’ll be bullied. There are still men and women marrying the opposite sex, despite them knowing they’re attracted to the same sex, because they think it’s the “right” thing to do. It never works and its ultimate destruction ruins the lives of many in its wake. You can only fake it for so long. As the slogan says, “Love always wins.”
Another reason I write—and also basis for the parentheses in this post—is that I believe all people have the ability to make profound changes in their lives, in ways they hadn’t realized they could. I like to incorporate that ability to transform your life into my writing.
In Tim on Broadway, Tim struggles with his relationship to God and Catholicism. We learn this is partially because of his homosexuality, but also because of a traumatic event that unfolds throughout the course of the story. As one reviewer said, Tim on Broadway is less a romance and more “a romantic tale of someone’s self-discovery.” Tim learns how to be himself and in that process flourishes.
Like you, I do what I do for a variety of reasons. If I can inspire just one person to make a positive change, I’ve done my job. If I can help someone accept an LGBT person for who they are, then I’m fulfilled.
Here’s another chance at winning a copy of Tim on Broadway when it is released in paperback on 9/15/2014. To date, there have been no USA winners. So to you Americans, it may be your chance.
True, the meek (egoless) shall inherit the earth. (Read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth if you don’t believe me.) I’m trying to be less self-centered. I promise I am! I’m trying to tame that ego of mine. “Be humble. Be humble,” I tell myself. But today it just wasn’t working.
This morning I checked on the status of my best-selling book Tim on Broadway. (Note the lack of humility in that last sentence. Good, God, what is wrong with me?) And I saw myself ahead of The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler in books on Broadway & Musicals. Me! Rick Bettencourt, one of her fans.
Now, granted we’re not talking the NY Times…yet. (Damn, that ego!) But, I had to give myself a pat on the back. When I met Bette Midler, back in 1993 (below), I bet she did know she be contending with me! Nor did the diva on the left.
This week, we are giving away another copy of Tim on Broadway, when it comes out in paperback on 9/15/2014. Enter below. Of course, if you can’t wait you can always buy one for your Kindle at Amazon and wherever eBooks are sold.
Here is this week’s chance at getting a FREE copy of the paperback version of Tim on Broadway—released September 15, 2014.
As you may know, I’ve been touring the Salem, Massachusetts area for the the last week. I was raised in Peabody—the next town over—and lived in Salem for many years. I’ve always loved the North Shore. It’s seashore, history, culture and people are both beautiful and inspiring.
Just yesterday, I was walking through Salem’s historic district and happened upon a dilapidated 1806 brick home, with a broken-down garage out back. I’ve seen the property before. It’s been vacant for years, but this time it got my creativity in high gear. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
Although Tim on Broadway primarily takes place in New York, the main character, Timothy Benton, is from Salem—and many of the book’s scenes take place along the North Shore. For instance, the Starbucks where Tim and his best friend, Julia, would scope out guys going into the Laundromat is here. Tim and Julia both attended Salem State University. The Point—the section of Salem where Julia lives, and Tim and Javier visit—is here. Tim’s mother gets here hair done in Downtown Peabody. And, of course, there’s the Salem Willows and Hawthorne Hotel where Carolyn Sohier, and Cantor Productions, filmed the movie talked about in the book called Witches of Salem. The prequel to Tim on Broadway—with a working title of Summerwind—has much, much more of Salem and New England in it.
My first book, Not Sure Boys, is a take off North Shore boys. My second book Painting with Wine is set along the rugged coast of Beverly Farms, a rich community on the other side of the harbor. In the Juicy Bits anthology Never Kiss also has a connection to the area; the Clark Kent lookalike hails from Danvers, Massachusetts. And in Marketing Beef, the majority of the story takes place in a fictional town called Conant, which is between Beverly and Hamilton-Wenham. But Salem can’t escape Marketing Beef; there’s 62 Restaurant of Salem where Evan and Dillon have their first date.
Let’s just say, the North Shore has definitely inspired me and continues to do so.
To celebrate the release of Tim on Broadway (Season One: The Full Season) in paperback, we’re giving away one copy a week, from now until the September 15th release date.
“…enjoy yourself as you accompany Tim on his journey – less a romance than a romantic tale of someone’s self discovery. You don’t have to be a Broadway fan (or gay) to appreciate this work.”