Watch Me Fall, Help Me Back Up

I’m probably my own worst enemy. Perhaps you feel the same way about yourself.

Lately, I’ve been beating myself up for not working hard enough…

Not writing enough…

Not promoting like I should.  (I hate slick marketing).

I figured…like the head of a good beer, great writing should rise to the top. Boy, was I wrong.

I recently read a book by, what some would call, a competitor—who has been climbing the charts like a guy after your promotion.

I decided to investigate her style. The writing was so bad I had to put the book down. She changed point of view (three times in one paragraph) more often than my heart palpitated.

There’s a place for omniscient narrative but this required a playlist.

Yet, she’s obviously got a following.

I thought, Rick, your simple style…your first person voice (well, sometimes)….your writing, it JUST SUCKS!

Then, it happened…

My publisher pinged me: “Good news!”

The Lambda Literary awards came out. And guess whose novel has been nominated?

Maybe there is a reason for me being compared to David Sedaris after all. (Insert big shot gesture of your liking here.)

Is my pessimism fading?

Not yet…

I get frustrated because, for less than a buck, you can get a story that I’ve spent hours and hours writing…days and weeks polishing…and another couple of months shining it more.

I know…I know. Get out the friggin’ violin.

Okay…I feel the negativity fading. I think I feel you helping me up.

If you’re interested in giving me a hand, you could do so (for only 99 cents) by getting a copy of my latest story One Nightstand. Even better, write a review of it. Or, if Christmas isn’t your thing, surely comedy is…buy Tim on Broadway.

Okay, done. Commercial over.

Next up, did you hear Bette’s new version of Waterfall? Isn’t it amazing?

How to Plan Your Path to Success

As I sit down to write this post, I have a hard time believing it’s already December. I could bitch about needing more time to get things done.

But why?

Complaining accomplishes squat!

Actually, I did quite a bit this year. (I’ll save the boasting for later.)

How do I do it?

Here’s my strategy.

  1. Plan.
  2. Do.
  3. Adjust.
  4. Rinse and repeat.

Years of working in corporate America have taught me well. In Project Management 101, you learn how to prepare in order to get a lot done.

Am I an expert in time management?

I could certainly improve.

But, as I plan out December and update my goals for the month, quarter, year and more, I take time to recognize my achievements. Measure. Adjust. And move on.

Today, my Christmas story One Nightstand hits the street. When originally asked to write for this anthology, I said I couldn’t…that I had too much going on.

I’m glad I changed my mind. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I wrote a sweet and tender piece that otherwise I wouldn’t have.

Someone once told me, “If you want something done, ask a busy person.”

As you finish off your year, plan where you want to go—else life will determine it for you.

The 2 Best Holiday Presents to Give…or Win by 11/27

It’s not only because my story (One Nightstand) is part of this anthology that I am recommending it. No, the writers in here are first class…some of the best YA LGBT writers on the scene. I’m honored to have been asked to write for it. And until Thanksgiving you can win a copy.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Boughs of Evergreen by Larry  Benjamin

Boughs of Evergreen

by Larry Benjamin

Giveaway ends November 27, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

VOLUME TWO WIDGET CODE

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Boughs of Evergreen by S.H. Allan

Boughs of Evergreen

by S.H. Allan

Giveaway ends November 27, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Order One Nightstand To Have By Your Bedside

Doug’s not good with one-night stands, yet in the early hours of Christmas Eve, he returns home with Kirk—a good-looking guy he met at the club. Nestled together in the kitchen of his New England cottage, sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow fall, Doug wishes there could be more to this casual encounter. It’s a feeling that stays with him as he heads off to a frantic day of work at the mall, swamped with last-minute holiday shoppers…the last place he expects to find something magical.

onenightstand_cover

Click here to pre-order your copy now at Amazon.

The New David Sedaris? Tim…Holden Caulfield?

LAnewLogo1The fine folks at Literary Aficionado love Tim on Broadway.

Rick Bettencourt steps into an enlarging spotlight of fellow LGBT writers – a circle stage front that includes such names as David Sedaris, Edmund White, Felice Picano, Robert Rodi, Michael Cunningham, David Leavitt, Alan Hollinghurst, Colm Tóibín, et al– and comes on very strong with this new book.

Grady Harp, the reviewer, went on to say:

Bettencourt understands character creation and in this book he has given us at least two characters in Timothy Benton and Javier Rodriquez who are so memorable that they will likely achieve ‘Holden Caulfield’ status. The book is both hilarious funny, gently touching, and very perceptive in the way the author examines personality development and evolvement.

You can read the full review here.

Pick Holiday Book Cover

My story One Nightstand comes out November 21st. I need your help selecting the cover. Here’s the stories synopsis:

Doug’s not good with one-night stands, yet in the early hours of Christmas Eve, he returns home with Kirk—a good-looking guy he met at the club. Nestled together in the kitchen of his New England cottage, sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow fall, Doug wishes there could be more to this casual encounter. It’s a feeling that stays with him as he heads off to a frantic day of work at the mall, swamped with last-minute holiday shoppers…the last place he expects to find something magical.

Radio Gaga

Tomorrow night, September 22nd at 11 p.m. ET you can catch me live on the Other Worlds of Romance radio show. You can tune and listen on the Internet here.

I’ll be reading from Tim on Broadway and talking about a bunch of stuff you won’t want to miss. Host Linda Mooney and I look forward to your questions.

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Photo Courtesy of Petr Kratochvil

 

UPDATED 9/24/2014: In case you missed the hysterics, here is a recording of the show. Click here to listen.

You Don’t Have to Be Gay to Appreciate This

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:

Rick Bettencourt Talks About Writing and His New Book by talkstorytv

Talk_Story_TV

Bandit’s Back

My dog, Bandit, is writing again. I think I have inspired him. Oh, how sweet. Check out his blog here.

photo 3

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 I Write (Gay Fiction)

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.

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