Showing posts from November, 2015

Why Queer Novels Matter & Why Diversity is Important

Having just read The Advocate article, "How The Tenth Challenges the Image of Black Queer Men," I thought I would repost the post I did for Queer Romance Month in October.

I read. A lot. And I collect books. I have hundreds. Many are classics—Fitzgerald, Wells, Dickens, the Bront├ęs. Virginia Wolfe. But many more are contemporary gay fiction ranging from newer, lesser known writers to the literary lions of gay literature: Felice Picano, Mark Merlis, E.M. Forster, Baldwin, Burroughs (William, not Augusten), Alan Hollinghurst, William J. Mann, David Leavitt.

The first queer novel I read was Patricia Nell Warren’s The Front Runner. I remember finding it at the book store at Penn freshman year. My roommates, who were on the track team, were at an away meet that weekend. I read the entire book before they returned, barely stopping to sleep and eat. I read The Fancy Dancer, too. But it was The Front Runner that started me on the pursuit of queer fiction. From then on I read queer …

A Reading Teaches Me Something

I did a reading at the Bureau of General Services - Queer Division on Friday night. My friend and fellow author David Swatling, invited me to join him, Daniel W. Kelly, and J.L. Weinberg, at the reading featuring horror and suspense fiction in recognition of Halloween.

When I arrived, late, after a nerve-wracking and slow moving drive down the Henry Hudson Parkway from the Bronx, I discovered my third book, Unbroken, would be on display along with my allegorical Vampire novella, Vampire Rising. I immediately recognized I faced a two-fold challenge: how to present a horror novel that really wasn’t a horror novel at all, and, two, how to tie to very different books together.
I read third. While awaiting my turn, I wrote an intro for myself and pulled a reading from Unbroken. What follows is an excerpt from my reading.
“For me, when I think of horror, I think the true horror is how we sometimes treat each other—especially those who are different from us.
“I’ll be reading from Vampire Rising