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Happy 2014!

I hope everyone's been a responsible adult and is halfway to drunk or passed out by now. Just want to wish everyone a happy 2014. I hope it brings you that much closer to everything you hope for.  

For me, 2013 was an incredible year with new jobs, new friends, new countries off my travel list, seeing old friends, and of course my first published novel and all that came with it. So to my friends, readers, fellow authors, or those of you who found this blog at random, whether we've known each other forever, only met once or never met at all, thank you for being part of it. Here's to many more memories in 2014!

Christian

Merry Christmas (and how to keep it merry for the introverts in your life)!

So I know this is very last minute, but I just wanted to wish everyone all the best for whichever of the season's holidays you observe, and to say this:

If you’re doing a big, noisy Christmas this year, please remember to love and care for your introverts. They’re putting themselves in a stressful situation because they love you. That doesn't mean they don’t want to be there. But it does mean if they slip away from the party to take time out, you should let them. It doesn't mean anything’s wrong or that you’re a bad host. Don’t put them on the spot or make them feel like a party pooper just because they won’t join in every game or song. Don’t expect them to keep your kids (be they child or adult) entertained. Keep them well-stocked in whatever they’re drinking and remember there’s a difference between introversion and isolation. They’re still there to see you, so feel free to approach with a bottle of nice wine and two glasses – only two – in hand.

Merry Christmas from my…

Saturday Cider & Signings at Glad Day

Another one for the Torontonians! If you are in town this Saturday December 14, our friends at Glad Day Bookshop are putting on a very fine afternoon of book signings and warm cider. I'll be there from 3pm with local authors Jeffrey Luscombe and Michael Rowe (whose book Enter Night just happens to be another terrific vampire story in the classic Salem's Lot vein... only darker). That said, there will be authors there from 1pm, so I hope to see you there!

Interview with IP eNews

So my publisher, Interactive Publications sends out an eNewsletter every quarter profiling its releases, authors, industry news and whatnot. In their latest issue, I had the pleasure of chatting with very charming Joe Townsend about The Beast Without, writing LGBT Sydney and new projects.

You can find the full newsletter here, and it's well worth a look. My interview, I've copied below:

JT: How did the LGBT community of Sydney influence the writing of The Beast Without
CB: Sydney’s a very special city in the way it blends sexuality and sexual openness with this roguish, convict-influenced past. It’s the glamour capital of Australia, yet at the same time has this wonderfully grungy, seedy quality to it. That stretches well beyond the LGBT community, but it has historically allowed the community to grow and become a part of the city’s identity in a way that it hasn’t in other cities. I think it’s very telling that Sydney’s Mardi Gras is one of the very few gay pride para…

Thoughts after GRL Atlanta 2013

A little observation now that my first 'GayRomLit Retreat' has had time to digest (and I had a great time, so don't misunderstand what I'm saying here).
The thing that bothers me about blanketing LGBT fiction under 'romance' is that a lot of it isn't. To label it as such sells both romance and LGBT fiction short. It sets up false expectations in some readers while needlessly deterring others.

I don't look down on romance or rule out writing it in the future, but I do know it's not what I'm writing just now. It's a specific genre, with particular conventions and expectations. We don't label every story in which a heterosexual couple falls in love a 'romance', so this is something of a double standard. Both the publishers and readers of this work cover a much broader range of genres than romance, so why does the label persist? 

Thoughts? Will we see this event for instance, turned into 'GayLit Retreat' in the near future?

Gay Magical Elves (and the most annoying 'pro-gay' meme in the universe!)

Straight allies of the world, we love you! But we need to get a few things stra-- um... clear.

I kind of dread that if you've made your way to the little slice of web that is this blog, I'm preaching to the converted, but I must preach, nonetheless. I, like many others, am sick and tired of the - yes, well-intentioned - condescension of some people in their efforts to be 'suppotive' of LGBT rights. The problem? That they have a very specific, pre-packaged idea of what gay people are, or should be.

An idea that's ridiculous, infantilising and makes my skin crawl.

Specifically, it's the gay man in the role of reliable side-kick (usually of either the 'sassy' or 'cute' variety), thereby relegating them to the status of a must-have accessory. No, we're not talking genuine friendships that form between gay and straight people here. Those are wonderful. We're talking about the gay friend as fashion statement, whose purpose is to not only sho…

Monster Brunching at Glad Day with Corey Redekop

Want to get your Halloween season off to a fabulous early start?

In Toronto next Sunday the 29th of September?

Gruesome goes better with gay boys.

Climb the twisted stairs to join us at Glad Day Bookshop at 2pm to hear Husk author Corey Redekop and myself read from our acclaimed (Cheers, Mum!) novels. You know you'll be crying into your pumpkin spice latte if you miss it, so do come out for an afternoon of fine horror literature and fun.


First Australian Review of The Beast Without!

Nice surprise on my Facebook feed this morning. The first Australian review of The Beast Without!

It comes from Kazza of On Top Down Under Book Reviews, who ranks The Beast Without 4.5 Blood Shade Stars (cute!) out of 5, calling it "...an incredibly good piece of writing." (See the full review via the link).

Thanks Kazza! Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for such a great in-depth review.

Free Reads! - "The Physician’s Last Visit"

So I was very pleased to log into Facebook this morning and find my page had hit 200 Likes. That's almost as many as there are in an average ten minute conversation between teenage girls at Starbucks!

I promised a little present when it hit this milestone, so here we are. A short story I wrote a couple of years ago involving a couple of our great Gothic writers. Enjoy!


GayRomLit Retreat - Atlanta, and a new review from MM Good Book Reviews

So, first things first, this lovely review comes from Pixie of MM Good Book Reviews, who recommends The Beast Without "to those who love the good old-fashioned brutal werewolves, vampires without a care in the world, a very interesting storyline with many threads and a thoroughly enjoyable read.", giving it 4 hearts out of 5.

Obviously, it's hugely exciting to know that people are enjoying the novel so much, so thank you for reading and your kind words.

I'm also getting very excited now about GayRomLit Retreat, which will see the cream of M/M authors and many devoted fans and much-welcome newbies descend upon Atlanta, Georgia for four or five days in October.

Good news and bad news, the bad news being I won't be there in any official 'Author' capacity. GayRomLit is a hot, HOT event for M/M Romance writers and their fans, meaning places are strictly limited and unfortunately, registrations sold out before the proofs were even signed off on The Beast Wi…

New review of The Beast Without!

Just had to repost this lovely review of The Beast Without, which happens to come from Canadian author Jeffrey Round, who won Best Gay Mystery at this year's Lambda Literary Awards for his book Lake on the Mountain. Thanks Jeffrey!

's review
Jul 15, 13
4 of 5 stars Read in July, 2013
I'd never seen True Blood or read a vampire novel. Never wanted to. Not out of snobbishness, but simply lack of desire. The only vampire film I ever enjoyed was Andy Warhol's Dracula (which is actually Paul Morrissey's Andy Warhol's Dracula, but I won't belabour that.)

After a recent Pride reading, however, I was approached by an attractive young man. He complimented me (I like being complimented by attractive young men) and said he'd just published his first novel, a supernatural fiction story. I said I would read it. (Yup, that's all it takes. Sorry.) Happily, surprisingly, I enjoyed it. In the hands of a born storyteller lik…

The Beast Without - Now available at Glad Day Bookshop!

The Beast Without is now on sale at Glad Day Bookshop, Toronto, just in time for Pride! It stands in good company too. Check it out amid new releases...


...while the hipsters among you who'd rather not be seen buying anything trendy, can also find it in the horror section.

And remember, I'll be reading at Glad Day on Sunday, June 30 at 7pm as part of Dirty.Sexy.Queer.
HAPPY PRIDE!!!

Reading at Pride Toronto - June 30

Very excited to announce my first ever public reading from The Beast Without at Glad Day Bookshop's Dirty. Sexy. Queer. readings night as part of Pride Week here in Toronto.

When: June 30, 2013 at 7pm
Where: Glad Day Bookshop, 598 Yonge St, Toronto
What: Classy queer literature and sophisticated smut from myself and four other amazing authors!

Get more details at the event's Facebook page here, and check out Glad Day's profile for a full listing of readings, workshops and events throughout the week:

https://www.facebook.com/events/476809862395887/

If you're in Toronto for Pride, I hope you can make it, and I look forward to 'making you feel warm in all your secret places!'

The Beast Without - Now available for Kindle

Very pleased to announce the release of The Beast Without on Kindle!


Enjoy mein Kindlers, and thanks for reading.


The Beast Without - Paperback now available!

Like your vampires served with Hitchcockian intrigue, a little MM romance, a touch of S&M, a healthy dollop of gore and a lot less angst? The Beast Without is now available on Amazon!
Reylan is everything a Sydney vampire aspires to be: wealthy, handsome and independent, carefully feeding off companions plucked from the gay bars of Oxford Street. When one of those companions is killed by Jorgas, a hot-headed young werewolf prowling his streets, Reylan reluctantly puts his cherished lifestyle of blood and boys on hold to help a mysterious alliance of supernatural beings track down the beast. It can't be that hard... not when Jorgas keeps coming after him. But there's more to this werewolf than a body count and a bad attitude. As their relationship grows deeper and more twisted, Reylan tastes Jorgas' blood, reawakening desires the vampire had thought long dead. And what evolves between them may be far more dangerous than some rival predator in th…

Don't say f-g! - Did we learn anything from the Hays Code?

Not too long ago, Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal called for the film and television industry to clamp down on gay slurs and stereotypes in scripts they received. For the record, her precise words were: "How about next time, when any of us are reading a script and it says words like fag, or faggot, homo, dyke, take a pencil and just cross it out.”
So if the film industry takes Amy’s advice, then as derogatory terms like ‘fag’, ‘dyke’ et al slowly disintegrate from everyday language, we’ll suddenly see them vanish from film and TV as well. Fair enough. After all, you probably wouldn’t put up with those terms from your colleagues, clients or strangers, so why should you have to hear them in media? Pascal also has this to say: "...there is not much any of us can do about what people hear from families and friends, but there is a whole hell of a lot we can do about what people see."
And for all Pascal’s good intentions, that phrase that reveals why this is such a bad i…

Happy Easter...

...and this Bunnicula is awesome!


The Sissification of Monsters (and why everyone needs to chill out about it)

So, in case you missed it, horror monsters have gone gay. I mean, they’ve all gone gay. Really gay. Facebook said it, so it must be true. Or at least, this little gem popped up not so long ago, which prompted numerous users to comment as such.
So, besides committing the cardinal meme sin of misspelling the joke, this little piece goes a step beyond the standard Twilight-bashing to hold both Harry Potter and Avatar to account for their crimes in apparently turning a generation of fantasy loving young filmgoers into gigantic wusses. Or at least, offering up monsters that just aren’t scary anymore.
But can we keep perspective on this for just a second? What did happen? Simply put, scary horror films with monsters as their villains became less popular, while the popularity of fantasy films with misunderstood monsters as their heroes grew. That is it. The speculative genre evolved and diversified as it always has. There is no cause for alarm here. Publishers reacted for several brief years…

That Awkward First Post

Hello, and welcome.

Come in. Sit. Or if you are sitting, stand. Get a nice cup of coffee, then sit again. Look at cute cat pictures until you realise your coffee is empty. Then go get another and return to sit again and maybe, just maybe, write a new line or two. Perhaps a whole scene if it's a good night. Repeat this process every night for a week or more and it will probably give you a good understanding of the fiction writing process, or at least mine, which I guess can't have been completely unproductive since it finally resulted in the completion and eventual acceptance by a publisher of my first novel, The Beast Without. I'll be posting a bit more about it as it gets nearer a release date later this year.

This is the inaugural post on what I'm currently resolved will become a regular blog on my writing and all things that shape it. That pretty much opens this space up to discussion of fantasy, horror, travel, theatre, LGBT culture and anything else that twists i…