elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Rainbow Awards: in loving memory of Bobby Michaels

Last year, on October 30, 2011, Bobby Michaels passed away. Bobby was among the first Gay Romance authors not only I read but also interviewed, and his interview was honest, open and friendly like the man itself. Bobby was also among the first to join the Rainbow Awards's jury, even if his health issues allowed him to read only for the first edition, but coincedence wanted he was among the judges who read Kyell Gold's Out of Position, and his full rate contributed to make that novel one of the winners. He loved to have the change to read other Gay Romances and he was very enthusiast. Bobby believed in romance, and his novels, while very explicit and erotic, where also 100% romance with happily ever after.

Bobby wrote Gay Romance, and he did so at the beginning of the market trend who made this genre so famous, so maybe he will never have a Wikipedia entry or someone including his novels in a must read list. But I will always remember him and will always treasure the memories he left with me. For that reason I wanted to dedicate the Gay Erotic Romance category to Bobby Michaels, from this moment on this Award will be listed and assigned as "The Bobby Michaels Award for Gay Erotic Romance".

P.L. Nunn's Cover for the first book in Bobby Michaels's Jock Dorm series

I asked to Treva Harte, Loose ID publisher and Bobby's friend, to present this award:

"Elisa was kind enough to come up with the idea of having an award dedicated to Bobby Michaels and then to ask me to write something to introduce it. Bobby made such an impression, whether in e-mail or in person, I’m sure anyone who had contact with him would remember him. It’s hard for me to sort out just a few things to tell you about him and why connecting this award with his name is special.

He would have been honored and probably would have cried if he had known. He was a huge supporter of gay romance. He wanted to write stories with a happily ever after for people who didn’t always get to see that in their lives and was amazed that gay romance became so popular with so many different people. Even when he was very ill, he’d hoped to go to Gay Rom Lit and was excited about the idea of meeting other men who wrote gay romance. He figured he’d been the only one for years.

Bobby was generous to other authors – he was excited when he read the entries for the first year of Elisa’s contest and thrilled when he read a story he really connected with. He enjoyed his readers – many of them he e-mailed personally-- and the last story he managed to release was finished mostly because he knew how much readers wanted to read it. I helped edit that book (all during Christmas holidays) and it was tough because Bobby’s stroke sometimes made it difficult for him to work. He would dictate edits over the phone to me. He fell during the middle of edits—one of many falls as he got weaker. But if the body was weak, his determination to write was strong.

In person he was what you might expect if you read his stories – and not. His author voice was strong and clear and often very close to Bobby’s own, but his real life wasn’t a romance. It’s a credit to his imagination and his resilience that his stories, like his life, were always open to the possibility of love. Thank you, Elisa, for thinking of doing this. I’m sure Bobby’s name will fit the spirit of the contest awards.

Treva Harte, EiC, Loose Id, LLC"

I want to anticipate I have another announcement I will make soon, for another dear friend who was taken from us too soon.

Another judge of the Rainbow Awards, Ro, wanted to say her personal goodbye to Bobby:

"I added a tribute to Bobby and created a video, it is posted on my blog here: http://outstandinggayfiction.blogspot.com/ and my music blog here: http://reviewersfavoritereads.blogspot.com/?zx=9433014063ad2ea. I was so inspired by your tribute I felt I should honor Bobby also since he was one of my favorite authors. Ro"
Tags: author: bobby michaels, rainbow awards 2012, the bobby michaels award for gay erotic

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