Alan T. Orr - I’m a college professor in Canada, where I teach writing and literature courses. To me, good fiction is about engaging characters who grow and change as a result of experiencing compelling circumstances. It’s all about the characters in my view; if the readers are indifferent to them, the plot won’t matter. In a comedy or romance, the characters flourish and succeed (in a tragedy not so much); boy gets boy, girl gets girl and they all ride off into the sunset. One of the reasons I’m looking forward to participating in this year’s Rainbow Awards so much is that authors of GLBT fiction are generally so skilled at creating wonderfully interesting and basically fun-to-read characters. To all the writers: I tip my hat to you for sitting down with your inspiration and putting your thoughts into words to share with all of us.
Aleksandr Voinov - Founder and co-owner of Riptide Publishing, writer, business editor, I'm joining the cause to read books I normally wouldn't have and genres I normally don't read. Characters and style are important to me, and I'm pretty demanding when it comes to my reading, I want good style, characters, plot, good editing, and a fresh voice. Bad prose makes me grind my teeth and good prose turns me into a life-long follower. I enjoy pretty much anything in my reading, because a good story is a good story and good writing is good writing.
Ali - A voracious reader, with a soft spot for romance (Shh! Don't tell anyone!), the wonderful invention of ereaders has taken away my embarrassment of being seen in public with the awful covers usually associated with the genre. I work in the civil service where my current job role means I often have time for a quick chapter or two (or three) during the quiet periods. A nice perk, you'll agree. When not reading, I enjoy exploring the city I recently moved to, particularly on foot, and improving my photography skills.
Amberly - Amberly lives in the Northwest with her husband, two children, mother-in-law, and a cat named Cat. She has a bachelor's in communications and works for a telecommunications company. Currently she serves on the board of Rainbow Romance Writers, Coeur du Bois, coordinates for the End Results fiction critique service and is past president of Popular Fiction Association of Idaho. She likes to read in bed, lurk in bookstores, and cuddle on the couch with her kids to watch TV, just to hear the beautiful sound of their laughter. Her husband is a computer addict who she lures away from the latest PC game with promises of a good story, sex, or food that she hasn't made. Her first full length novel was published by Dreamspinner pres Feb. 2011 and she is published in short and novella length as well.
Amelia C. Gormley - Amelia is a 38 year old wife and mother to a 5 year old child. In between all that, she writes m/m erotic romance.
Amy DiMartino - Born NY. Live in FL. 35 and am an avid reader and lover of all things mm. A part of a very cool book club run and help Mantastic fiction blog. Am so fortunate to have participated in the first GRL and will participate in all the following.
Andrea - I'm an American woman in my 30s. I have a husband and two little boys. I've been reading romance books for at least a couple decades. I discovered M/M romance a few years ago and started reviewing them a little over a year ago. You can find my reviews at http://seductivemusings.blogspot.com/ and reviewsbyjessewave.com I'm a chemist and have no dreams of ever writing anything more than lab reports and book reviews.
Andrea Speed - Author of the Infected series for Dreamspinner Press, and the Josh of the Damned series for Riptide Publishing, as well as a couple other things. Somehow won a Rainbow Award, which she still can't believe.
Andrew Grey - Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation. Andrew's hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Anel Viz - Anel Viz is a rapidly aging gentleman who does not meet other people’s expectations. Although born and raised in New York City, he bears only a superficial resemblance to the characters in Seinfeld. He has lived large chunks of his life in France, where many people refuse to believe he is American because he neither particularly tall, nor loud, nor does he swagger. To date he has published 4 novels, 5 novellas, 3 short story collections, 13 separately published stories, prose poetry. 2 more novellas will released soon, and he has almost as many works in progress as publications.
Anke - I'm a married mother of - finally grown up - three kids living in Southern Germany. I love to travel and of course to read. After getting my kindle, I discovered M/M romance and that was that. I think, E-books were the best invention ever. I'm always a 'bit' behind on my TBR, therefore I prefer calling myself collector of books - sounds much better!
Anna Lee - Anna Lee graduated from the University of California Riverside with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. Living with a disability, she has overcome many challenges and puts her passion for life and love into her writing. She lives with her family and dogs and enjoys writing late into the night. When she isn't writing Anna spending time with her nieces and nephew or chatting with her friends about her favorite books and tv shows. Anna has four stories published with MLR Press: As Time Goes By, Family is Forever, The Prince of Galerir and Christmas Hopes. She also has one story published with Silver Publishing: The Broken Road.
Anna - I'm Anna Birmingham, originally from the UK but living in the USA right now. I'm in my 30s and currently a stay-at-home mum to two young children. I discovered m/m fiction in late 2007 and haven't looked back since, especially after getting an eReader... I've read more m/m books that I care to admit to and there are still many, many more to go. I was super excited to have my first short story published by Dreamspinner Press in early 2012 and am working on more. There's nothing like reading or writing about sexy guys to make any day a good day!
Anne Barwell - I'm a M/M writer living in New Zealand. My day job is in a library, and I have a BA in English Literature and a Teaching degree. I'm also an avid reader, and a musician. This is my 3rd year on the Rainbow Awards jury.
Anne Tenino - Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating. Anne's husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne's need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. They were raised to be open-minded children, however, and other than occasionally stealing Ken1's strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference. Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.
Antonella - I'm Italian, but I live in a German-speaking country. I'm a professional translator. I love my job because it's interesting (translations vary from love letters to divorce sentences) and I'm my own boss. I do believe we should leave behind us a better world, that's why I'm engaged in political and environmental battles and I volunteer in a Centre Against Racism. I started to read LGTB books especially after ''Brokeback Mountain'', which had a deep impact on me. I've been reading a lot since then and I'm honoured to be in the same jury with some of the authors I love.
April O. - I have been an avid read of the LGBT genres for several years.
Arch - I´m Arch, from a small town an hour from Venice, Italy. Divided between my scientific studies and work - in a completely different field, of course *sigh* -, a lot of my free time is spent reading, there are so much books in the world... One day I will have a huge room turned into a library, for now I simply have piles and piles of books around and thanks God for ebooks! My passion for the GLBT genre goes back many years ago. However in Italy, the field is limited, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone, improve my English with pleasant readings. Well, from then on I am like a kid in a candy store.
Bethann Korsmit - I'm a writer and an avid reader. My novel Darkness Descending was awarded first place in the gay fiction category of the Reader Views Literary Awards 2007. I'm currently working on a few projects, along with writing the sequel to Darkness Descending. http://wryterreviews.blogspot.com/
Bobby D. Whitney - I live in Washington State, work in downtown Seattle, and live way out in the rural `burbs. I use that long daily commute to read -- lucky me with at least two full hours of relative quiet to read daily! What else? I´m a motorcycle rider, avid if bumbling crafter, mother to a college-aged son, and wife to an incredibly patient and supportive man. My degree is in English, which qualifies me to read and write and make embarrassing typos. I'm amazed at the writing talent out there and want to encourage these wonderful authors as much as possible. Without them, I would have nothing to read! This is my fourth year to act as Jury for the Rainbow Awards, and I´m honored to participate.
Boxtersushi - I'm an avid reader and lover of fiction, and in the last few years I've become one of the legion of fans of LGBT fiction. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area w/my husband and 11 yr daughter - am a licensed insurance agent specializing in coverage for physicians and medical groups.My daughter is of the age where we're starting to explore some of the themes of social justice found in many GLBT novels and I've found the genre to have made an impact on how I view what's going on in our world today. I just love a good read.
Brent Hartinger - Brent Hartinger is a playwright, screenwriter, and author. Geography Club, the first book in his young adult Lambda Award-winning Russel Middlebrook Series, is now a feature film co-starring Scott Bakula, Alex Newell, and Nikki Blonsky.
Calathea - My preferred genre changed quite a bit over the time. In my teens I read lots and lots of Science Fiction and Fantasy. It was then that I came across the novels of Marion Zimmer-Bradley, which had some m/m and f/f couples in them. Later I read more and more historical fiction and then added romance into the mix. I've been reading m/m romance for 2 years now and I'm glad I took the leap from reading slash fan fiction to "real" m/m books. :-)
Carey Parrish - Carey Parrish is a native of Northern Georgia. He began writing professionally in his late thirties when he founded the popular e-zine Web Digest Weekly. He´s also the author of the books "Into The Light: Experimentations In Poetry & Prose," "The Moving Finger Writes," and the novels "Marengo" and "Big Business." He attributes his success to "taking all the things that were wrong in my life and replacing them with things that are right."
Caroline - I'm an English teacher and "wannabe" translator from Poland. My hobby is - no surprise here - literature. It started when I was six and read my first book. (some nursery story about two bears;)) I've always felt my favourite genre would be LGBT stories but I also discovered I should have learnt English to have full access to them and enjoy them properly. My dream is to introduce the best stories to Polish readers (since we have but a few LGBT stories on the market here) and that's why I studied to be a translator. Who knows what will the future bring?
CarrieAnn M. - An avid reader, I review LGBT books on my own blog. I am active in the LGBT community and strongly believe in equality for all.
Cassandra Gold - By day, I am a middle school teacher. I spend much of my time grading papers, filling out paperwork, and trying to get 6th- and 7th- graders to read. When I am not at work, I can generally be found at the computer, dreaming up stories about men falling in love. When I have spare time (which is unfortunately not too often anymore!) I read romance of all kinds. Occasionally I pretend to do housework, but my hubby isn't fooled!
Cherie Noel - Butcher, baker, candlestick maker…ummm, eww, every chance I get, and I surely would if these damn characters would ever shut up. Born in West Palm Beach, Florida and raised…er, is all over the damn place a sufficiently descriptive term? No? Then how about this? Tinker, tailor, Indian chief…Ooooh, especially when smexy men are involved (!), only under duress, and did the cheek-bones give it away? Seriously? I’ve lived in Washington D.C., Virginia, Upper Michigan, Texas, New York, California, and Alabama in the United States; Hessen in Germany, London in England, Masirah Island in Oman and…sometimes it was in a house, sometimes in a tent, and sometimes anyplace I could find to lay my head. I’ve been in love with words since before I drew breath, and I don’t see that ever changing. I write stories. Sometimes I write music with them, sometimes they’re poems, and lately, to my great delight, M/M erotic romance. Yum. Smexy man to the second…or third power…now that’s the kinda math I can get behind!! The hair curls or frizzes as it will, the eyes are green and tend to look in two different directions—no, really—and the rest is subject to change. You know the guy who didn’t know if he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man or a man dreaming he was a butterfly? Yeah, that’s me, but substitute drag queen for butterfly and wacky, wild ex-Army chick for man.
Chris - I'm a blogger and voracious reader who lives in Uptown Minneapolis, Minnesota. I've been reading m/m for several years now and blogging for nearly seven years.
Cole Riann - Cole Riann started reading m/m romance in late 2009 after getting tired of solely reading dreary literary fiction and classic literature. In the last three years he's become a reviewer who now runs his own review blog, The Armchair Reader. He's a knitter and a baker and is recently obsessed with watching Merlin. He lives in Oklahoma and is waiting to be rescued by his very own cowboy!
Danielle - As as avid reader of the m/m genre, I'm very much looking forward to my third year as a member of the Rainbow Awards Jury and reading some fantastic books.
DarienMoya - I read a lot and blog a little. I have no brain to mouth filter sometimes, so you are guaranteed to always know what's on my mind. I am currently addicted to Teen Wolf, Sterek fanfic, and pretty Asian boys (that one will forever remain an addiction). You can find me talking about all that stuff over on my blog Pants Off Reviews.
David A. Kentner - David is a multi-published award-winning author and journalist, a former Chief of Police, U.S. Army veteran, husband, father, grandfather, and step-great-grandfather. As a freelance journalist, he interviews both famous and soon-to-be-famous authors for GateHouse News Service and the (Freeport) Journal-Standard. His published stories cover a wide range of genres and subjects.
Dawn - I’m not a writer, but I love to read. The internet is probably the best thing to happen to the world of the written word. I am always amazed by the talent out there. So many of these writers, whether they do it for pleasure or profit would not be published in the mainstream publishing world of 20 years ago. Online publishers have allowed us as readers to be exposed to so many fantastic writers in traditional and non-traditional genres. I’m honored to participate as a reader in these awards.
Debbie - I live in Ohio USA. I have 3 kids at home. In high school, many, many years ago, I discovered Robert Heinlein and an instant love for scifi. Of course Star Trek (the original) was doing its first run at the time thus reinforcing my scifi love. Now my all time favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory! If you haven't seen it you've got to take a look! I enjoyed many different types of books. I attended over 20 years of school becoming an attorney, of all things. The kids kind of destroyed my enjoyable reading time until I discovered PDAs, and downloadable fanfiction. Now I can read in bed and not annoy anyone. Lesbian authors and fiction that include mystery, action/adventure, historical fiction, romance all kicked up my interest. Lesbian fiction is the only thing that I want to read now I enjoy it so much. It's like being a kid in a candy store as Arch said last year!
Devon Rhodes - Devon started reading and writing at an early age and never looked back. At 39 and holding, Devon finally figured out the best way to channel her midlife crisis was to morph from mild-mannered stay-at-home mom to erotic romance writer. She lives in Oregon with her family, who are (mostly) understanding of all the time she spends on her laptop, aka the black hole.
Eden Winters - Eden Winters has resorted to reading ingredient labels when otherwise deprived of the printed word. If she's not writing, she's reading...or plotting...or revising. She loves great characters, a good, solid plot, and happy endings, but is thrilled by the author who can teach her to love the unlovable, believe the fantastic, accept that protagonists don't always live happily ever after, and leaves her in awe of the story's power long after reaching the end.
Emanuela - I am an accountant, living in Italy. I have been reading m/m romance for a few years, following a few recommendations from Amazon and then finding a few gems that prompted me to discover this side of romance. Even if I mainly read romance, I won’t complain if there’s no HEA in a book, or if there’s not a prominent romantic relationship, I am especially looking for unforgettable characters and authors with an original voice. I have a slight preference for crime/mystery novels and dystopian books, plots with reunited lovers and a bit of angst. I mainly interact with fellow readers on Goodreads, where I try to post a review for every book I read and to pimp the books I love like crazy, and I also post my reviews on Amazon. On Goodreads I am one of the moderators of a group of Italian M/M Romance readers. I would love to see more romance with GLBT characters in Italian too and I am trying to find and promote Italian writers and books in Italian. Even if I have a degree in economics, my first love was for literature and languages. I like art, especially the Italian Renaissance artists.
Erica Pike - Born and bred in Iceland, Erica is an author of gay erotic romance.
Erotic Horizon - I read extensively and like to keep an open mind about any book I read. I love romance and tend to go through various phases in a year of how I read the books I read. I am a big lover of paranormal and M/M romances, but am known to rush out and buy the latest Mills & Boon or sci-fi annuals as soon as they hit the shelves. I like my crime fiction just as much as the most avid reader and tend to stick to the bread and butter authors - you know the ones you swear it's the last time you're going to buy their book, but end up a faithfull servant to their artistry with the pen. I appreciate books that gives you pause to think and look at the other side of the coin, but I also love the books that are heavy on the erotic and big on alpha males and feisty heroine. My days are currently filled with plots to find the perfect spot to hide from my overachieving kids and my nights are overrun with men in loin clothes chasing the hero or heroine of their choice. There are times I wish all my days were nights.
Ethan Day - I am a gay man living in Missouri...I can hear the gasps already!! How very un-chic of me, yes I know. It was here I was born and here I have stayed. The youngest of four children and the only boy, I’ve always suffered from an extravagant fantasy life. When I played with my Star Wars action figures as a child, I liked to make up my own stories. Naturally, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were totally meant for each other, and Princess Leia made a bitchin' wise cracking Fag Hag. I managed to survive high school living in a small, racist town in Southeast Missouri and emerged unscathed, realizing life was too short to pretend to be anything other than who I was. It was very Lifetime Movie Network meets After School Special, I assure you. After several stints in college, I signed up for a Creative Writing course, choosing the class because there were no tests. For once my scholastic laziness paid off, and I found an outlet for all the fantasies running amuck inside my head. It was love at first write, and I've been doing it off and on ever since.
Eve - I started reading gay fictions when I was about 19 years old - discovered a new GLBT section in the local bookstore. I loved to read both "serious" gay fiction and what in the old days called "gay porn", so I'd be reading Edmund White, David Leavitt one day and Alex Kane by John Preston the next day. These days, however, 80% of my reading are m/m romance and fiction - thanks to the convenience of ebooks. I have pop culture journalism experience, however, I have long resigned to the fact that, despite being an avid reader, I am hopeless when it comes to writing original characters.
Evey Brett - Evey Brett is a queer SF/F author and has attended the Lambda Literary Retreat for Emerging LGBT authors, the Clarion Workshop for SF/F, Taos Toolbox, and has an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives in Arizona with two cats, a snake and her Lipizzan mare, Carrma.
Feliz Faber - Ever since I first discovered books, I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up: read all day long, wallow in words and play with them to my heart's desire. However, life had something else in store for me. You know the saying, life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans, right? Tell me about it. With everybody around me going on and on about how playing around with words was NO WAY of making a living, my barely adult self finally caved in to learning a "decent profession" - one which, although it includes a lot of talking, is as far removed from "playing with words" as possible. What followed were years of doing odd jobs to finance my university studies, and afterwards even more years of traveling in order to make my career. This too passed, and I eventually put down roots - in rural Southern Germany, of all places. Then again, I'm German, and even though I've seen almost every corner of it, my mother country is not THAT big... I live with one man, two dogs, two budgies and about seven dozen fish. When I'm not glued to my computer or a book, I run, play the flute, drive around on my motorbike, or try for the umpteenth time to get a single hydrangea to survive in my garden.
Fernanda - I am a woman of 31 years, lesbian. I was born in Belo Horizonte (Brazil), but grew up in Italy and an Italian citizen since I was 5 years old. Reading is one of my greatest passions, and for several years I worked in a bookstore (the best job I've ever had so far). My passion for reading has helped me learn English and Spanish.
Gene Gant - Gene Gant lives with his family in a quiet rural community outside Memphis, Tennessee.
Heidi Cullinan - Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren't enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn't writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi also volunteers frequently for her state's LGBT rights group, One Iowa, and is proud to be from the first midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Heidi F. - Heidi French lives in a small town nestled between the bustle of Vancouver and the renown ski resort of Whistler, British Columbia, Canada -- both of which recently played host to the 2010 Winter Olympics. Her home is sandwiched between the best of both worlds, with all the excitement and diversity of one of Canada's fastest-growing cities at her doorstep and some of the best outdoor recreation in the world at her backdoor. Her grade three teacher described her a voracious reader, a label that still fits to this day as she continues to read several books a week. Reading isn't just a pass time for Heidi, it is a way of life, one she that shares with her husband and was fortunate enough to have passed on to her two young children. In 2005 she discovered LGBT novels, which fast became one of her favourite genre's and she hasn't looked back.
Helen Beattie - Long time reader and new author. My first story, Love Led Them, was published by MLR Press this year.
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