October 11th, 2010

andrew potter

In the Spotlight: Nico Medina

The Book: Life is fabulous for Jonathan Parish.

He's seventeen, out and proud, and ready to party through senior year with his posse of best girlfriends. But the year starts off with the wrong kind of bang when Jonathan -- in an inebriated lapse of judgment -- sleeps with a friend of his...a girl friend!

When word gets around that hot-but-previously-unavailable Jonathan might be on the market, the school's It girl approaches him with a proposal: pretend to be her boyfriend, and achieve popularity like he's never known. But popularity isn't what Jonathan wants. And suddenly, going back into the closet becomes Jonathan's only way to get what he's after -- a trip to see Kylie Minogue.

"I can't get this book outta my head." -- Rachel Cohn, bestselling author of Gingerbread

Amazon: The Straight Road to Kylie

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The Author: "I'm Nico Medina. Not the 25-yr-old hottish Argentinean soccer player Nico Medina, but the twenty-five-year-old professional copyeditor and YA novelist Nico Medina. I was born and raised in Orlando but now live in New York City with my boyfriend, Billy Merrell, and our overweight, sneezy pug, Paisley.

Though we've been in New York for over three years now, I still consider myself to be a Florida boy in many ways. For one thing, I have an almost incurable and impenetrable love for fast food and chain restaurants. I know, I know, it's all bad and nasty for you and the small businessman, blah, blah, blah, but where else but Chili's has an unending happy hour, free chips and salsa at the bar, and that sumptuous fajita pita?

If anyone knows, please let me know. There are no Chili's in New York! Help!!!

Moving right along past the nasty-food habits, I'll go ahead and give you the basics.

I was born on June 5, 1982, in Orlando, Florida. I've got two sisters, one who came before me in 1979, one in 1986. I think it's safe to say that being the bratty middle child (and only boy), I probably made their lives hell for a while. But we're all cool now! Same goes for my parents. My dad's where I get the "Medina" from—he's half-Puerto Rican, half-Panamanian. My mom was born and raised in Orlando (she rode a bike in the Walt Disney World opening-day parade in 1971), and she's where I get my wordiness from—she's a professional copyeditor, too, and has been correcting my grammar for as long as I can remember.

From first to eighth grade, I went to a Catholic school in Downtown Orlando called St. James, where I was not rapped on the knuckles by evil nuns when I made a mistake on the board. I went to a public high school, Winter Park High (same as the character Jonathan in the book), where I had an amazing group of friends (mostly girls). I wasn't out in high school, but I certainly wasn't the "straightest" boy. To tell the truth, I think the eight years of Catholic school must've prevented even the idea that I was gay from entering my brain...

...but even eight years of Catholic school was no match for college.

I went to the University of Florida in fall of 2000, and had to share this awful, stinking dorm room my first year with a guy who loved to microwave Chef Boyardee without opening the windows and lived for playing on his computer from 7pm to 7am on the weekends. It was in this ideal living situation that I started becoming aware of my immutable gayness, and I began coming out to people in November. Fun, fun. (Actually, I'm very fortunate to have such incredible friends and family, because the process was very easy for me.)

So UF was great. (There is just not enough space to describe how great UF was....) I started out as an architecture student, but after pulling countless all-nighters and becoming very sickly and generally going insane, I decided it wasn't for me and switched to sociology halfway through the year. Which was the best decision ever. Though it was a hell of a lot of reading.

Billy and I got together toward the end of our sophomore years, and by the beginning of our senior year, 2003, Billy's first book (Talking in the Dark) was coming out! After graduating in 2004, we took a two-week trip to Argentina, then moved to New York—me to start working in children's publishing (I'd worked at this really horrid company called Gleim Publications during college where free soda and pretzels were listed under "benefits," but I loved the actual work despite the nuttiness of the company, which is a whole 'nother story!) and Billy to start toward his MFA in Poetry from Columbia."


Top 100 Gay Novels List (*)

External Link to the Top100 Gay Novels List (simple - without photos)

External Link to the Top 100 Gay Novels List (wanted - with photos)

*only one title per author, only print books released after January 1, 2000.

Note: I remember to my friends that guest reviews of the above listed books (the top 100 Gay Novels) are welcome, just send them to me and I will post with full credits to the reviewer.

Other titles not in the top 100 list:

andrew potter

Apocalypse Sex, Love at the End of the World, edited by Jennifer Levine

Buried Alive in the Blues by J. Daniel Sawyer (M/F and M/M): More than an apocalyptic futuristic short story, this was almost an horror. While the world is crashing down around her, a woman is mourning the loss of her beloved husband Juno. For her nothing matter now, if not the blues, and when the last band in the world playing the right blues comes to town, that is the only reason why she will leave her home. But she is not going only to listen to music and dance, she is going to the end of the world and back again, and through sex she will take her vengeance, or maybe even grant peace to her enemies.

Expiry Date by Elizabeth Coldwell (M/F): in its macabre tone, this was probably the most funny of the short stories. Holly has no money to pay for her chip to be upgraded, and at the end of the day she will be dead. She decides that she will enjoy her last day, even if this will mean to cheat her best friend: Suzi has the best husband around, Marco, and Holly wants a piece of him before the end. It’s not really cheating since she will be not around to continue to do so. But destiny has other plans.

Darkest Night by Elizabeth Schechter (M/M and M/F): for once the M/M pair was not the good one. Moira is an AI of Tariq’s spaceshift, and she is always there for him, despite all the different lovers, males and females, entering his life. Now Tariq has Marcus, and he seems happy; Moira has no jealousy in her, and she only wants the best for Tariq, so she doesn’t understand why Marcus is so contrary to her. Then Moira intercept a message: the end of the world, know and unknow is coming, and they have only two choice, searching shelter deep in the ground or chosing to die in the space, like they have always lived. Tariq has no doubt, and Moira can only follow what Tariq wants, but Marcus has a slightly different idea.

Invasion! by Beverly Langland (F/F and M/F): this is almost a joke, when the radio airs the announce that there is an Invasion from Mars, two women and a man decide that if they have to die, at least they will enjoy the waiting…

Fences by David Hubbard (M/M): without doubt Fences was the most romantic and in a way the only one with a bit of hope in the end. Jeremy had a perfect life, a loving husband, a beautiful house in the suburbs, two dogs… the full package, until a lethal virus destroyed everything. Now a widower with his days counted, Jeremy is only waiting for the end, and trying to enjoy what remains of his life. He is not expecting a second chance, above all not to love, but his neighboor, Bradley, is alone as Jeremy, and he has lost everything like Jeremy. Bradley was not gay, and in a normal situation nothing between them could have happened, but this is not a normal situation, and sincerely, now it’s more important that you are able to find someone, than being selective on his gender. But even if maybe Jeremy and Bradley get together out of loneliness, it’s not a desperate move: both Jeremy than Bradley had a good life before, and they would have been able to live out of their memories, but they don’t want to face the end alone.


Amazon Kindle: Apocalypse Sex: Love at the End of the World

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle