January 31st, 2012

andrew potter

Paul Richmond: Show and Tell

It's almost a recurring appointment this with Paul Richmond, but his Show-and-Tell posts are so cute that of course I'm always ready, and more than willing, to host them. I think Paul Richmond gave a huge contribute to the cover art field, and in these last 3 years we saw higher and higher quality in the LGBT covers (and I can tell, I host the Rainbow Awards Cover Contest that is almost as followed as its twin Literary Contest). So please welcome once again Paul and his wonderful covers!

"Hello! This is Paul Richmond. It’s nice to be back visiting with my friend Elisa and all of you. I wanted to stop by for another show-and-tell session since all the fabulous gay fiction authors have been keeping me busy illustrating covers for their novels. In fact, not long ago, I reached an exciting milestone – my one hundredth cover! So it seemed like a great time to look back on some of the highlights as well as fill you in on what’s new.

I also want to tell you about plans that are underway for a two-person art exhibit in Provincetown this summer that will feature the fantastic paintings of Tom Acevedo and new works by yours truly. My part will consist of male figurative paintings inspired by vintage circus, sideshow, and burlesque acts. First up, I depicted myself as a ringmaster in a piece titled “Time For Me To Fly.”

For the rest of the paintings, I’m working with some amazing models, including my partner Dennis, as well as some actual male burlesque performers from around the globe. I can’t wait to share the series with everyone! If you’re interested in joining us in P-Town, the opening reception will be Friday, July 6 at the Lyman-Eyer Gallery. I know that there are several from the gay fiction community who have already made plans to attend. I can’t wait to meet everyone! Oh, and if you happen to run into me frolicking shirtless across the dunes that weekend, don’t by surprised if my abs in real life appear a teensy bit different than I portrayed them in this painting. Hey, they invented artistic license for a reason, people!

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One highly entertaining part of my process is to photograph models in the pose of each character. This helps me render the details of lighting, clothing (or lack thereof), and perspective more realistically. Sometimes I convince friends to model for me, and when I’m all alone, I do it myself. I thought it would be fun to share with you a collage of some of the various photos I’ve taken as reference for my cover illustrations. Can you recognize which novels these became?

Every step of the process, from reviewing the specs written by the authors to completing the final works is an absolute joy. It never stops being exciting to see my artwork on the cover of a published novel, and to imagine that in my own small way, I am helping bring each author’s incredible work to life. That is why I am especially looking forward to meeting many of these talented writers at the Rainbow Book Fair in New York this March! If any of you are planning on being there that weekend, please come over and introduce yourself. I feel like I know many of you through our online correspondence, but it will be so wonderful to finally meet you in person! Don’t worry, I’m not shy! Just look for the guy in the room wearing the loudest outfit and it’s most likely me. I try to live by these wise words from my favorite diva, Dolly Parton: “A peacock who sits on its tail feathers is just another turkey!”

On that note, thanks to Elisa and everyone for letting my inner peacock show off a bit today! It’s always a blast visiting this site, and I hope to be back again soon with even more to share – pics from New York, pics from P-Town, and of course many new covers. In the meantime, check out my blog for all of my latest adventures: http://paulrichmondstudio.blogspot.com."
andrew potter

The William Neale Award for Best Gay Romance: Caregiver by Rick R. Reed

“I was beautiful, I was young, I was awesome… please just remember me.” While reading Caregiver these are the words in my mind, whispered by Adam this time, but whispered by so many other young men each time I post about one of them. They are survived by their long-time companions… is this companion looking the news to see if someone is remembering them? After the painful first years, when it was obvious to remember them, 10 years, 15 years later, 20 years now later, there is still someone sending an email to whom survived? The books are out of print, but the memory? Is it still vivid? This is what I think each time I read about a young life AIDS stole too soon, and as the same Rick R. Reed said in the novel, if they had managed to survive for an year or two, maybe they would have been in time for those cures that don’t take the plague away, but at least allow you to survive longer than your twenties.

This was probably what passed through Rick R. Reed’s mind; he jokes about this being a novel in a memoir in a novel, i.e. the novel written by Rick R. Reed start with another author, Dan Shoemaker, having his novel rejected by a publisher since memoirs don’t sell, but Shoemaker insists he hasn’t written a memoir but a novel with the main character by the name of Dan Calzolaio. Now maybe I’m Italian and know that Calzolaio is the Italian translation of Shoemaker, and though I have found one another reason why Dan Shoemaker is not telling the truth, not even to himself, but I also happen to know that Rick R. Reed has Italian origins (I believe from his mother side) and so maybe there is yet another reason why Caregiver, the real Caregiver, not the one written by Dan Shoemaker, but the one by Rick R. Reed, is more a memoir than a novel? Is this for me a reason to refuse that like the publisher refused it in the novel? Of course not! On the contrary, it makes it more real, more near to my heart, since I can feel in it the same pain I feel each time I think about those young men.

Maybe this is also the reason why, while the romance is nice, and sweet, it’s also ordinary, in a positive meaning of the word. The love between Dan and Sullivan (Sullivan is Adam’s surviving companion) is not immediate, even if the attraction was; Sullivan needed time to mourn and Dan to think about his life and what was important for him. They didn’t do the “hero/proud” thing of so many romances, leaving each other, suffering for years due the distance and then finding each other full of regrets for the lost years, but they did what is ordinary to do, talk openly about their reticence, giving each other time without cutting each other out, and then, when both of them were ready, starting a relationship with a lighter heart and a better predisposition. In this way, if someone is worried about Adam (yes, he is dead, but he entered in my heart as much as he entered in Dan’s one, and he was already in Sullivan’s), they have not to be: Adam was loved and missed, and he is remembered, dearly remembered even 20 years later.


Amazon: Caregiver
Amazon Kindle: Caregiver
Paperback: 210 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 24, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613722087
ISBN-13: 978-1613722084

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

Cover Art by Paul Richmond