July 16th, 2013

andrew potter

Around the World: UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet

Dear friends, I'm officially out to the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet in Manchester until the 16th. I'm actually a guest speaker O_O, and I still am trying to understand if they did a wise choice... anyway, some good coincidences made my speech very current, I will talk of the transition from romance reader (specifically Savage romance) to gay romance reader, and the influence of Maurice (that this year is 100 years old) and Annie Proulx (with a very nice surprise to the Italian attendees I bet they don't expect).

Anyway I thought nice to leave you with a "spread" of all authors who did a giveaway for the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet!















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andrew potter

Tony Kushner & Mark Harris

Anthony Robert "Tony" Kushner (born July 16, 1956) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes and co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film Munich. Kushner and Mark Harris, an editor of Entertainment Weekly and author of Pictures at a Revolution – Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, held a commitment ceremony in April 2003, the first same-sex commitment ceremony to be featured in the Vows column of the New York Times. In summer 2008 they were legally married at the city hall in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Kushner and Harris met in 1998 at a party given by Michael Mayer, a stage director. Harris remembered: ''I thought Tony was cute and extremely shy. I was touched by how tentative he was.''

Later that night, the two chatted online for hours. ''His grammar was perfect,'' Kushner recalled. ''That was a turn-on.'' Their dates took place either in theaters or bookstores. ''When Coliseum Books closed, we practically wore black armbands,'' Kushner said.

Kushner was born in Manhattan, New York to Jewish clarinetist and conductor William Kushner and bassoonist Sylvia Deutscher. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, the seat of Calcasieu Parish where he spent his childhood. During high school Kushner had a reputation in policy debate, at one point going to a camp, and making it to the final rounds. Kushner moved to New York in 1974 to begin his undergraduate college education at Columbia University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Medieval Studies in 1978. He attended New York University's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 1984. During graduate school, he spent the summers of 1978-1981 directing both early original works (Masque of Owls and Incidents and Occurrences During the Travels of the Tailor Max) and plays by Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest) for the children attending the Governor's Program for Gifted Children (GPGC) in Lake Charles.


NEW YORK - OCTOBER 28, 2010: Mark Harris and husband Tony Kushner attend the 'Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia On National Themes' Opening Night Party at Pio Pio on October 28, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Tony Kushner is a playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his play Angels in America. Kushner and Mark Harris, an editor of Entertainment Weekly and author of Pictures at a Revolution – Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, held a commitment ceremony in April 2003, the first same-sex commitment ceremony to be featured in the Vows column of the New York Times. In summer 2008 they were legally married at the city hall in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Kushner
I saw it as a multi-part (six-hour, I think) movie on HBO. I feel this is a genuine masterpiece in every sense of the word. The Kaddish for Roy Cohn is worth the price of admission all by itself (but only in full context). This one has everything. I just don’t know what else I can say. --Catherine Ryan Hyde
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner is a play that I have seen onstage; I’ve also seen the excellent film version by Mike Nichols. But what I love most about this sprawling work is the beauty of its writing, and to fully appreciate that you have to spend time with the book. Here is one of my favorite lines of dialogue, spoken by Harper, the young Mormon wife: “It's all a matter of the opposable thumb and forefinger; not of the hand, but of the heart; we grab hold like nobody's business and then we don't seem to be able to let go.” In a time when the AIDS epidemic in America was at its peak, “not letting go” were words to live by. --Wayne Courtois
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner is an absolutely audacious play cycle that is not just the best "gay" play ever written, but one of the best plays ever. A play about AIDS? There is, in fact, no better testament to the tragedy of the disease. But the work's transcendent themes are also about so much more. "The world only spins forward," a character says at one point, arguing that some progress is inevitable. Perhaps the play's greatest achievement is that it actually made me believe this, and gave me hope for the future of humankind. --Brent Hartinger
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More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

More LGBT Couples at my website:
http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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andrew potter

Carlos McClendon, Richard "Dick" Keate and Tito Renaldo

Carlos McClendon (October 12, 1923 - July 16, 2008) was an American designer and shop owner. He is probably the most famous "unknown" model of George Platt-Lynes, the one who graces the cover George Platt-Lynes's most recent coffee-table book. (Picture: Carlos McClendon, 1947, by George Platt-Lynes)

McClendon was born in Bakersfield, CA on October 12, 1923, and lived the early years of his life in Southern California. He attended schools in Long Beach and later earned a BA from UCLA. He worked as an apprentice set designer at MGM and as a dancer with the Marie Bryant dance troupe before opening his shop, Chequer, in New York in 1954. He quickly became an early and influential force in boutique retailing, before the word boutique was in general usage. His shop, at the corner of Third Avenue and 50th, Street specialized in uclothes of his own design for men and women, furniture, and art objects, and he travelled widely to acquire raw materials and finished goods, including ethnic textiles and folk art from Japan, Indonesia, Mexico and elsewhere. The shop was an immediate success, notable for McClendon's special "eye" for the beautiful and unusual, and he counted Greta Garbo and many of the trend-setters of New York among his regular customers. The shop also inspired several imitators.

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andrew potter

Around the World: UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet

I'm back! Still trying to reorganize my emails, my calendar and my diet LOL. But I want to say this year was even better than last year, the feeling of being part of the group and well, the general comfortable atmosphere. I met a lot of old friends, new friends, and listened to many interesting panels.

Someone asked me to repost the speech I did as speaker on Saturday. People told me it was good (blushing), but probably it was more funny to hear me having it with my bad (Italian) accent... in any case I tried to summarize it here (hope you will enjoy it as well):

While I was preparing the outlines of my speech for the UK LGBT Meet in Manchester, a series of coincidences made it even more current. I realized that Maurice by E.M. Forster, the first gay novel I have ever read, was 100 years old. Maurice was written by Forster in 1913, even if, in the end, he didn’t publish, and left in his will that they could release it after his death. Forster died in 1970, and Maurice was released in 1971. The novel took inspiration by the real life romance of Edward Carpenter and George Merrill, and Forster wrote in the Terminal Note of the book that “A happy ending was imperative”, exactly like the one of Carpenter and Merrill: Edward Carpenter was a socialist poet and philosopher, anthologist, and early gay activist. Returning from India in 1891, Carpenter met George Merrill, a working class man also from Sheffield, and the two men struck up a relationship, eventually moving in together in 1898. In January 1928, Merrill died suddenly, leaving Carpenter devastated. In May 1928, Carpenter suffered a paralytic stroke which rendered him almost helpless. He lived another 13 months before he died on Friday 28 June 1929. They were happily together from 1891 to 1928, 37 years.

But I need to take a step back and to the reason I read Maurice. When I was 13 years old, I discovered the English literature, and with that, D.H. Lawrence and Lady Chatterley’s Lover; I loved that book and wanted to read everything that was good as that one. Plus I loved gay themed movie, and when James Wilby and Hugh Grant won Best Actors for their roles in Maurice at the Venice Film Festival, I knew I had to see the movie (I was 13 years old at the time); after the movie, I knew I had to read the novel, but as for Lady Chatterley’s Love, my mom didn’t think it was a right reading choice for my age… that said, I HAD to read the book and so I bought that one with my own pocket money, right as I did for the D.H. Lawrence’s one. I still own my copy (Italian translation), but once read that one, there wasn’t much else available into Italian with a gay theme. The next book was 10 years later, “Close Range: Wyoming Stories” by E. Annie Proulx… yes, that is right, we are talking of the very first edition of the novella from which Brokeback Mountain would be later adapted for the screen. Again an Italian translation, this time it wasn’t exactly pocket money, but it was still something odd, because basically no one in Italy knew about this book and that first edition had a very limited print run, and one of the few copies is probably the one I still own.

Between 1989 (Maurice) and 1999 (Close Range: Wyoming Stories) I continued to love gay themed movies, but in the fiction field I didn’t read anything else, if not a savage romance I still love, Defy Not the Heart by Johanna Lindsey. Yes, I confess, I was a Savage Romance reader, those trashy novels with almost pornographic covers. Fabio was THE cover model, you wanted a medieval knight? Fabio was the man, you wanted a Native American, a Sheikh, a Biker? Again, Fabio could be it.

In one of those novels, dating back 1989, Fabio is a medieval mercenary on the cover of Defy Not the Heart; his love interest is a black haired beauty, but to me, the most interesting character was Theo, the heroine’s best friend: Theo is gay and he even tries to seduce “Fabio/Ranulf” (and that is the reason why Ranulf doesn’t like him much), but once he realizes Ranulf is not interested, he moves his advances towards the chief of the guards. Theo is an extremely positive character, and I remember that, at the time, I would have love to read more.

Someone recently asked what if a very famous romance author introduced a gay love story in her novel, what was supposed to be the reaction of her straight readers? My reaction was, GOOD, please give me more. Johanna Lindsey is probably one of the queen of the Romance authors, she is on the level of Kathleen Woodiwiss, Nora Roberts or Elizabeth Lowell. She has a huge readership, and trust me, I don’t remember someone complaining for the character of Theo in her novel.

My feeling is that, you need to read a story, and the story has to be coherent with its development; you haven’t to follow the rules, otherwise you are not writing a novel, you are writing an “how to do” text book, and they are boring! Someone asked me, what is the best book you read this year? It was not an easy question, and my answer was more, what is the most surprising book? Atom Heart, John Beloved by Luke Hartwell. This was a totally unexpected book, a bisexual teenager who gifts his body to his best (gay) friend, even if he is in a relationship with a girl; he cheats the girl, and then he cheats the guy, he instigates his own rape, and he does everything in his power to destroy himself and his life, and when he is at the bottom of the pit, he realizes that, if Nathan, his friend, still loves him, Nathan, the perfect guy, then he has to be worthy of that love, than he is John, the beloved.

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andrew potter

Around the World: The Peak District

Latest addition to my travels ;-)


Edale is a small Derbyshire village and Civil parish in the Peak District, in the Midlands of England. Edale is best known to walkers as the start (or southern end) of the Pennine Way, and to less ambitious walkers as a good starting point for evening or day walks, accessible by public transport from Sheffield or Manchester and with two pubs supplying real ale and food.





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andrew potter

2013 Rainbow Awards Submission: Cari Hunter - Desolation Point

Desolation Point by Cari Hunter
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (March 26, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602828652
ISBN-13: 978-1602828650
Amazon: Desolation Point
Amazon Kindle: Desolation Point

“He’s going to find me,” Sarah whispered. “He’s going to find me before you do.”

One wrong step in Los Angeles leaves Alex Pascal scarred and traumatized, unable to continue the career she loves.

In England, a drunk driver shatters Sarah Kent’s family.

For Sarah, leaving England to explore the North Cascades is an opportunity to regain her health and her confidence, while Alex has already abandoned LA to make the mountains her home. Drawn to the beauty and history of Desolation Peak, Sarah is hiking alone when a storm leaves her stranded. Determined to track her down, Alex heads into the wilderness, never anticipating the terrible danger she will face. Because Sarah is already running for her life, fleeing from a ruthless criminal with a mission to complete and nothing left to lose. With everything stacked against them, neither woman expects to survive, let alone fall in love.

All they have to do now is find a way out.

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andrew potter

2013 Rainbow Awards Submission: Dolar Vasani - Not Yet Uhuru

Not Yet Uhuru by Dolar Vasani
Paperback: 110 pages
Publisher: Bright Pen (March 27, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0755215532
ISBN-13: 978-0755215539
Amazon: Not Yet Uhuru
Amazon Kindle: Not Yet Uhuru

Not Yet Uhuru, are 12 lesbian flash fiction tales covering a diversity of issues and struggles, set in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, the UK, Zambia, Zimbabwe. It's about girls, women, daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers finding out, coming out, being out and staying out.

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