September 25th, 2013

andrew potter

Hal Sparks (born September 25, 1969)

Hal Harry Magee Sparks III (born September 25, 1969) is an American actor, comedian, musician and television personality. He is known for his contributions to VH1, hosting E!'s Talk Soup, and the role of Michael Novotny on the American television series Queer as Folk.

Stars on Disney XD's show "Lab Rats".

Sparks was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but grew up in the small community of Peaks Mill, Kentucky. He started Cub Scouts at age 7 and karate at age 8, and filled his childhood between video games, movies, and comedy albums since the nearest TV was a mile from where he lived.

When he was 14 years old, he moved to the Chicago area and enrolled at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, where he entered the theater department. Thanks to an influential teacher named Mrs. Adams, he was able to cultivate his natural talent and boundless energy into marketable skill. Despite some initial opposition by his father, by 15 he began performing standup comedy and by 17 he won the title of "Chicago's Funniest Teenager" from the Chicago Sun-Times.

He also studied with The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago as a teenager.

While still in high school, he became the host of the short-run Saturday game show Treasure Mall, just months shy of his 19th birthday. Upon graduation, Sparks moved to Los Angeles and after ten long years of paying his dues, he got his major TV break when he was hired to host Talk Soup in 1999.

He would go on to independently produce his first standup comedy DVD "Escape from Halcatraz" in 2008.


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Albert N. Williams & Emlyn Williams

George Emlyn Williams, CBE (26 November 1905 – 25 September 1987), known as Emlyn Williams, was a Welsh dramatist and actor. But both during his marriage and following his wife's death, Williams was actively bisexual throughout his adult life. He maintained a relationship from 1981 to 1986 with American theatre journalist Albert N. Williams (no relation), whom Emlyn Williams met while appearing at the Northlight Theatre in the Chicago area with his one-man Charles Dickens show. Albert Williams served as Emlyn Williams' personal assistant during a 1982 tour of England, Wales and Ireland with the Charles Dickens and Dylan Thomas solo shows.

He was born into a Welsh-speaking, working class family in Mostyn, Flintshire.

Aged 11 he won a scholarship to Holywell Grammar School. At the end of his time at the grammar school he won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford and joined the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS).

In 1927, he joined a repertory company and began his stage career. By 1930, he had branched out into writing with works such as A Murder Has Been Arranged and The Late Christopher Bean. He became an overnight star, however, with his thriller Night Must Fall (1935), in which he also played the lead role of a psychopathic murderer. The play was noted for its exploration of the killer's complex psychological state, a step forward for its genre. It was made into a film in 1937 with Robert Montgomery, and again in 1964 with Albert Finney. It has been frequently revived, including on Broadway in 1999 with Matthew Broderick and most recently in the West End with Jason Donovan.

His other great play was very different: The Corn is Green (1938), partly based on his own childhood in Wales. He starred as a Welsh schoolboy in the play's London premiere. The play came to Broadway in 1940 with Ethel Barrymore as the schoolteacher Miss Moffat, a character modeled closely on Williams's real boyhood schoolteacher, Miss Sarah Grace Cooke. A 1950 Broadway revival starred Eva La Gallienne. The play was turned into a film starring Bette Davis, and again into a made-for-television film starring Katharine Hepburn, under the direction of Williams's close friend George Cukor. An attempt to turn the play into a musical in the 1970s, with Davis again in the role of the schoolteacher with lyrics by Williams, failed. So did a Broadway revival in 1983 starring Cicely Tyson and Peter Gallagher. But a 1985 London revival at the Old Vic with Deborah Kerr was successful, as was a 2007 production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. That production starred Kate Burton, whose screen debut Williams had directed. Williams was a close friend of Kate's parents, Richard Burton and Burton's first wife, Sybil. In the Williamstown production, the schoolboy — the role created by and modeled on Williams himself — was played by Kate Burton's son, Morgan Ritchie.

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Jack Smith (November 14, 1932 - September 25, 1989)

Jack Smith (November 14, 1932 in Columbus, Ohio – September 25, 1989 in New York City) was an American filmmaker, actor, and pioneer of underground cinema. He is generally acclaimed as a founding father of American performance art, and has been critically recognized as a master photographer, though his photographic works are rare and remain largely unknown.

Jack Smith was raised in Texas where he made his first film, Buzzards over Baghdad, in 1952. He moved to New York in 1953.

The most famous (and arguably the most notorious) of Smith's productions is Flaming Creatures (1962). The film is a satire of Hollywood B movies and tribute to actress Maria Montez, who starred in many such productions. However, authorities considered some scenes to be pornographic. Copies of the movie were confiscated at the premiere and it was subsequently banned (technically, it still is to this day). Despite not being viewable, the movie gained some notoriety when footage was screened during Congressional hearings and right-wing politician Strom Thurmond mentioned it in anti-porn speeches.

Smith's next movie Normal Love was the only work in Smith's oeuvre with an almost conventional length (120 mins.), and featured multiple underground stars, including Mario Montez, Diane di Prima, Tiny Tim, Francis Francine, Beverley Grant, John Vaccaro, and others. The rest of his productions consists mainly of short movies, many never screened in a cinema, but featured in performances and constantly re-edited to fit the stage needs (including Normal Love).

Apart from appearing in his own work, Smith worked as an actor. He played the lead in Andy Warhol's unfinished film Batman Dracula, Ken Jacobs's Blonde Cobra, and appeared in several theater productions by Robert Wilson.

He also worked as a photographer and founded the Hyperbole Photographic Studio in New York. In 1962, he released The Beautiful Book, a collection of pictures of New York artists, that was re-released by Granary Books.

Jack Smith – Untitled, c.1961-1962 – courtesy of Jack Smith Archive and Gladstone Gallery, New YorK and Brussels
Jack Smith (November 14, 1932 – September 25, 1989) was an American filmmaker, actor, and pioneer of underground cinema. He is generally acclaimed as a founding father of American performance art, and has been critically recognized as a master photographer, though his photographic works are rare and remain largely unknown. After his last film, No President (1967), Smith created performance and experimental theatre work until his death on September 25, 1989 from AIDS-related pneumonia.

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More Photographers at my website:, My Ramblings/Art

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Pedro Almodóvar (born 25 September 1949)

Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (born 25 September 1949) is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer.

Almodóvar is a successful and internationally known filmmaker. His films, marked by complex narratives, employ the codes of melodrama and use elements of pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humor, strong colors and glossy décor. Desire, passion, family and identity are among Almodóvar’s most prevalent themes. His films enjoy a worldwide following and he has become a major figure on the stage of world cinema.

He founded Spanish film production company El Deseo with his younger brother Agustín Almodóvar who has produced almost all of Pedro’s films. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 and received an honorary doctoral degree in 2009 from Harvard University for his contribution to the arts.

Pedro Almodóvar Caballero was born in Calzada de Calatrava, Spain, a rural small town of Ciudad Real, a province of Castile-La Mancha in the administrative district of Almagro. La Mancha is the windswept region of flat lands made famous by Don Quixote. He was born as one of four children (two boys, two girls) in a large and impoverished family of peasant stock. His father, Antonio Almodóvar, who could barely read or write, worked most of his life hauling barrels of wine by mule. Almodóvar's mother, Francisca Caballero, turned her son into a part-time teacher of literacy in the village and also a letter reader and transcriber for the neighbors. When Pedro was eight years old, the family sent him to study at a religious boarding school in the city of Cáceres, Extremadura, in the west of the country, with the hope that he might someday become a priest. His family eventually joined him in Cáceres, where his father opened a gas station and his mother opened a bodega where she sold her own wine.

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Théophile de Viau (1590 - September 25, 1626)

The homosexuality of the French libertine Théophile de Viau must largely be inferred from his highly personal poetry.

De Viau was born in 1590 in Clairac into a Huguenot family that had recently been promoted to the ranks of the lesser nobility. During his youth, he studied medicine in Bordeaux and Holland; he also joined a troupe of traveling actors for whom he wrote plays.

During Théophile's short life, he suffered attacks--often politically motivated--for his libertine morals and scandalous poetry. Banished from Paris in 1619, he retreated to his family estate at Boussères where he wrote a free verse and prose translation of Plato's Treatise on the immortality of the soul or the death of Socrates, considered at the time to be a libertine text.

Accused by the Jesuit priest Father Garasse and various judges of filling his work with impious and dangerous libertine ideas, Théophile should nonetheless be understood not as a philosopher, but as a remarkable, albeit free thinking, poet.

Brought back to Paris by the King at the request of his favorite, the Duke de Luynes, he gained fame as a major court poet. In 1621, he published the first volume of his Works, which established him as the leading poet of his day.

Although Théophile converted to Catholicism in 1622 for political reasons, Father Garasse accused him of leading a band of atheists and called him the king of libertines. Convicted in August 1623 of the crime of lèse-majesté divine, Théophile was condemned to the stake but burned only in effigy.

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Citation Information
Author: Collins-Clark, Kathleen
Entry Title: Viau, Théophile de
General Editor: Claude J. Summers
Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
Publication Date: 2002
Date Last Updated July 24, 2006
Web Address  
Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL 60607
Today's Date September 25, 2011
Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates

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Mehmet Murat Somer (born 1959)

Mehmet Murat Somer (born 1959) is a Turkish author of crime fiction best known for his Hop-Çiki-Yaya series set in Istanbul and featuring an unnamed transvestite amateur detective.

Somer was born in Ankara but moved to Istanbul in 1982, after graduating from technical university, and worked as an engineer for Sony, an experience he calls upon in his writing. "I don't call upon the muses," he states, "I write more with my logic - my engineering side." He went on to become a manager for Citibank and he also calls upon this experience in his writing. "When I'm writing a novel, " he says, "I think about the speed, make the necessary calculations for which character should be seen when, and balance the harsh scenes with silent scenes." Somer has been a management consultant, conducting corporate seminars on management skills and personal development since 1994 and took up writing in 2001 following health problems that forced him into semi-retirement. "I had two open-heart operations: 1995 and 1996," he says, "I have been on the verge of life."

Concerning his personal life, Somer has stated that, "When the [Hop-Çiki-Yaya] books were first published in Turkey, some of my friends thought that I was a drag queen or transgender. In fact I'm not - sorry to disappoint."

Somer was inspired to write detective fiction by the novels of his youth, "We don't have a tradition of literature at all. At all. The Ottoman culture doesn't include stories and novels in the tradition of western literature. The first Turkish novel was published only 150 years ago. In Turkey, books are not sold well. We don't have a huge audience. But in the 60s, there were many crime novels. We even had some Mike Hammers." Somer however has an alternate take on the genre, "Lots of the crime novels I encounter are grim, horrifying, brutal," he says. "I don't want to see much blood. I don't want to see harsh feelings. I like light things like champagne or bubblegum. I wanted to write something with joy, that readers could enjoy. Even with the darkest things that I write, I wanted to give them lightness - so the books have brilliant colours."

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How can you resist a book that features a main character of which London’s Daily Telegraph said: “It’s Istanbul’s Miss Marple—although he prefers leather catsuits to tweed skirts.” Indeed The Kiss Murder by Mehmet Murat Somer is a Turkish mystery novel, and our hero is a fabulous drag queen who looks like Audrey Hepburn and chats away to herself like Katherine Hepburn. It took me a while to get into the speech patterns and the very unusual world the characters live in, but faced with mystery novel after mystery novel of samesies, reading this was like a breath of fresh air. And, I learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes life of Turkish drag queens. Go figure. --Anthony Bidulka
Further Readings:

The Kiss Murder by Mehmet Murat Somer
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics); First Edition. 1 in number line edition (December 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143114727
ISBN-13: 978-0143114727
Amazon: The Kiss Murder
Amazon Kindle: The Kiss Murder

The Number One Ladies’ Detective Agency meets Pedro Almodovar in this outrageous new series featuring an ultraglamorous sleuth.

Bestsellers in Mehmet Murat Somer’s home country of Turkey and set to take the world by storm, the arrival of the Hop-Çiki-Yaya mysteries is cause for excitement (and lip gloss!) in the United States. A male computer technician by day and a transvestite hostess of Istanbul’s most notorious nightclub by night, the unnamed heroine of The Kiss Murder is the most charming and hilarious sleuth to debut in recent memory. When Buse, one of the “girls” at her club, fears someone is after private letters from a former lover, she comes to her boss for help. The next day Buse is dead and our girl must find the murderers before they find her. Fortunately, she is well armed with beauty, wit, the wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn, and expert Thai kickboxing skills. With a page-turning plot and an irresistibly charming protagonist, The Kiss Murder, book 2 in the Hop-Ciki-Yaya series, is sure to attract mystery lovers and nightlife mavens alike.

More Spotlights at my website:, My Lists/Gay Novels

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Summer Devon aka Kate Rothwell (born September 25)

Summer Devon is the alter ego Kate Rothwell who invented Summer's name in the middle of a nasty blizzard. At the time she was talking to her sister who longed to visit some friends in Devon, England--so the name Summer Devon is all about desire. Between them Kate and Summer have written books that have been a Romantic Time's Reviewer's Choice Nominee and a two time finalist in the Passionate Plume Award as well as other awards.

Kate Rothwell grew up in Washington, D.C. She went to art school in Boston, where she met her husband who is a scientist.

Kate has worked as a service manager/parts runner in a Saab garage, an artists' model, a day care center child care provider, a sales clerk, a bartender in an Irish bar in Boston (green beer on St. Patrick's day), a reporter, a feature writer, a food prep chef (3 days), a cross-stitch kit instructions writer, a publisher and editor of a newspaper for children, a substitute teacher (for about a month). She has two undergraduate degrees from two colleges.

She and her husband and three kids live in Connecticut.

She is published with Kensington, Samhain, Simon and Schuster, Ellora's Cave, Total-e-bound, Liquid Silver, Loose Id, Carina Publishing and on her own.

The Nobleman and the Spy by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon won a 2011 Rainbow Award, 3rd place, as Best LGBT Historical.


Further Readings:

The Nobleman and the Spy by Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee
Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (September 28, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611183669
ISBN-13: 978-1611183665
Amazon: The Nobleman and the Spy
Amazon Kindle: The Nobleman and the Spy

They once faced each other on a battlefield. Now soldier-turned-spy Jonathan Reese must keep watch over the man he's never forgotten. A close encounter reveals Karl von Binder, the count's son, also recalls the day he spared Jonathan's life.

Sparks fly between the former enemies and Jonathan begins to lose perspective on his mission. He knows he must maintain distance because the heat he encounters in Karl's touch stirs him far too deeply for his own good. He can't keep away -- especially when he suspects someone is trying to kill the nobleman.

The spy becomes a protector as Jonathan guards the man he's begun to care for. Together the men try to puzzle out who would benefit from Karl's death -- and how much they're willing to trust each other when a torrid sexual fling threatens to become an affair of the heart.

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GayRomLit Ebook Giveaway: Lynley Wayne - Rocky's Road

I asked to all the authors joining the GayRomLit convention in Atlanta in October ( a personal favor, a special Ebook Giveaway: everyday I will post 1 book from each author, and among those who will leave a comment, I will draw a winner. Very easy and very fast ;-) I will send a PM to the winner, so remember to not leave anonymous comments!

And the ebook giveaway goes to Kat

Today author is Lynley Wayne: Lynley Wayne is the pen name of a thirty-something female living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. When not writing, she can usually be found reading and thinking up creative ways to avoid housework. She is married to a very understanding husband who doesn’t complain when she spends hours in front of the computer and he ends up having to fix supper on occasion. Or when she asks random off the wall questions. Or when she talks for hours about whatever story she’s working on. Yeah, basically he’s vying for sainthood. Lynley strongly believes everyone is entitled to their own version of happiness, no matter how it may differ from the norm. She writes characters she wants to read and hopes others enjoy them as much as she enjoyed writing them. While most people who know her wouldn’t guess, she’s a hardcore romantic at heart and loves nothing more than a happily ever after. Lynley may have come to romance later than some, but once she found it she never looked back. It was years later when she accidentally stumbled onto the male/male genre and knew it was where she was meant to be. From then on she’s spent endless hours writing about love in it’s many forms. It is her hope that one day society will be able to look past the labels and see the person behind it. That they will realize we are all the same. Until that time comes, she will continue telling stories of a love others may believe is wrong, but she thinks is nothing short of beautiful.
Most recent title : Scars
Publishers: MLR Press

Rocky's Road by Lynley Wayne
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (September 13, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608208974
ISBN-13: 978-1608208975
Amazon: Rocky's Road
Amazon Kindle: Rocky's Road

The road to finding oneself is never easy. For Rocky, at times it's downright painful. How can you find yourself when you don't know where to start? For Rocky, the move from Indiana to Maryland isn't half as daunting as the prospect of finally taking the time to explore his sexuality. Luckily for him, Rocky has his brother's best friend for a guide... Landon had all but given up on finding someone to spend his life with. Hope sparks in his chest when he meets Rocky, whose naturally submissive nature perfectly complements Landon's dominance. As Landon introduces Rocky to the world of BDSM, the two men learn that sometimes you have to traverse a rocky road to find your way to happiness.

Kindly offered by MLR Press

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