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Way back in 1995 Alyson Publications introduced a series of mysteries aimed at LGBTQ kids called The Pride Pack.

Original Covers from Alyson Publications in 1995
Original covers from Alyson Publications in 1995

They were penned by R. J. Hamilton, which was a pseudonym for none other than Ruth Sims, author of The Phoenix and Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story. The series died in infancy when Alyson Publications was sold shortly after the first two titles came out. The new owners promptly cancelled the series even though two more books had been completed. The first two then lapsed out of print and The Pride Pack was never given a fair chance.

Now 16 years later, Ruth Sims, with the help of Drewey Wayne Gunn, is bringing the series back into print via Cheyenne Publishing. The books will be given sparkling new covers designed by Jordan Taylor, and each volume will include a new introduction from one of Ruth’s fellow authors as well as an afterword by Wayne Gunn which will place the books in their proper historical context.

Unfortunately the manuscript for the fourth book in the series is lost, but the first three will make their Cheyenne debuts in September. And who knows, that fourth manuscript might just yet turn up in someone’s attic!
 Write a children's book... FOR ADULTS! Now why the f**k didn't I think of that?


Cheyenne authors at Coffeetime Romance chat

 Lee Rowan, Erik Orrantia, Jon Wilson and I will be chatting live in the Coffeetime Romance chatroom tonight (June 21st) from 9-10pm Eastern. Come join us!
 Awake is now available for sale. Cheyenne Publishing has teamed with Nancy Garden, Kathe Koja, Robin Reardon, Brian Katcher, and Jordan Taylor to present four YA stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens. All net proceeds go to The Trevor Project.

Amazon (print)

Barnes & Noble (print & Nookbook)

Amazon Kindle

TLA Video

The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

Amazon UK

Publisher Information page
I've been putting together a promo CD for Cheyenne to pass out at events and while assembling the material onto slides I noticed something that made me shiver - the resemblance of the authors to their book covers.


The other weird thing that happened to me is that while I'm halfway through reading Farley Granger's autobiography, Include Me Out, the man up and dies! Very eerie indeed!
 Yesterday I posted about YA author Jessica Verday and the kerfuffle over being told the gay characters in her story would not be accepted by the publisher. Well I checked back at her blog today and there is an update:  Jessica Verday's updated blog post  Turns out the editor had made the decision on her own and after Jessica's post, the editor found out from Running Press that they would have been delighted to have included the gay story! So apparently it was all much ado about nothing. Anyhow I'll be following her blog to see if amends can be made and if she will be invited back into the anthology with her original story.

Not in our anthology...

New York Times best-selling YA author pulls out of Running Press anthology because she was told that her gay-themed story was unacceptable. YA author Jessica Verday
Hmm…interesting. My immediate reaction was outrage. It’s easy to jump on the homophobia bandwagon. It seems with gay characters sprouting up all over the place in movies, TV shows and books, that objecting to gay teen characters in a YA anthology is completely unfounded. And I applaud author Jessica Verday for having the integrity to withdraw from the anthology and then publicly tell everybody why.

Now speaking as a publisher, I do understand a little bit about demographics. When you market a specific type of product to a specific market, it often means setting up guidelines for what is and what is not acceptable. Running Press did a brief series of M/M Romance novels in which they were testing the waters by introducing gay romance into the Romance genre and they were fully behind it. So this about-face is a bit perplexing. I imagine they feel that in this case they are marketing to a specific young-adult demographic and allowing homosexuality into the anthology could backfire with a lot of angry parents who think their children need to be protected from all knowledge about unthinkable subjects. Running Press probably wants to play it safe and that is their prerogative, but personally I think they would benefit with a more progressive attitude and be willing to embrace a little diversity in their young adult literature.

Cheyenne Publishing is putting out its own YA anthology this June called AWAKE with all publisher profits going to The Trevor Project.

Anyhow, I think Ms. Verday may have found a new reader...

Edit: An update on this story...
It's a great day for me. The little publishing company I started has finally been honored to have a book become a finalist in the Lammies!  For those of you not familiar with the process, that's the shortlist where they take all the open nominations (actually submissions) and narrow them down to 5 finalists per category. So I want to congratulate everyone involved with bringing Normal Miguel to fruition: Author Erik Orrantia, editor Tracey Pennington, and cover artist Alex Beecroft!

Normal MiguelLambdaAuthor, Erik Orrantia
2010 Lambda Literary Finalist
Gay Romance

Note to authors...

 If you query a publisher and they invite you to send in the first three chapters of your manuscript, please just do it! There have been several authors whose queries interested me so I asked for the first three chapters, only to have the authors balk, begging to send chapters from the middle of their book because the first three chapters aren't "representative of their work"! Well I've got news for you, if you haven't engaged the reader within the first three chapters then you have colossally failed as an author. When people are browsing for a book to buy, they don't crack open the middle of the book to check it out, they start reading the first chapter, and if it doesn't draw them in pretty quickly, they put it right back on the shelf. Whenever an author isn't happy with sending me only the first three chapters, I immediately see that as a red flag that they don't have faith in their own work.

My new bike, or why I’m not normal…

So entering the New Year I was determined to shed some extra weight that’s slowly been accumulating the past several years. A diet is good, but if I throw in some exercise I’ll lose the weight even faster, right? Anyway that’s the theory. So I decided to get a mountain bike to start riding everyday. I’m not going to go overboard or anything like these ridiculously healthy people who ride 50 miles a day, but I’ll try and take a 20 or 30-minute spin on the days it doesn’t rain – aha! A loophole, you see I live in the Portland, Oregon area.

So here comes the part about why I’m not normal. The normal person would go to a local bike shop, pick out a really nice bicycle, pay the owner of the bike shop god knows how many hundreds of dollars, put the bike in the back of their vehicle, take it home and start riding it.

Not me. No sir. I go online and find the cheapest Read more...Collapse )