Friday, January 07, 2011


So I figured if I'm committed to breathing a little life into this blog again, I should clean up the links...

It seems I was not alone when I went on an extended hiatus. I ended up deleting half the links in my sidebar. It happens. If any of you decide to start blogging again, drop me a line.

Still, it's hard to believe that only a few short years ago so many of us built a community around our blogs.

See what you've done, Mark Zuckerberg? See what you've done?!

Okay, that's enough for now. I've got to get back to Facebook...

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Oh, my poor blog! How I've neglected you!

But it's a new year, and it's time for me to make a new commitment to my abandoned baby. Especially since I have news!

(But why write it myself when I can simply cut-and-paste this press release from Bold Strokes Books?)

January 5, 2011 Press Release: New Title from Rob Byrnes

Bold Strokes Books is pleased to announce the acquisition of Rob Byrnes’s new novel, Holy Rollers, scheduled for release in 2011 from Bold Strokes Liberty Editions.

Holy Rollers – Coming in 2011

When Grant Lambert and Chase LaMarca—partners in life and crime—learn that $7 million in not-so-petty cash is hidden in the safe of a rightwing mega-church, they assemble a team of gay and lesbian criminals to infiltrate the church and steal the money. But this Gang That Can’t Do Anything Straight quickly finds its plans complicated by corrupt congressmen (and their gay aides); an “ex-gay” conference; an FBI investigation; the unexpected appearance of a long-lost relative; and—most jarring for these born-and-bred New Yorkers—life in the northern Virginia suburbs. And then there is Dr. Oscar Hurley—founder of the church—and his right-hand man, the Rev. Dennis Merribaugh, who prove themselves every bit as adept as the professionals when it comes to larceny…

About the Author

Rob Byrnes is the author of four novels, including the 2006 Lambda Literary Award-winning When the Stars Come Out and 2009 Lammy finalist Straight Lies. His short stories have also appeared in several anthologies, including Fool for Love (2009), Saints & Sinners 2010: New Fiction from the Festival (2010), and Men of the Mean Streets (2011).

A native of Upstate New York, Byrnes was born and raised in Rochester and graduated from Union College in Schenectady before moving to Manhattan. He now resides in West New York, New Jersey, with his partner, Brady Allen.

Visit Rob Byrnes’s Bio Page at Bold Strokes Books

So... back to writing, and back to blogging. Yay!

One final thing: I am thrilled by this new relationship! And I look forward to it being a long, happy, and productive one.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Happy Billy Hufsey Day!

My first blog post in 4-1/2 months is to remind you that Billy Hufsey turns 52 in just a few hours.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Oops. Just realized this blog celebrated its seventh anniversary last Friday.

Hopefully in this eighth year I'll get my blogging mojo back. In the meantime, scroll through the archives. Back in the day -- yes, I've been blogging for so long I call it "back in the day" -- I used to be sort of funny.

Or, you know, "funny-with-air quotes-indicating-stupid." Same root, at least.

Whatevs. I'm still here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who Likes FARB Shorts?

... well, really, not tons of people. Still, here we are. The elite will be ahead of the game, and masses will catch up. Some day.

I keep forgetting to tell you people that my short story "Saint Daniel and His Demons" -- which apparently reads like Vonnegut -- although maybe that's Tony "No Relation" Vonnegut, not Kurt -- is in an awesome anthology... and I'm in it!

'Nathan has reviewed it. And awesome writers like Jess Wells, Aaron Hamburger, Greg Herren, Jewelle Gomez, Jeff Mann, and Lucy Jane Bledsoe contributed to it...

What's not to love? You can buy it at Amazon, or course, but patronize your friendly neighborhood LGBT bookseller, if you can.

Monday, July 05, 2010



Yes, I've had a bit of one with this blog. But no, that's not what I mean by "breaks." Maybe I'll apologize for walking away from the blog some day; probably not.

Because I'm guilty of far worse breaks over my half-century on this planet. You probably are, too. It's an ingrained part of the human psyche, I think. Or at least mine. You deal with what you can deal with, and the rest... break.

For example, my parents separated when I was 18, and divorced a year later. Three months after that, my mother remarried. You do that math. In any event, I sunk into a decades-long pattern of avoidance, and managed to strain my relationship with both my mother and father for years. These were, in true WASP fashion, very cold breaks: emotional distance papered over with quarterly phone calls.

Sometimes less than that. During one lengthy period of estrangement, my father only learned that I had moved from Rochester to New York City from an item in the Rochester newspaper. He reached out to me. That is to his credit; not mine. I was bull-headed enough at the time that I was willing to make the clean break, and if I hadn't heard from him, well... But I did.

There have been other breaks -- I jettisoned a lot of people from my past when I came out, because I knew (or thought, and I'm pretty sure I was right) they wouldn't understand, and it wasn't worth my time -- but the family breaks had a bitter taste.

I never got over the problems with my mother. That mostly had to with her husband of the last 30 years, but it's not a great excuse. She deserved better from me than avoidance and neglect. I was never really angry with her, but I'd been trapped in the middle of the problem when I was 18 and 19, and, well... I broke. And now she's been dead for the past 26 months, and I can't go back and make anything better.

I can kick myself and admit she deserved better than she got from me, but I can't make anything better. Now.

My father -- the alpha dog of the family -- is slowing down, too. Bad hips, bad shoulders, you name it. At 76 -- 77 next month -- his body is showing the wear and tear of hard labor (which I do not do) since before I was born. He's probably got another decade in him. Maybe two. But sometimes I'm scared to get glimpses of his relatively recent frailty.

A few days ago, Bradykins and I flew to Rochester. It was supposed to be a quiet weekend, but -- minutes after we arrived -- we discovered my stepmother had just broken her hip. She was in the hospital before we arrived, although she'll hopefully be home tomorrow. She's a fighter. We used to drink together back in the '80s. She'll get past this. Still, that's a bad break.

When we left this morning, he (like my stepmother) kept apologizing that -- because of her broken hip -- we probably had a boring weekend. Quite the contrary. It sort of opened my eyes.

The thing is... if Brady and I hadn't been in town, my father would have been wandering around between the hospital and an empty house. That's not a good place for a 76-almost-77-year-old with a bad hip and bad shoulder. We were glad that he had us to come home to, and I feel a bit guilty tonight that he came home to a dark, empty house.

And -- much as I hate the phone -- I also broke pattern tonight to call both of them (her in the hospital; him at home), to check in.

I can't undo the past. I can only start appreciating what I have now. So I will force it, if I have to, to keep those ties strong.

Because, really, they break too easily if you let them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Okay, so I haven't updated in a month. And I wonder why maybe four people stop by on a good day. Mmmph.

ANYWAY... I'll try to be better. (That is not a promise; just a very positive thought. And it's always good to think positive thoughts, right?)

In the meantime, tomorrow night at roughly 7:00 PM (Eastern, that is), the Lambda Literary Awards will kick off. For up-to-the-minute action -- give or take a few minutes, 'cause I'll probably be drunk -- follow me on Twitter:

Yes, as a matter of fact I am a finalist for Gay Mystery. This is what I've been practicing for when the winner is announced:

Good luck to eveyone!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


The "50 Excerpts" project fell off track due to life. More coming...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

50 EXCERPTS: #13

...Grant wasn't a fan of Jamie Brock. The three of them -- Grant and Chase on one side, Jamie on the other -- had been distant acquaintances for most of the fifteen years Grant and Chase had been together, a fact he blamed on Chase. But Jamie was the type of person who only knew you when he needed something. In a sense, Grant felt he and Chase -- both approaching career criminal status, despite his partner's low-paying Groc-O-Rama gig on the side -- were still more sincere and productive than Jamie, who continued to play his "trust fund boy" game with the moneyed gay crowd a decade after the last time it had actually worked on a meaningful scale. Now that he was solidly joining Grant and Chase in what some would consider "middle age," the act was getting older than he was.

Chase allowed himself a smile as he returned to busywork. "Screw Jamie. I can hear about his latest Hamptons drama the next time we see him out at the bars."

from Straight Lies

Kensington Publishing Corp.
April, 2009

Buy it at TLA Video

What's this about? Click here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

50 EXCERPTS: #12

"You said she walked in on you?"

Jimmy was visibly energized, and took Quinn's vacated deck chair. "Now that was a scene! You know the story of how we met, right?" Noah shook his head. "It was on the set of When the Stars Come Out. He was starring opposite her -- and let me tell you, I love Quinn dearly, but he should not have been doing musicals -- and I was a dancer in the big musical number at the end of the show. Anyway, I had just ended a horrible relationship with an evil, evil man -- dead now, God rest his soul -- and I didn't think I wanted to meet anyone, but we were on the set, and our eyes met, and something just clicked."

"And... happily ever after?"

Jimmy threw his head back and let out a loud, high-pitched laugh. "Not exactly. Remember, Quinn was married to the top box-office draw in the nation, maybe the world. And up to that point, he had never even admitted to himself that he was gay. It was very complicated. Let me give you a brief flashback..."

from When the Stars Come Out

Kensington Publishing Corp.
September, 2006

Buy it at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse

What's this about? Click here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

50 EXCERPTS: #11

I stood in the darkness outside Bar 51 and reflected on the indignity of it all. Being asked to leave Bar 51 before closing was like being asked to leave a dive bar before all your teeth have fallen out.

Since the night was cool, and I wasn't ready to go home, I decided to take a walk through midtown to the east side, where I could catch a train back to Astoria. I needed to calm down, and I thought the walk might burn off some of the alcohol that had ceased doing me any favors.

I walked up Ninth Avenue, then turned east of Fifty-seventh Street, along surprisingly empty sidewalks. As I crossed Fifth Avenue, thereby officially entering the east side, a group of equally drunken girls shouted catcalls at me, which at least put a smile back on my face.

It had not been my intention to return to the Penthouse, but, as I walked, I realized that was exactly what I was going to do. I was going to find Jamie, and take him in my arms and promise to protect him... to never let him go... to...

The blare of a taxi horn stopped me seconds before I would have been run down, and I leapt back to the sidewalk.

from Trust Fund Boys

Kensington Publishing Corp.
June, 2004

Buy it at Common Language Bookstore

What's this about? Click here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

50 EXCERPTS: #10

The next morning I took the subway one stop past my usual station and walked a few blocks out of my way to Fifth Avenue.

Hanover's Book Store wouldn't be open for another hour, but the window gates had already been rolled back up. I squinted at the displays in the row of windows lining Fifth Avenue but only saw the same old authors and the same old books set out to entice impulse buyers and window shoppers. Stephen King's latest; Jackie Collins's latest; a new collection of shorts by Garrison Keillor; the new unauthorized joint biography of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver; Doris Kearns Goodwin; Diana Gabaldon; Tom Clancy; Nelson DeMille...

I was about to leave, my anticipation unrewarded, when I thought I saw a familiar sight out of the corner of my eye. I strained against the glare of the sun off the plate-glass window and, sure enough, saw the cover of The Brewster Mall in the hands of a store employee, just as he was about to set the book on a wooden prop in the window.

And then he took away a Tom Clancy book. No, not just one Tom Clancy book... all the Tom Clancy books! One by one, as I stood in slack-jawed witness, he removed copies of the New York Times number-five best-seller from that valuable window space and then, when Clancy was gone, replaced the entire display with copies of The Brewster Mall. By Andrew Westlake. Me.

I decided that it was going to be a wonderful day.

I was wrong once again.

from The Night We Met

Kensington Publishing Corp.
September, 2002

Buy it at Now Voyager Bookstore & Gallery

What's this about? Click here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


If he ever thought about how he ended up doing what he did for a living, in an entirely alternative -- well, okay, illegitimate -- field, Grant would have been hard-pressed for an answer. But he seldom thought about it, so it didn't really matter. What mattered to him as each day drew to a close was that he was working, putting bread on the table, and... that was about it.

The handful of times he did think about it, he thought it was a mostly wrong but inescapable career path, to the extent that being a professional thief was a career. Which is certainly was, to him.

Growing up in a fading industrial city in southern New Jersey, close but not too close to Philadelphia, Grant watched the rich get richer and the more numerous poor get poorer. Just like the song promised, except without a catchy tune. That's why he had to get out of there. Not only was it no place to live as a gay man, it was no place to make a decent living, unless you were fortunate enough -- or lucky enough, which he figured was about the same thing -- to be one of those rich getting richer.

But it wasn't a Marxian appraisal of economic inequality -- not that he would know Karl from Zeppo from Richard -- that led Grant Lambert to his alternative economic lifestyle.

It was New York City.

from Straight Lies

Kensington Publishing Corp.
April, 2009

Buy it at Hastings

What's this about? Click here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Returning from the projection room after turning off the VCR, Jimmy had a tissue in his hand.

"Here," he said, and Noah took it. Jimmy leaned against the aisle chair across from Noah. "You saw The Glance?"

"I saw a lot of things," Noah said, grateful to feel Bart's arm reach around his shoulder. "But, yes, I saw The Glance."

"Well, first of all, don't listen to that asshole husband of mine. I can guarantee you that in just a few minutes he'll be locked in the bathroom, crying like a baby. He can be a bastard, but at least he's a sentimental bastard." Noah laughed. "And secondly, let it flow. It was a beautiful moment that led to the rest of our lives, and it's preserved forever on celluloid. That's sort of special, and if it's beautiful enough to make you cry a little bit, I think that's great."

Noah smiled, even though that made his head hurt even more. "Thanks, Jimmy."

Jimmy patted Noah, then Bart, on the shoulder. "I'm going to bed. Thanks for joining us for movie night."

They said their good nights. Then, when Jimmy was gone, Noah turned to Bart.

"You know what else?"

Bart smiled knowingly. "I think I know. They were young once. And now they're not." His hand squeezed Noah's shoulder. "I know, baby, I know."

from When the Stars Come Out

Kensington Publishing Corp.
September, 2006

Buy it at
Giovanni's Room

What's this about?
Click here.