Thursday, May 31, 2007


I figure it's about 3-1/2 hours until they announce the Lambda Literary Award winner for Best Gay Romance Novel. That's 3-1/2 hours I can use to get tips on the appropriate reaction from Faith.

Look for me tomorrow on YouTube.

No, there's no good headed my way. Don't worry; I'll never change.

But gay mystery writer Michael Nava -- who is also a prominent lawyer, lest you think 'mystery writer' is his only qualification -- is under serious consideration for a judicial appointment by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Very cool.

Go buy some of his books (which I highly recommend) and you can say you knew him when...

(Via The Agenda)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

All across Gay Writerland, the blogs are going dark and e-mail is going unanswered, as one by one the lowly yet semi-literate wretches begin making their way to Manhattan for the Lambda Literary Foundation's annual award ceremony.

Look! There's Greg Herren, flying up from New Orleans!

Look! Becky Cochrane and Timothy J. Lambert have packed up their VW bus and are now en route from Houston!

And look! Famous Author Rob Byrnes has just set sail from the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal on the West New York/Weehawken border! Talk about making a commitment to an award ceremony! How does he do it?

And not that I expect to win -- the list of Best Gay Romance finalists is, of course, the toughest category of them all -- but I was just reading Greg's blog and... what?!!! Winners are expected to say a few words? I don't remember that from last year! Then again, I wasn't nominated and I was sort of drunk, so I could have missed it.

Still, do you think this would be appropriate, just in case the judges have a Marissa Tomei moment?
"First, I wanted to thank God for being on my side and making this possible. Thank you, God! And you, too, Baby Jesus!

"I would also like to thank my agent, my editor, and my hair stylist. Oh -- and before I forget again, let me also thank my husband, Chad Lowe.

"But this moment isn't about me. This is about the children in Darfur, and other oppressed pockets of our nation. Until those dirty, unshaven children have books -- specifically, When the Stars Come Out -- to read, there will be no happiness in the world. Can you imagine the pain in their hearts on those dark days when they are logged onto their computers, reading my blog, and know that they don't have enough money to afford my book? It's sad, isn't it?

"If everyone could join hands for a moment, I'd like each of us to say a little prayer, so that some day, no child will grow up without his or her own signed copy of When the Stars Come Out.

"And now, if you'd all join me in singing The Lonely Goatherd..."

I think that sound appropriately heartfelt and reverential, don't you? And I really hope Christopher Bram and Edmund White are there, because rumor has it they're excellent yodelers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

...who insists I update this blog, even if I only add a kitty:

And, to answer the question you haven't asked, yes, I've been terribly busy. Don't expect much this week, because in addition to a month's worth of work, this is the week Book Expo America hits New York. Oh, and rumor has it that the Lambda Literary Awards will be held on Thursday night. Hmmm... I wonder if I know any finalists.

One last thing: this made me laugh out loud. RIP, 'Chuck.'

UPDATE: Hmm. The embedded file seems to be a problem, and I don't have time to screw around with it right now. So click here for all the Match Game Goodness.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I'm not one of those catty, partisan bloggers, so let me just congratulate Mary Cheney, Heather Poe, and David Crosby on the birth of little Samuel David. Mazel tov!

(Uh... if, that is, Dick and Lynne allow Jew-talk in front of the baby! If not, never mind.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Well, get used to it. I've been swamped at work, unusually socialable after hours, and -- in my spare time -- I've been doing quite a bit of writing.

By the way, in an e-mail exchange the other day Becky inadvertently gave me an idea for the Best. Title. Ever.

"Young, Pretty Gay Boys
Doing the Usual Things"

I'm going to have to write a book just to match the title. Eventually.

Okay, back to work. I just wanted to let you know I'm alive and breathing. Later, kids!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Note to self: in the future, when you pre-register for a writing conference, but then can't make it, call and make sure they don't make a name tag for you.

Otherwise, you are just asking for all kinds of abuse at the hands of your fellow writers. Seriously.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Because I am famous Famous, I am obviously connected to other Famous people. For the most part, I don’t abuse my connections on this blog, because it would be wrong to make you too envious of my fabulousness. However, every now and then I feel I should share with you, and now – as we prepare to enter the summer movie season – is one of those times.

Here’s what to look for in your friendly neighborhood twenty-plex over the next few months: a lot of remakes; specifically, a lot of Bogart remakes; a lot of Danny DeVito; a lot of Wanda Sykes; and a lot of stale popcorn with oh-so-nutritious butter-flavored topping.

And now, this blog’s feature presentation: the movies you’ll be shelling out your $12 for, as well as a Special Famous Author Rob Byrnes look into the future… because I am all about the spoilers, kids!



The Brilliant Concept:
“Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Smiles of a Summer Night’ re-imagined as… wait! Get this! A MUSICAL! From DISNEY!”
The Brilliant Casting:
No actual cast needed. Completely animated. Voice actors include Robin Williams, Angela Lansbury, Kathy Griffin, Wanda Sykes, and Harry Shearer.
And Then What Happened:
The Elton John/Tim Rice songs rocket ‘SMILES!’ to a $576 million box office take in its first six weeks of theatrical release, with billions more to come. Two Oscar nominations. Critics and audiences across the planet wonder why no one ever before thought of putting Bergman to music. Many tears are shed in the FARB, MAK, and David households.



The Brilliant Concept:
“This movie hasn’t been remade? You’re sure of that?”
The Brilliant Casting:
Julia Roberts as Margo; Matthew Perry as Bill (“Margo, could you BE any more paranoid?”); Ben Affleck as Lloyd; Anne Hathaway as Karen; Kirstin Dunst as Eve; Wanda Sykes as Birdie; Lindsay Lohan as Miss Caswell; and Jack Nicholson as Addison Dewitt. What could go wrong?
And Then What Happened:
Something went wrong. Roberts didn’t come across as old enough to play Margo; Perry lacked gravitas as Bill; Hathaway was far too young as Karen; and while people agreed that Nicholson was an ‘interesting’ choice to play the urbane, cold-blooded Addison Dewitt, they were troubled by the actor’s deviation from the original George Sanders model. Especially the heroin addiction and the excessive number of rape scenes. Especially the one in which he violated Affleck.



The Brilliant Concept:
“America’s top-rated pre-reality television show needs a big screen treatment!"
The Brilliant Casting:
“Jerry, congratulations. It was tough, but I finally got them to back away from Tim Allen.”
“Julia, I fought for you, but they cast Julianne Moore.”
“Jason, I fought for you, but they cast Danny DeVito.
“Michael, I… good to hear from you. Be well. Oh, and Jim Carrey got the part.”
With Philip Seymour Hoffman as ‘Newman.’
And Then What Happened:
Turns out that 127 minutes of nothing wasn’t what the public was clamoring for. Also, that bit about revealing Newman as a bisexual spree killer? Turns out it didn’t fit well with the whole ‘comedy’ concept, even though Hoffman won a Best Supporting Actor statuette for the role.



The Brilliant Concept:
It was a profitable franchise, but now it’s dead. Well, sure, so are Arthur, Martha, Linda, Linda’s father, Burt Johnson, Bitterman, and Hobson. In fact, everyone but Susan is dead… it’s the Arthur Curse! But the story can still be rebuilt around a brand new Arthur! What? Liza’s still alive? Okay, she can have a cameo.
The Brilliant Casting:
Hugh Grant as the new Arthur; Reese Witherspoon as the new, obscenely young Susan; Drew Barrymore as the new, quirky love interest; Queen Latifah as the new, sassy servant, ‘Hobsonette.’ Cameo by Liza as the new, quirky love interest’s new, quirky mother.
And Then What Happened:
Seems there really is an ‘Arthur Curse.’ Four months after release, the movie becomes a staple of HBO2, and within five years the entire cast is dead. Except Liza.



The Brilliant Concept:
Not the musical. No, this is a faithful remake of the 1950 classic. Except maybe with some explicit sex scenes. Okay, maybe a lot of explicit sex scenes.
The Brilliant Casting:
Offered to many actresses, who – although they always decry the lack of roles for actresses of a certain age – turn it down because the character is of a certain age. Margo Kidder finally cast as the crazed Norma Desmond and – hey – she's perfect! Who knew? Filling out the cast: Robert Downey Jr. as Joe Gillis, Bruce Willis as Max von Mayerling, Bryce Dallas Howard as Betty Schaefer, John Cusack as Artie Green, and Steven Spielberg as Himself... as in, "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Spielberg."
And Then What Happened:
In retrospect, someone probably should have seen the rampant drug use, alcohol abuse, and insanity coming. Fortunately, the quick-thinking producers changed the marketing concept – with only the most minor tweaks to the shot footage – and a few months later walked home with an Oscar for Best Documentary.



The Brilliant Concept:
“Americans today have forgotten the gut fear they had in the 1970s about tragedy in an obscenely tall building that’s burning out of control, putting the lives of first responders and private citizens alike at risk! What, oh what, can we do to remind them of the horror thirty years after we first Irwin Allen-ized them? I can't think of a single thing... except... a remake!"
The Brilliant Casting:
Paul Newman returns to the silver screen for the first time in six decades as the architect-with-a-heart who builds a 360-story building, but this time, heeding the late Steve McQueen’s warning, he installs sprinklers. Steve McQueen having gone ‘late’ in the intervening three decades, Harrison Ford is signed as the fire chief. Also starring Zach Braff, Jesse Metcalfe, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Martin Sheen, Edie Falco, Kate Jackson, those guys from the Harold and Kumar movies, Paul Dooley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, Wayne Knight, not Michael Richards, Judd Hirsch, Eileen Brennan, Gene Wilder, and David Hyde-Pierce as ‘The Prissy Corrupt Guy.’
And Then What Happened:
The days of the big-budget Hollywood slaughter are not over, despite the tanking of ‘Poseidon.’ The movie earns hundreds of millions of dollars and encourages the producers to remake ‘Earthquake.’ Oscar nominations to Falco (Best Supporting Actress, for her turn as The Prissy Corrupt Guy’s No-Nonsense Wife), Dooley (Best Supporting Actor, for his performance as The Veteran Actor Who You Think Might Be Dead But – Wait! -- There He Is!), and Jesse Metcalfe (Best Supporting Actor, for playing The Heroic Young Firefighter Who Rips Off His Shirt to Beat the Flames Off Kate Jackson).


MR. ED 2007

The Brilliant Concept:
“It’s like the Mr. Ed we remember from our childhoods – well, not me, but old people – except this time Mr. Ed not only speaks, he’s also entered in the Preakness! It’s like ‘talking horse-meets-Barbaro.’ In fact, we’re even thinking that Mr. Ed could break his leg, which would really add some pathos to the comedy!”
The Brilliant Casting:
Tim Allen as Wilbur; some horse as Mr. Ed; Robin Williams as The Voice of Mr.Ed.
And Then What Happened:
Mr. Ed immediately tanked at the box office, and a new Hollywood Truism emerged: audiences may like their talking horses, but they don’t want to see their talking horses get the Old Yeller treatment after breaking a leg in the Preakness.



The Brilliant Concept:
Another movie that was so brilliant it’s never been remade. So now is its time.
The Brilliant Casting:
The old gang is back! Michael Douglas is Rick! Danny DeVito is Renault! Kathleen Turner is… well, now she’s too old and moose-like to be Ilsa, but she’d be perfect in a cameo as some Casablancan bar whore. With Catherine Zeta-Jones as Ilsa; Sacha Baron Cohen as Victor Laszlo; and Anthony Hopkins as Major Strasser. Oh, and Taye Diggs as Sam, because he played the role so well in 'Chicago.'
And Then What Happened:
Despite having to endure a six-minute scene of the old, moose-like Turner in a negligee as she’s tortured by Hopkins’s Strasser, and Baron Cohen’s unfortunate lapse into his Borat character when leading the refugees in La Marseillaise, this movie is so wildly popular with the public that a sequel is planned. In ‘Casablanca 2: The Jewel of the Amazon,’ Rick, Renault, Ilsa, and the old, moose-like Casablancan prostitute travel to South America in search of riches and adventure. The release date is scheduled for Fall, 2008.



The Brilliant Concept:
The Maltese Falcon for Generation Why: “Sam Spade in San Francisco circa 2007. Same plot; just with more car chases and fisticuffs!”
The Brilliant Casting:
Harrison Ford as Sam Spade; Kevin Spacey as Joel Cairo; Val Kilmer as Kaspar Gutman; Winona Ryder as Brigid O’Shaughnessy; Matt Damon as Wilmer; Kevin Kline as Miles Archer; and Wanda Sykes as Effie.
And Then What Happened:
When the dust settled, the lion’s share of the blame went to the word ‘Maltese,’ which was considered too confusing for audiences. Also, a sizable number of ticket-buyers thought they were going to see a movie about a new superhero. Also, a lot of people thought that it was inappropriate and unnecessary to show Spacey and Damon in bed. Also, the movie really, really sucked.



The Brilliant Concept:
“So, Paul Newman is back as Gondorff and ready to get his revenge on… oh, I didn’t know that, sir. My condolences to the Newman family. Anyway, so… uh, Redford is back as Hooker and they’re gonna… Oh… Yeah, the sands of time march on, don’t they…”
The Brilliant Casting:
Will Ferrell as Henry Gondorff; Adam Sandler as Johnny Hooker; Danny DeVito as Doyle Lonnegan. With Wanda Sykes as 'Wanda.'
And Then What Happened:
A $76 million opening weekend; mass suicide by film critics, with the exception Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, who gives it four stars; a sequel immediately put into production with Jimmy Fallon and Randy Quaid already added to the cast.



The Brilliant Concept:
Twenty-one years later, all the spirit has been beaten out of teen hero Ferris. Can a road trip with his high school pals snap him out of it? Or are they all condemned to a lonely, depressing, middle-class existence?
The Brilliant Casting:
Matthew Broderick returns as the now-fortyish Ferris: doughy, chronically depressed, impotent, and dominated by his alpha-female wife (Sarah Jessica Parker). Also returning: Alan Ruck as his suicidal pal Cameron, who is still lovably suicidal after all these years; Mia Sara as former-girlfriend-now-lesbian Sloane; Jennifer Grey as his bitter, hyper-rival sister; and Jeffrey Jones as former principal Ed Rooney, who was fired and jailed after getting busted by Dateline’s ‘To Catch a Predator.’ With Ben Stein as ‘Economics Teacher.’
And Then What Happened:
Critics love the final scene, when Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane pull a ‘Thelma and Louise,’ but audiences are less charmed. Still, the movie does decently at the box office and is especially popular in Sweden, where, as of this writing, the cast has now been asked to film a remake of ‘Smiles of a Summer Night’…


And there you have it. Ladies and gentlemen, the Golden Age of Cinema is clearly not in our past. It is in our future.

See you at the movies.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Oh look! Someone else is doing some QueertyWatching.

Of course, the source of Michael Lucas's ire is, at its heart, intensely personal (as opposed to my less focused contempt for Queerty's very existence), but when anyone else wants to jump in, they're welcome.

I can always find another hobby. Oh, BratBoy!!!

UPDATE: From the mailbag comes a note from Queerty Publisher David Hauslaib:
I thought you might be interested in reading this response:

Not that you need to post it, but if you're going to discuss one side of this matter, I thought it appropriate to make you aware of the other.
Well, there you have it. Never let it be said that Famous Author Rob Byrnes is not fair and balanced.

But... poor boy. He seems to be under the misimpression that I'm on someone's 'side'... that one is either with Lucas or Queerty. It's funny that Michael Lucas's column rattled his cage, but it's quite sad that it took that to put Queerty in a defensive posture. Clearly, he is unaware that a huge number of people consider his web site an immature, semi-literate joke.

But... whatever. He took the time to e-mail, so I'm happy to take the time to share.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Most of this tearful condemnation of the sentence handed down to Paris Hilton is the usual Mensa-quality insight one usually finds on that blog 'school.' But I would be remiss if I didn't share one particularly thoughtful sentence with you:
There will be no opportunities to leave the jail and work a job.
This is especially important because --

Bwahahahahahahahahaha! Okay, sorry! That's not important at all. I was cracking up that he thinks she might have have sort of job, and I needed to share.

I know, I know. I'm being greedy. I get Queerty, and Zac is supposed to get that blog 'school.' We now return you to the normal rotuine.

As you should know by now, I spent my first 14 years of chronological adulthood working for the New York State Assembly. And even though my employment ended effective December 31, 1996, once you've been immersed in Albany, a part of it stays with you. That's why I read the Albany Times-Union's Capitol Confidential blog on a close-to-daily basis... because even though a lot of the players have changed over the past decade, the game remains the same.

One of the highlights in Albany is the annual Legislative Correspondents' Association show, in which the media mocks the political establishment and the politicians mock themselves... if they know what's good for them. Thankfully, people have uploaded some clips from last weekend's show to YouTube, and I have to share.

But I have to apologize in advance, because they're a bit, um, 'insidery.' If you don't know that Governor Eliot Spitzer is a self-descibed 'steamroller' with a take-no-prisoners approach to governing, and that he's bitterly and publicly feuded with most of the people in the following clip, it probably isn't very funny. So you'll just have to take my word that it's hysterical:

As for the next few clips, here's some quick background information: last year, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi got himself in trouble when it was discovered that state employees were being used to chauffeaur his wife (and one of his aides also chauffeured actress Peggy Lipton... yes, New York State politics can be strange.) Hevesi was unsuccessfully challenged last November by Republican Chris Callaghan, but was nevertheless forced to resign in January. (His replacement was Democrat Tom DiNapoli, despite Spitzer's best efforts; see 'The Coutship of Eddie's Father' segment in the above clip.)

At the LCA show, Callaghan got his revenge. Too bad he didn't show this much humor on the campaign trail last fall; he might be Comptroller today. First, Chris Callaghan sings 'If I Were Comptroller'...

Then, he gives us his take on some other Albany topics:

Ah... I miss that place sometimes...

Oh, look at our friends at Queerty! A gay man was murdered, and here's how they sensitively covered it! (emphasis mine)
Body of Missing 'Mo Found


An autopsy of Walker's badly decomposed body shows that died of a stab wound to the chest. Hardly the penetration he expected when he logged onto that website. But, sadly, one we're hearing off all too often. If only people could relate face-to-face. What a wonderful - and potentially less scary - the world would be...
I'm really embarrassed for them. Or, as they would put it, 'em-BARE ASSED' lol!!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

I, for one, am glad that the Associated Press is asking the hard-hitting questions that will allow the American public to make an informed decision on which man or woman should be their next president.

Keep the press free! We have a right to know!!

Or, the fabulousness of the writing life.

Or, when you search for your own name, don't be surprised at what you find.

It was a quiet, impoverished weekend at the Byrnes Estate, so -- while I got some solid writing done (and YAY for that!) -- I had a lot of time to kill on the Intertubes. For some reason, Google has stopped working on my home computer (as has the Blogger log-in page, aka Son of Google), so, in an effort to satisfy my egomania, I searched for my name on Amazon.

I shouldn't have done that.

Among the things I learned was that I am approximately 150 years old, or maybe merely 60-something; and that my most recent novel -- according to Jeff Herman's Guide, is titled "When the Stars Corse Out." I was slightly relieved to discover that the title error is not, in fact, in Herman's book -- blame the mystical robotic Amazon scanners for that error -- but still I was having all kinds of Rodney Dangerfield moments.

Oh, and also? Rachel Spencer? Yeah, the girl is still getting credit for my book. I'm sure she's as happy about that as I am.

And speaking of The Night We Met, a reader posted a new review on my (and Rachel's) Amazon page for the book, and wrote:
Reading it I would occassionally imagine it as a movie, or even as a yaoi manga.
You know, quite coincidentally I hold all contractual rights to yaoi manga versions of the story. Also on action figures. Who says my agent and I can't negotiate a good contract?

Penultimately, I have some bad news. I won't be able to make Saints & Sinners next weekend after all. I was really looking forward to it, but -- with the recent move and a few other financial matters that had to be dealt with -- I realized last week that I would have to pull the plug. That sucks, but I guess there is always next year. However, you can still find me at the end of the month at the Lambda Literary Awards and Book Expo America.

In other writer-related news, you really have to go to Becky Cochrane's site and read this. I don't want to discourage anyone from writing, but -- as other commenters pointed out -- Becky's comments should be required reading for everyone with aspirations, and should be force-fed to every asshole who thinks writing is easy.

That is all.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Behold The Hoff!

Also, shut the fuck up, you nagging little girl!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

After only ten short weeks as a New Jersey resident, I am already ranked third by Google for people searching for 'very very famous people from new jersey.' Not just 'very famous,' mind you, but 'very very famous.'

There should be a rest stop named after me any day now...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

An adoptee discovers the truth about his biological father, and Parade magazine makes me do all the work!
Talbert’s mother is an actress working in educational theater for at-risk kids, and his father starred on TV's The A-Team and Battlestar Galactica.
Oh, come on, Parade! You can't even throw some initials out there, for all the poor Parade readers with bad memories and no Google access? I'm sorry, but that's just cruel.

At least Wikipedia is already up to date. 'Youthful relationship'... heh.


2007: not the kindest year for the kids from "To Tell the Truth."

Am I the only one who sees a conspiracy here? If I were Polly Bergen, I think I'd be very, very careful...