Friday, August 31, 2007

This has been coming for a few months now, but I have finally reached the point where I need to step away for a week. I have always been a creature of habit, but since Memorial Day or so I've been locked in a cycle where each day seems to repeat itself... and, frankly, I am fried.

Don't worry; everything is fine. I'm just burned out in every direction -- work, writing, home -- and I need a few days to myself for some R&R. After my batteries are recharged, I'll plunge back into blogging, writing, work, romance, and my social life with some renewed enthusiasm. Or so goes the plan.

Maybe I'll pop in if I'm inspired, but don't count on it. Keep checking back, though, and remember to play Triviality... a new game for September starts on Monday! (Oh, and congratulations to Dexter for his one-sided victory in August's game. Bitch. The rest of us are going to catch up to you one of these days.)

Have a great Labor Day!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007



Coming less than twelve full months after my last appearance on your airwaves, I just taped an interview to be aired at some point tomorrow afternoon between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM on Radio Gay Today, heard on WVOX (1460 AM) based in Westchester County, NY.

And I have good news for those of you who aren't in Westchester County. The WVOX web site offers a live feed. How cool is that?

So tune in and hear me discuss my books and Larry Craig! Consider it my Labor Day gift to you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

In the future, maybe I should try to be more realistic when I dream of getting away from it all...

That, or opt for an airport more than 80 miles away.

Honestly! Gawker should know better! There is only one capital-F capital-A Famous Author (let alone Famous Gay Author) on teh Intertubes, and you are reading his blog.

Maybe I'll sue.

I think emphatically non-homosexual Matt Drudge, who is very much not gay, is having a bit too much fun punning on the Senator Larry Craig situation:

What, no I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry Craig? Drudge really needs to work harder at this.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Good news, everyone. If this is 'Top News' to the Associated Press, I think that means that war, pestilence, and all those other bothers have been vanquished.

[PS: This means that I've finally taught myself how to capture screen shots. But I promise to try to use this gift for good, not evil. Mostly.]

This should come as no surprise, but I'm not a very spiritual person. I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church back in the 1960s, but over the past thirty years my church attendance has been restricted to weddings, funerals, baptisms, and community meetings at someone else's house of worship of choice.

(By the way, I am reasonably sure there can not be a God, because, if there were, he would not have invented that stupid 'sign of peace' greeting that forces you to shake hands with random strangers when you really want to be left alone. Not that I get all weirded out about it or anything, but... really!)

Despite my lack of faith, I am not unfamiliar with church etiquette. I can still fake my way through Episcopalian and Roman Catholic services, and have even made it through more than a few of those marathon fundamentalist services, because politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows. But hard as this is to believe, in almost a half-century of life, I had never been to a Jewish funeral.

Until yesterday.

Regrettably, the father of one of my closest friends passed away early this week, and yesterday was the funeral service. I couldn't not be there, so after driving for more than an hour to reach a funeral home that was 25 minutes away (New Jersey highways are confusing) I arrived just as the service was about to begin.

Which is when Crisis #1 hit. I noted that all the men in the foyer were putting on yarmulkes as they entered the chapel, and I... well, I hadn't thought about that. But even if one doesn't believe, one should respect the practices and traditions of the believers, so I grabbed a yarmulke from the pile on the table near the guest book and entered the chapel, taking a seat in the back row.

Which is when Crisis #2 hit, and I realized that a sizable minority of the men at the service were not, in fact, wearing yarmulkes. I had been misled by the late arrivals! And now I -- a lapsed Episcopalian (if that's even possible) -- was sitting in the chapel wearing a yarmulke and probably disrespecting the Jewish faith! Or so went my thought process. After a few minutes, when I was sure no one was looking, I slid the yarmulke off my head and tucked it in the breast pocket of my suit.

Which leads us to Crisis #3: it was only when I got home that I realized I still had the yarmulke in my possession. And I have no idea if I was supposed to return the yarmulke that I took but probably wasn't supposed to wear and didn't anyway. So on top of everything else, I might be guilty of the misdemeanor of Yarmulke Theft in the Third Degree.

From now on, I think I should just send a sympathy card.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Think of this as 'Book News, Part 4.'

It is not too early to pre-order the paperback version of When the Stars Come Out. Seriously. Visit your local bookseller or click on one of the links below.

Can there possibly be a better holiday gift for each member of your circle of friends and family? Romance... humor... praise from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, among others... not to mention the fact that it won a Lambda Literary Award! Mom and Grandma will love it. So will Dad and your boyfriend and funny Uncle Pete. Not to mention your boss and your rabbi. And they will all love you even more for being thoughtful enough to give them When the Stars Come Out.*

So click a link and give the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving. Or else I'll have to go into 'hard-sell' mode.

Barnes & Noble
Pre-Order Trade Paperback
Order Hardcover

Pre-Order Trade Paperback
Order Hardcover

Lambda Rising
Pre-Order Trade Paperback
Order Hardcover

Pre-Order Trade Paperback
Order Hardcover

You can also find your other favorite independent bookstores on line.
Visit Booksense to find an independent near you.
(I am sure I'll again be listing everyone in the near future.)

One more thing: if you want a book autographed with a personal message (e.g., "Dear Tuna Girl's Rabbi...") all you have to do is shoot me an e-mail, and I'm there for you. We're in this together, kids!

* Disclaimer: not responsible for adverse reactions to the F-word.

I should probably wait until the paperwork is signed and the advance check is in the mail, but -- because I'm me -- instead I'm going to prematurely announce that Kensington Publishing has agreed to publish a fourth Famous Author Rob Byrnes novel.

Now you just have to wait for an undetermined release date in 2009.

We're taking a few chances here. This isn't going to be the standard gay comic romance that I've written in the past. Oh, it will still be 'comic' and 'gay' enough, but this time out I'm writing about a hapless criminal gang -- the twist being that the members are gay men and lesbians -- who fall into what they think will be easy money. Complications, of course, ensue.

So that's good news, although I regret the three-year gap between books. Which is my fault, by the way, not Kensington's.

Which leads us to:

The timing problem was two-fold. First, I burned myself out finishing When the Stars Come Out early last year, and took over a year to get a new proposal to Kensington. Since the publication schedule is set well in advance, I completely locked myself out of 2008. Second, in the interim I struggled with my 'Big Book' idea -- you know, the cross-over novel that will make me rich and famous -- but couldn't fully wrap my head around it. Ultimately, when The Big Book is ready to be written, that thought process will prove valuable. But it cost me time I could have used to develop a more viable proposal and get a book on the shelves in 2008.

Whatever. I intend to live another couple of decades -- maybe more, when robot livers are finally invented -- so there will be time to get all of this on paper.

But I realized that I need to develop a strategic plan for my writing career. While I realize that quitting my day job is not a realistic goal, I should still have an organized approach to put titles on shelves (and in anthologies), and keep the Rob Byrnes brand name, if you will, alive.

You might think that sounds stupid, but it really isn't. An author's name is like any other commodity. As hard as it is to break into this business -- and there are few things harder -- the one-hit wonders are quickly forgotten. Some people have been after me to write a book per year, but I can't; between the day job and the writing I'd burn myself out on both ends. One book every two years, though, is possible. So my agent and I are going to put our heads together and set benchmarks for the next phase of my career.

Speaking of getting my name out:

I am a bad self-promoter. Seriously. Mostly because I can be on the shy side with people I don't know, and also because I am always convinced that, in their eyes, neither I nor my work measures up to expectations. Yeah, I know... you wouldn't think I'd have those insecurities, but even when I force them under the surface, they're there.

But the cliche is true: the books don't sell themselves. That's why I am setting my discomfort aside and hitting the road in November, when When the Stars Come Out is re-released in trade paperback.

Patrick and I have been contacting bookstores throughout the northeast -- everything from Washington DC to Boston is in play -- and, although the going is slower than I had hoped it would be, I should be able to announce a full schedule of bookings within the next few weeks. (If you want me to come to your city, drop me an e-mail and I'll see what I can do.)

One stop is firmed up, though:

Rochester, NY
Barnes & Noble
Pittsford Store
3349 Monroe Avenue
Saturday, November 24
7:00 PM
Reading & Signing

Meaning... yes, I will be home for Thanksgiving.

So... this should bring you up-to-date on the exciting life and times of a Famous Author. Glamorous, isn't it? And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A quick photo for those of you who think I have never done anything physical in my life:
The Great Bocce Tournament of 2007. With beverages, of course, because an athlete must stay hydrated.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Where in the world was Famous Author Rob Byrnes?

Thanks for asking. As a matter of fact, I just returned from a long weekend in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, at the getaway home of a close friend. Just me, that friend, and eight or nine of our favorite borderline alcoholics.

Fools on a Hill

While there, we:

* stayed up far too late
* built numerous bonfires
* drank all of Northeast Pennsylvania's supply of vodka and wine (see above)
* got far too carried away with LOLspeak (see above)
* played bocce
* managed to lose a bright yellow bocce ball in the forest
* saw wildlife
* ate wildlife
* almost drove a power boat into an island
* laughed a bit too hard about things you could never understand unless you were there
* laughed at the expense of people who weren't there... as well as ourselves
* and, best of all...
...relaxed, happy to be away from the noise and hustle of our normal Manhattan-centric lives.

Oh, it wasn't all fun and games, of course. For example, at one point I laughed so hard that I swallowed a piece of sausage before it had been properly chewed, necessitating my friend Steven to demonstrate his recent Heimlich training. (I have got to stop doing that.) But we could even turn that into a running joke for the weekend... although I have no doubt they would have joked about it even if no one knew the Heimlich Maneuver.

Good times.

Of course, reality has once again intruded, but we'll always have the memories of the weekend now known as Dougapalooza.

All in all, that's not a bad trade-off.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Because I give and give and give to you people, my loyal readers and minions, I am adding a new semi-regular feature to this blog. Mostly because I promised to do so when I recently wrote a number of bookstore managers and buyers to thank them for their vital support. In my tasteful hand-written notes, I also asked them to contact me if I could help promote events at their stores, and I'm delighted that the responses have started.

First up is A Different Light in West Hollywood, where the legendary Margaret Cho will be signing copies of her new DVD, Bam Bam & Celeste. Jot down the who/where/when and tell them that Famous Author Rob Byrnes sent you (and suggest that maybe Margaret would like a copy of When the Stars Come Out, if you think of it).

Who: Margaret Cho

Where: A Different Light Bookstore; 8853 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069

When: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Go! No excuses.

Direct from the intersection in front of my office, taken personally with my very own sucky camera-phone:

The manholes are asplodin' all over Midtown Manhattan. Unlike the last time you had the opportunity, you can express concern for my safety in the comments. Or by wiring me money.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. The New York heat and humidity have pretty much driven every ounce of energy from my body. I am sluggish and uninspired and can barely be bothered to drink. Hopefully, this phase will pass very soon.

But, because I haven't completely flatlined, I have a question that I hope one of you can answer: what, exactly, is a 'life-sized' representation of a cartoon character? Four inches? Twelve feet?

Okay, I'm turning myself off again while you ponder that. Bye.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My boyfriend will probably support this, if only because he's tired of suffering alone.

Get it? 'One Way'? Get it?

Ahhhh... never mind. Just read the article.

(via Fark)

I'm, uh... speechless.