Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'll see you there, right?

Rob Byrnes: Straight Lies
Reading & Signing
Food, Drink, Byrnes!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Gallery 50
50 Wilmington Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE

Don't make me beg.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


OMG! OMG! OMG! [Do you feel the irony?]

This guy makes our friends at Queerty sound like brain surgeons.

Nature hates a vacuum, so this is what eventually had to happen when Brat Boy disappeared... Zac?! Time to get busy!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


For the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be too busy to maintain this blog in the manner to which you've become accust--

Oh, hell, who am I fooling? I'm trying to be a better blogger again! But micro-updates on Facebook and Twitter are easier. Forgive me! I'll get back into it soon.

But not for another few weeks. In the meantime, here are a few (relatively short) things on my mind. Because when you're old, like I am Billy Hufsey is, you turn into Andy Rooney and Larry King. (You think I mock? Well, yes... but I'd trade my dignity for their income any day.)

Oh, and -- here's some irony for you -- each item is short, but cumulatively it adds up to one long-ass entry. Still, I have to grab my free half-hours when I can get them. Anyway...


Yesterday's coup in Albany was sort of bad for the Democrats, but probably won't have much impact on the Marriage Equality bill. Frankly (and with hope that I am wrong), I never saw this as its year. Marriage equality will come to the Empire State soon, but not, I think, in the 2009-2010 session.

Again, I hope I'm wrong, but I worked there for 14 years... which, for the uninitiated, is an obscenely long time for a staff member. I may not have been smart enough to cash in on my career when the going was good, but I'm smart enough to know how Albany works.

In any event gay marriage will rise or (most likely) fall on its support among the elected members of the Senate; not because Malcolm Smith or Dean Skelos is running the chamber.

Still, it's fascinating how the Democrats manage to screw things up over and over and over again. My former employer -- a member of the State Assembly Democratic leadership, circa the late '80s and early '90s -- used to say that New York State Democrats only know one formation for a firing squad: a circle. True that.


After a zillion years on a keyboard -- badly on a keyboard, but nevertheless on a keyboard -- I was only recently clued in that Shift-Enter made a line-break. Now I can't stop doing it.


This is ironic, considering I just sat on a panel at the Saints & Sinners conference on writing while holding down a day job. During the discussion, I said that I was only starting to "come out" as a writer to people I'm associated with professionally, despite the four novels I've had published while I've held the job. I'd never exactly hidden the writing, but I thought the type of admittedly light fiction I write would reflect on my 9-to-5 professional(-ish) persona.

Over the years, of course, many people caught on. Which isn't a surprise when you write and 9-to-5 under the same name (I seldom even use "Robert" at work.) Not a big deal either; I've had a chance to prove myself professionally since 2002, so I have a deep comfort level these days.

Or so I thought. Until a week ago, when my "work" City Council Member friended me (and when did "friend" become a verb?) on Facebook. Followed a few days later by my "work" State Assemblymember. And God only knows who's next.

I accepted the friend requests without comment, but I hope that they realize they've become friends with Famous Author Rob Byrnes, not 9-to-5 Rob Byrnes. If not, well... I'll ply them with many martinis and snap embarassing photos, because that's how FARB handles these potentially awkward situations. Online, I am FARB, and people have to deal with that.


When I went to put my contact lenses in on Saturday morning, my right one wasn't in the case. After a quick and unsuccessful inspection of the bathroom, I figured it had fallen into the sink and was gone. So I wore glasses all weekend.

On Monday morning I found it dried out and stuck to a towel. I put it in the case with some solution and, 15 minutes later, it more or less came back to life. Now I can wear contacts again.

Note that none of this would have come close to approaching a crisis if I had picked up my prescription three months ago and had a few replacement pairs in stock. But the moral here is that this blog isn't my only form of procrastination.


Remember I'll be in Rehoboth Beach in two weeks. June 27, to be precise. Details here. Please come.

And I'll be making my virgin appearance at Atlanta's OutWrite Bookstore on July 13. I have heard nothing but good about Philip Rafshoon and his OutWrite peeps, but I also don't want to be reading alone. So be there!

And this is good news! Straight Lies is the best-selling book right now at InsightOut Book Club! Join the club, discover some great LGBT(QI -- heh heh) writers, and get Straight Lies as an exlusive hardcover. What! is not to love?

Okay, one last thought on this. If I squeeze my pennies until they drip copper blood, I might be able to go to San Francisco in August. Listen, I know I'll never sell enough books to make my trip worth it financially, but that's not the point. Still, I don't want to fly 3,000 miles if I'm reading to air. I know NDT thinks this a good idea (yes, NDT; we are the Odd Couple of the blogosphere), but does anyone else agree?


I need to manscape. Or at least trim my eyebrows. Before they look like, well... Andy's or Larry's.


OMG! My glass is not half-full. Nor is it half-empty! It's ALL EMPTY!!

Okay, thanks folks! Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


So I'm reading this article about a rip-off of J. D. Salinger when I come to this:

Author "John David California" said the message was described as a Caulfield-style tribute to a "great inspiration."
"John David California"? What?!

From my novel Trust Funds Boys:

"So who's the guy with Jeffrey Ryan?"

"That," he said, "is John Jacob Venezuela. He has a gossip column in Haute Manhattan which is just about the first thing everyone reads when the magazine comes out. If there is social dirt to dish, he dishes it."
"John David California"... "John Jacob Venezuela"... coincidence? Oh, hell no! I know when I'm being ripped off.

Oh... er... pay no attention to this. That was pure coincidence. *coff*


Hmm. Once again, I've realized after the fact that my promotional efforts are a bit scattershot. So for those of you not on my mailing list, read this June update and know All Things FARB. (And how do you get on my mailing list? Simply: just e-mail me.)


Hello, peoples! Happy Monday or Happy June... take your pick! (You picked "Happy June," didn't you. Because almost no one likes Mondays. The exception being Michael Thomas Ford. Go figure.)

Just a few quick updates for you, as well as a Special Guest Perspective on why it's important that you patronize your local independent bookseller (and with which I wholeheartedly agree.) First, though, the updates. Because you need the latest news on Straight Lies and my other novels, or else you will be very, very sad.

Rehoboth Beach, DE; Saturday, June 27, 7:00 PM -- 9:00 PM
I'll be reading and signing at Gallery 50 Contemporary Art, 50 Wilimington Avenue
I expect to see everyone in the Washington-Baltimore-Philadelphia vicinity that weekend. Don't make me think you're avoiding me...

Atlanta, GA; Monday, July 13, 7:30
I'll be reading and signing at OutWrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 991 Piedmont Avenue
At this event, I'd better see everyone from south of Virginia and east of the Mississippi. Hey, I am flying a long way; the least you can do is show up.

Hmm. I just noticed that my website ( is already out of date. I'll fix that right away (meaning, when I get a chance.) In the meantime, you can still read my blog, become my Facebook friend, and -- brand new! -- follow me on Twitter. (Too much of a good thing? Naaaah.)

The Saints & Sinner Literary Festival in New Orleans was fantastic, and I met a lot of great people (and got to see many of my favorites again.) It's hard to think of a single highlight... there were too many of them. But let's just say that the long nightly poolside get-togethers with my friends Becky Cochrane, Timothy J. Lambert, Jeff Ricker, David Puterbaugh, 'Nathan Burgoine, Greg Herren, and assorted spouses and friends made the weekend extra special. (And you should be reading their work, too.) At the end of the month, I attended the Lambda Literary Awards ceremony, where -- despite my best efforts -- I was unable to steal any awards. But I did get to meet writers Bill Konigsberg (a Lammy winner for Out of the Pocket) and Drew Ferguson (a finalist for The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second), which sort of made up for it.

New book alerts: my friend Frank Anthony Polito's new novel Drama Queers! has just been released! Frank's Band Fags! was one of my favorite books of 2008, so don't miss the new one. Also new: Monday-lover Michael Thomas Ford's What We Remember. Both books are from Kensington Publishing.

Earlier in the month, I had an interesting e-mail exchange with Ed Hermance of Philadelphia's LGBT independent bookstore, Giovanni's Room. Long story short: I asked Ed to put some thoughts together on why we should all be patronizing our independent bookstores, and he sent me the following. I urge you to read it. This is important.

Dear Friends,

Everyone knows that bookstores are in trouble: people don't read as much, in tight times everyone needs to buy at the cheapest price, e-books may catch on and there's so far no role for bookstores in selling e-books, people think they can't buy from local stores via the internet, people spend so much money of technology that they don't have any left for books and movies.

Are there any reasons to buy from a gay bookstore?

A gay store often has a staff of dedicated professionals who have worked with gay materials for many years. In the case of Giovanni's Room, which is my store, the staff has more than a hundred years' experience with lesbian, gay, bi, and trans books and movies. Customers can bring up the most shadowy information for a book or movie they want, and we can often turn the request into a sale or an order. Recently a woman was looking for information that would provide the context for the play she was writing about two African American lesbian teens in love in Greenwich Village in the late 1950s. We were able to produce a stack of ten or so books that bore directly on the subject.

Similarly our experience gives us the best chance to recommend books that you might like. You tell us what you have liked, and we will give you our informed suggestions of what you might to read next.

A regular customer has the advantage of seeing the full range of new books and movies in our subjects and can conveniently survey them in a few minutes. Gay stores assess the gay content of materials in a much more intense and informed way than general booksellers, bricks-and-mortar variety or online. If you want to see what's new, you need to depend on a gay bookseller, online or off.

Your local economy affects your life profoundly. Supporting a local store means that more of your dollars stay in the community where you live. Local stores hire local people, pay local taxes, and pay attention to local interests and concerns. Buying locally reduces your carbon footprint by stopping the long-distance hauling that some imagine is the future of retail business.

Your bookstore probably hosts a number of events, usually readings, each year. Readings can foster a sense of community, even of a transnational community.
A local appearance gives you topnotch, free entertainment-a chance to meet some of the most creative people alive.

Gay stores are perfectly capable of getting you any book available. All booksellers buy from the same sources, so we can buy anything any other online or off line retailer can buy. If you buy every book and movie from an lgbt store, you are increasing its ability to sustain a deeper lgbt inventory.

Thanks, Ed. I couldn't have said it better myself (which, come to think of it, is why I made you write it!)

That's all for this update. Now go make your travel arrangements for Rehoboth and Atlanta!