Yeah, it’s been a strange time. Conning Colin, to both my and my publisher’s surprise, tanked at the box office. I was sure as sure can be that, well, you know. It’s my best work, it’s a sparkling romantic comedy, when your straight male publisher loves it I mean you know it’s good…
So. I can’t help but try and run an autopsy. I know that some readers and reviewers were confused by the multiple facades of Henry / Hamilton / Dillinger, that it wasn’t apparent to them that all three were the same person. I thought it was perfectly clear and so did many readers, but, what can you do?
I know that I committed a cardinal sin in fucking with trope. That is, there’s a trope where the “high class escort” who’s all Christian Grey and shit is the MC and that’s how I intro’d Henry… only to blow that out of the water by the end of the second chapter, revealing him to be not Hamilton Dillon, Rich Elegant Escort, but Henry Davis, an ordinary, Ben and Jerry’s loving dude, who could wear his faded Mets shirt and (in my perpetual finger to Tim Gunn) his cargo shorts every day forever. So people who wanted the Pringle felt misled when it turned out I was giving them a Kettle Chip instead.
And there’s the potential baggage that I brought to it. I certainly haven’t held my tongue on the whole Kindle Alexander “I Identify as a Gay Man” kerfuffle, and made a lot of enemies there. And I spoke up about Nikola Haken’s portrayal of a bipolar MC, written with as little research and respect to those of us who are bipolar as one could give a “dark secret” plucked out of a Disease of the Week hat. So I’ve made a lot of enemies, among writers and readers, but So It Goes.
And, you know, maybe I was just wrong about people being sick of Dark Secrets and Old Wounds and being ready for some romcom.
Conning Colin is GOOD. Like, It’s Just As Good If Not Better Than Most Of What Publishers Row Puts Out Good. And it’s certainly disheartening when your best work, put in the hands of someone who’s an ace at sales and marketing and promotion… dies on the vine anyway.
So… Yeah. I would be panicking but, if you recall, when researching Marc and Jesse’s Bitcoin Adventure, I got into cryptocurrency, and I’ve put some $ in it, and I’m not rich (I know, said every rich fuck ever), but with what I’ve made, the wolf can be held from the door for about six months, more if the Ethereum currency Ether keeps going up up up…
I’m really not sure where I’m going next, creatively. I’ve set aside my Hollywood novel, and… well, all my gayrom ideas. I’ve restarted work on Game Theory to finish out Marc and Jesse’s trilogy with a bang, but, you know, maybe that’s it for me in gayrom.
If there’s no money in it, if the constant psychodrama in the genre is a lose-lose situation for anyone who stands up to bullshit, if my best work ever can’t get in to the top 20… Right? Why keep beating my head against the wall?
The Ether $ (all on paper, and so volatile it could vaporize like its namesake overnight) give me a few months to recalibrate. I’m finishing up my short filmmaking class, and I’m AD on our last short film, starting Monday. I’m in with the In Crowd in local filmmaking, and I’m even going to a pitch meeting Saturday to pitch my short script ideas to local directors. I just auditioned for a role in a real, honest to God feature film, shooting here in Reno, and I think I done did good. I got into the top 10% of Reddit’s 2017 screenwriting competition, with my first screenplay. So all those opportunities are opening up for me, even as the gayrom door closes.
And cryptocurrency is the Wild West. It’s like 1987, when I moved to SF, and was the only admin/temp in the city, pretty much, who knew how to use a PC. So I made good money training, holding the hands of secretaries as their DisplayWriters were carted off and they had to learn WordPerfect. Everyone coming out of college had been working on mainframes, and so my merely high-school-educated self made bank with a skill set few other people had at the time, and got jobs that were generally cordoned off for The Accredited – but The Accredited couldn’t do them.
I’m not a programmer, but I’m a power user, and a trainer, and I do a mean instructional video. So there are a lot of golden opportunities in crypto right now, that make me feel a lot younger than my 5oCOUGH years.
I always want to write, to create stories, but… hey. If gayrom is no longer a place I can make a living doing that, other doors are opening…