Barry Brennessel — Mystery, Romance, Suspense & Humo(u)r



Available soon!

When his father leaves Thái Nguyên City for the northernmost reaches of French Indochina, Bùi Vân Minh must shoulder new responsibilities to help keep the family afloat. His mother’s blindness and his uncle’s caustic personality add to the young man’s challenges.

A chance meeting with a captivating youth, Ngô Công Thao, throws Minh’s life off-kilter in a most exciting and confounding way.

The young men soon discover their feelings for one another transcend mere friendship. But the struggles under French colonial rule and the effects of the Great War alter their lives to a degree they never could have imagined.

This novella expands and significantly develops a story that first appeared in the highly acclaimed anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES. The author’s screenplay adaptation of the story received an honourable mention and was a finalist in the 15th annual American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest, judged by Francis Ford Coppola, and also won the Best LGBT Feature Screenplay category at the New Renaissance Film Festival, Amsterdam 2018.

Anh Sang (Screenplay) won Second Place in the 2018 Write Brothers Feature Screenplay Competition, Canada International Film Festival; and was named Best LGBT Feature Screenplay in the 2018 New Renaissance Film Festival Screenplay Competition, Amsterdam!

Anh Sang (Screenplay) was named the Winner, Feature Screenplay, in the LGBT Feedback Film Festival in Toronto!

winner-ang sang - lgbt festival

Now available:


Modern LGBTQ+ fiction
of the Second World War

Seventeen stories, thirteen authors, a second war. Once again Manifold Press’s writers explore the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their war-time experience in cities, towns and countryside across the world.

Amidst war and peace, in the thick of violence or in an unexpected lull, these stories of the Second World War take the reader far and wide: through Britain, Europe, Asia and South America, from loss and parting to love and homecoming. As for home, it may be an ordinary house, or a prison camp, or a ship: but it is, in the end, where you find it, however far you have to go. Read this book, and make the journey yourself.

An anthology edited by Heloise Mezen and featuring authors:

  • Julie Bozza
  • Barry Brennessel
  • Charlie Cochrane
  • Andrea Demetrius
  • Adam Fitzroy
  • Elin Gregory
  • Sandra Lindsey
  • JL Merrow
  • Eleanor Musgrove
  • R.A. Padmos
  • Michelle Peart
  • Megan Reddaway
  • Jay Lewis Taylor

This is a companion volume to our well-received charity volume on the Great War, A PRIDE OF POPPIES. All proceeds this time are going to the British Refugee Council (Registered Charity No. 1014576).

Anh Sang (Screenplay) was named the Grand Prize winner of the 2017 Rhode Island International Film Festival Screenplay Competition!



Anh Sang (Screenplay) won the Silver Prize in Drama in the 2017 Hollywood Screenplay Contest and was named a Quarter-Finalist in the 2017 ScreenCraft Drama Screenplay Contest!


Sideways Down the Sky (Screenplay) was named a Finalist in the 2017 Contest of Contest Winners Competition, and won 9th Place in the 86th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition!



The Celestial was named to the Top 10 in the 2017 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition!


The Celestial (Screenplay) was named a Finalist in both the Global Script Challenge and the Best Overall Concept categories in the 2017 Oaxaca International Film Festival!


Anh Sang (Screenplay) won 1st Place in the June-July 2017 edition of The Monthly Film Festival Screenplay Competition!

FullSizeRender (10)

FullSizeRender (30)

Anh Sang (Screenplay) is a Finalist in the 2017 TeaDance Film Festival Screenplay Competition!


Screenplay news!

Sideways Down the Sky (Screenplay)

(Grand Prize Winner, Barren Branches LGBTQ Screenplay, Rhode Island International Film Festival;

Semi-Finalist, 14th Annual American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest;

Top 75, 2016 Tracking Board Launch Pad Feature Screenplay Competition;

Finalist, 2016 Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Competition;

Semi-Finalist, Carmesi House International Screenplay Competition;

Finalist, Great Gay Screenplay Contest;

Finalist, TeaDance Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Screenplay Contest;

Finalist, Cannes Screenplay Contest)


Paradise at Main and Elm (Screenplay)

(Finalist, TMC London Film Festival;

Finalist, Great Gay Screenplay Contest)



Sideways Down the Sky was named
2015 Co-Book of the Year at On Top Down Under Book Reviews!

Final SDTS Cover

Sideways Down the Sky received 3rd Place in the
2015 Rainbow Awards in the Gay Historical category!



The Celestial, Reunion, and Nagasaki were all chosen as
Finalists in the 1st Annual TeaDance Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Screenplay Competition!




The Simpsons: A Spoonful of Medicine Helps the Medicine Go Down was named the Grand Prize winner and The Simpsons: What a Revoltin’ Development was named a Silver Award winner in the American Movie Awards Screenplay Contest!





The Celestial, The Simpsons: A Spoonful of Medicine Helps the Medicine Go Down, and The Gifted: The Calling, Episode 1 are all Finalists in the Las Vegas Screenplay Contest!

The screenplay version of “Nagasaki” is a nominee in the Toronto International Film and Video Awards!

Final SDTS Cover


2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards Finalists

Sideways Down the Sky and Wellspring are Finalists in the 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards at Foreword Reviews

Final SDTS Cover

Sideways Down the Sky is a Finalist for the Ferro-Grumley  Award for LGBT Fiction in the 27th annual Triangle Awards.

The screenplay version of The Celestial was named a Quarter Finalist in the Bluecat Screenplay Competition, Features category:


Modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War

Ten authors – in thirteen stories – explore the experiences of GLBTQI
people during World War I. In what ways were their lives the same as or different from those of other people?

An anthology featuring authors:

  • Julie Bozza
  • Barry Brennessel
  • Charlie Cochrane
  • Sam Evans
  • Lou Faulkner
  • Adam Fitzroy
  • Wendy C. Fries
  • Z. McAspurren
  • Eleanor Musgrove
  • Jay Lewis Taylor

65,000 words/TBC pages

Publication 1 May 2015

Please note: All proceeds will be donated to The Royal British Legion.

The screenplay version of the The Celestial received Honorable Mention in the Canada International Film Festival/Write Brothers Screenplay Competition:

The screenplay version of The Celestial was selected to the top ten percent in the Bluecat Screenplay Competition, Features category:

The screenplay version of “Kill Them With Kindness” (from A Special Kind of Folk) was selected to the top ten percent in the Bluecat Screenplay Competition, Shorts category:

The screenplay version of Reunion advanced to the Semi-Finals in the Marquee Lights Screenplay Competition:

My teleplay The Simpsons: What a Revoltin’ Development was named a Finalist in the Beverly Hills Screenplay Competition.


The screenplay version of Nagasaki was named a Quarter Finalist in the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition.

The screenplay version of Reunion was named a Quarter Finalist in the Marquee Lights Screenplay Contest.

The screenplay version of The Celestial  was named a Finalist in the Great Gay Screenplay Competition; won First Place in the 2014 Rhode Island International Film Competition; and was nominated for the Diversity & Inclusion Award and the Humanitarian Award in the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition!


The screenplay versions of Reunion and The Celestial won awards in the 1st annual International Independent Film Competition!



A Special Kind of Folk and Paradise at Main and Elm were named Finalists in the 2013 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards!


Finalist, 2013 ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards


Finalist, 2013 ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award


Paradise at Main & Elm named  2013 Book of the Year at On Top Down Under Book Reviews!

Reunion was named a Finalist in the 2013 USA Book News Book of the Year Awards!


Finalist, 2013 Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association Literary Contest (“Ezra”)

Now available from Wilde City Press!


Now available!

MLR Press



My spec TV script for the Mary Tyler Moore Show  was named a winner in the October 2013 Wildsound Screenplay Competition!

The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Branching Out

(Winner, WILDsound October 2013 Screenplay Contest)


The Celestial in a Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards!

The Celestial won a Gold Medal in the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards!

Reunion and Tinseltown are Finalists in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards!

The Celestial and The Sulphur Cure are both Finalists
in the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards!



lambda finalist

The Celestial is a Finalist in the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards!

The Celestial reviewed by Reviews at Jessewave!

The Celestial picked as one of October’s favorite books, and and one of October’s favorite covers, at Joyfully Jay Reviews!

A review of Reunion at Lambda Literary:

An interview and a podcast for The Sulphur Cure at Fascinating Authors:

Greetings, salutations, Guten Tag, bonjour!

(Okay, that was my attempt to “sing” the opposite of “So Long, Farewell” from the “Sound of Music.” Ah, well, I tried.)

Yes, I loved that movie when I was a kid. Did that make me stand out in school? Yeah, just a little.

I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how exactly I was going to approach this topic. My thoughts kept taking me back to high school, which for me was pretty rough going. Bullying has been in the public consciousness lately, which is important. The “kids will be kids” mentality doesn’t quite tread water the way it used to. There’s still a long way to go, but at least it’s not brushed under the rug the way it was for me. A lot of people call bullying harmless. But there’s a wide gap between teasing and bullying. To this day I still suffer the effects of those daily verbal and physical taunts: self-esteem issues, social anxieties, etc.

I know the topic is homophobia, so why am I talking about bullying? Well, homophobia is really a form of bullying. It’s a way to communicate to someone that they’re not normal, that they don’t fit into society, that they should change who they are. It’s traumatic for a lot of people, dealing with these hurtful and hateful attitudes from other people. I think more so than anyone it’s hardest on gay youth. I remember so vividly how difficult it was to feel okay about myself. It took a long time, a lot of stubbornness, a lot of resolve, and thankfully–in my case–a strong and loving family.

Some kids and young adults may have an easier path than I had. Then again, generations older than me had it even more difficult than I did. Still, it’s not a smooth path. And the most heart-breaking thing for me to hear about is someone taking his or her life because life just seems so dark and hopeless, because the bullying doesn’t let up, and/or because the person’s family rejects him or her.

That’s why I wanted to focus on two hugely important organizations.

The Trevor Project


The It Gets Better Campaign

I want to help spread the word that there are places and people that gay youth can turn to for help and support.

Society still has a long way to go, but I’m amazed that in my lifetime I’ve gone from Anita Bryant to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. And from the uproar over Tony Randall’s perceived gay character on “Love, Sidney” to popularity of  “Glee.” And that when a celebrity or politician makes a bullheaded, hurtful comment, there’s justifiable outrage from an ever-growing segment of the population.

Thanks for stopping by, and help spread the word about these two great organizations– The Trevor Project and the It Gets Better Campaign.

Leave a comment, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a free copy of my novel, Tinseltown. I’ll put all the names in a stylish hat, and draw a winner on Sunday, May 20th. I’ll contact the winner via e-mail!


 Responses to “Hop Against Homophobia”

Shadow Sterling
May 10th, 2012 at 5:42 pm

First, congratulations!

Second, this is an early post but I just wanted to say “Thank You” for letting me be included in your Hop Against Homophobia. I am afraid I am not a talent m/m fiction writer like yourself but I am an avid reader of it.

I guess I do not fit into any category really since I write non-fiction for an adult studio.

But this is a cause I feel strongly about and I wanted to let you know I appreciate the opportunity to be included.

Thanks for this honest post, Barry. The pat response ‘kids will be kids’ sets my teeth on edge. Kids only act like that when they think they can get away with it and dismissing harmful bullying behaviour as high jinks or teasing only allows the bullies to believe that they aren’t doing anything wrong. Society needs to stand up for this, and it starts at home and in schools. It’s up to the adults to show the kids how to behave so it’s a shame that many adults don’t behave much better. Thankfully you had a great support network in your family. I’m glad for that.

Don’t put me in the draw, I’ve already read (and enjoyed) Tinseltown :) .

Supporting kids is such an important element and you’re right that bullying is a huge part of homophobia for kids.

I’ve read so many heartfelt posts today, and just want to hug everyone and try to ease some of the pain. Sadly, kids learn homophobia and bullying from the people they should be able to look up to.

Well the kids will grow up and if they don’t learn that it’s wrong what they are saying/doing, what will they do as grown ups, when they can do much more harm?

Support for kids is very important so thanks for highlighting. Sorry to hear of your school experiences, i’m just heading into high school territory with my eldest and am always conscious of wanting to find out more of any incidents but not wanting to come over as too ‘much’ and stopping the flow of information

Other kids can be horrible. I dealt with a lot of “mean girls” in grade school, and it’s still affected my ability to trust other women as friends. And that was just garden-variety teasing because I was geeky and a little overweight. My heart goes out to kids who have to deal with violence and homophobia on top of that–that has to be terrifying.

May 19th, 2012 at 5:15 am

I showed a bunch of these post to the teens in my family to show them how hurt some “innocent” remarks are to many others. I get so annoyed when my nephew says “you’re so gay”. ERRRR drove me crazy. I know he didn’t mean anything by it but it is so wrong to use that as a saying. I think that these post have helped. Thank you all for sharing with us!

I am in total agreement that homophobic behaviour is bullying. In fact I say as much in my own post for the hop. Those two causes are great ones and I am in fact supporting It Gets Better on my own blog this weekend. I was torn between those two projects and one other. They are very worthy and hopefully helping more and more gay youth through the troubled teenage years.

Thanks for participating for this wonderful cause of awareness…I teach high schoolers and this is a topic that we discuss at length. I just want them to be aware and know that they have the power to change the world!

Already have Tinseltown and loved it… I am just stopping by to say thank you for participating.

Hi Barry :)

I made a realization just now that I still have over 150 blogs to read before tonight, and I’ll never make it at this rate – especially since my ex decided to drop the kids off super early – so I’m leaving a quick thank you for taking part and please enter me into your contest (call me greedy, but I am a lover of books!). Then I’m reading the blogs at my lazure – without the time limit – and leaving decent replies. I love reading these blogs. Each and every entry is amazing.

Thanks for participating in the HOP.

Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

There is nothing harmless about bullying no matter what the bullying is about. High school destroyed my self-esteem, and I didn’t start out with alot to begin with. It took me years to finally get any back and I can still struggle with it to this day.

Thanks for participating in this hop. I’m enjoying all the great blog posts.


Thanks again to all of you for stopping by and leaving a comment!
And congrats to Gigi! You’ve won a copy of Tinseltown.

Tinseltown is a Finalist in the 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards!

My novella, Reflections, is now available from MLR Press, Amazon, and OmniLit!

Tinseltown received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Rainbow Awards!

MLR Press is celebrating the holidays from November 20th through New Year’s Day with a daily holiday story.

On December 13th, All the Souls on Earth will be out there roaming around.

A nice review of Tinseltown on Elisa Rolle’s blog!

I’m a guest on Jadette Paige’s blog today!

Crossroads Now Available!

          The first of Brandon’s adventures in my Crossroads series is now available from MLR Press and Amazon.
Here’s the blurb:
Brandon Meier’s academic year in Europe takes him far beyond museums, castles, and classrooms. When he embarks on a month-long rail journey, his sightseeing includes an edgy French boy, a Carravagio-esque Italian, a rich Swiss lad, a Croatian heartbreaker, and an Indonesian beauty in Amsterdam, to name but a few. These are lessons no textbook can ever teach.
It’s not long before Brandon realizes that the best sightseeing is almost always off the beaten path. From sultry nights in saunas, to midnight strolls in seemingly endless parks, chance encounters in sleepy seaside towns and nights of wining, dining, BMW convertibles and penthouse apartments, Brian’s year in Europe is anything but “by the textbook.”
First stop: Sete, France

Dawn Roberto was kind enough to interview me for her terrific blog, Dawn’s Reading Nook!

Here’s the link:

These arrived in the mail today!  They’re kind of suitable for framing, methinks. Sure–why not?

Two of my scripts, Tinseltown and The Simpsons: A Spoonful of Medicine Helps the Medicine Go Down, placed in the top 100 in the 80th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition!

Hey, look! I’m the Spotlight Author for September!

A nice review of Tinseltown from The Romance Reviews!

The screenplay version of Tinseltown has made it to the Final Rounds in the WriteMovies International Contest #27!!

The screenplay version of Tinseltown has made it to the Semi-Final rounds in the WriteMovies International Contest #27!!

An interview and review at Top 2 Bottom Reviews:



Raine Delight interviewed moi on her blog:

A rather nice review of Tinseltown at Well Read!

MLR Press Author Charlie Cochrane interviews…moi:

Charlie Cochrane’s Live Journal Blog

Tinseltown is out! Now available from MLR Press , AmazonAmazon Kindle, All Romance/OmniLitBarnes and Noble, and Fictionwise!

Film student Micah Malone learns the hard way that when life sucks, you can’t just yell, “Cut! Let’s do another take!”

His grades are a box-office bomb. His friends create more drama than a soap opera. And his love life needs a laughtrack. While there’s no script to dictate what happens next, can Micah find the direction he needs? Life, after all, is no film school project. But it is great source material. The only source material.

Let the cameras roll. Micah’s quirky story has begun filming.

3rd Place Winner, 2010 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest

The Price of Silence has been released!  (Well, it wasn’t being held captive or anything…but, you know what I mean!)

The Price of Silence from L&L Dreamspell

 A suspicious party invitation is stuffed in Nathan’s mailbox. Should he fear for his safety, sanity, and Swiss bank accounts?

Nathan Tanyon’s encounters with a ditzy social climber are hardly by chance. Helena Arntree claims to know far more details than the police about the death of Nathan’s wealthy aunt.

Nathan insists she has it all wrong, but she manipulates him into some compromising positions that might harm his credibility. He pays her a healthy sum to keep her mouth shut and go away. So she vanishes—at least for awhile.

Two years later she invites him to a costume party in honor of her recent marriage to a man she doesn’t bother to name. Nathan soon finds out the real reason for the invite. When he contemplates skipping the party, he fears doing so might place him in even greater danger.

Can he ever escape this woman? Just how much is Nathan willing to sacrifice to keep Miss Arntree from spinning her fanciful tales?

Just what is the ultimate price of silence?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s