Tomorrow I start my journey to Kansas City, MO, for the yearly event that is Gay Rom Lit. It’s a reader retreat for those who love MM Romance. This will be year number three for me, and I’m going as a Featured Author. I finally recognized that sixteen published stories gave me enough credibility to do so.
These conferences are fantastic because I get to talk about MM Romance without censoring myself. At home I tone things down for people who know that I’m a writer. I even temper myself around my loved ones.
But at GRL, I get to meet face to face with people who talk freely about what we enjoy reading. It’s a time to let loose. At last!
In 2012 I went to an authors’ workshop my publisher, Dreamspinner Press, puts on yearly. That was the first time I spoke so freely about this genre. I had a hard time. We were asked to write a sex scene and then share it with our tablemates. I’m not a blusher, but OMFG! I think I had my first hot flash right there at the table as I read aloud.
Fast-forward to today and it would be a different story. I relish is talking openly to readers about what we love, talking to other writers about the craft of writing, as well as the struggles and the downright frustrations of marketing. (Seriously, I hate marketing!)
In past years I’ve had great conversations while walking to get coffee and over breakfast. Discussions break out anywhere, and the subject matter isn’t glossed over or spoken about in euphemisms. Nope, I use all those words that “polite society” has told me not to use.
For years I hid what I enjoyed reading.
When I began to write, I kept it a secret except to my husband. When I “came out” at work, I was vague, saying I wrote Romance and leaving it at that because if I were truthful, I risked losing my job. Parents of preschoolers tend to be an uptight bunch.
When my kid got old enough to ask questions, again I was vague to keep her from going in front of her fourth-grade class and telling them her mom writes about Kevin and Hugo falling in love. As she matured, she started shipping her favorite YouTubers, and of course, like mother like daughter, they were all men. At age thirteen, she started reading MM fan fiction rated for teens. Then she started writing it. She’s probably the only person in my life I can be semi-open with. Not completely. I’m her mother still, after all.
This summer I was happily surprised when my best friend shared the release of Picked Fresh to all her Facebook friends. My mother told me my niece has a copy of one of my books, yet my mother refuses to tell her friends my pen name or what I write.
I hate the stigma that still persists around this genre.
Even more, I hate the assumption that MM Romance equates to porn. No, people. No, no, no!
But I think that’s changing some. Or maybe I’m changing because of experiences like GRL where I feel free to talk. I’ve handed my business card out to people who’ve asked about my writing, where in the past I tried to brush my books under the rug so I didn’t have to answer the dreaded question, “What made you decide to write that?”
In less than a day, I’ll be driving down to KC, where I can talk openly about our mutual appreciation of MM Romance again. It’s been too long. I can’t wait to get there.
If you’re at GRL, sign up for my newsletter so I can send you (eventually after I figure out how to use a new website) a download link for my newest and unreleased story, Stroke of Luck. Come find me if you’re going to be there. I’ll try to keep my iPad with me at all times.
After everything Marc owned burned to a crisp, he’s living off the kindness of others. A model condo is his temporary home, and his last dime went to essentials. He doesn’t need another distraction, but the fates conspire against him, setting up a chain of encounters that bring him face to face with Cas.
Cas’s love life has been in limbo for years, lovers moving on as soon as they discover how close he is to his best friend, Maisie. Then he meets Marc. The attraction between the two men can’t be denied, but Cas isn’t sure he can risk his friendship for a guy who will only end up leaving when he sees how close he and Maisie are.
When Marc and Case discover they live in the same building, it’s kismet. But Mark has to invite chaos into his life if he and Cas stand a chance, and Cas faces a choice between friendship and love. Luck may be on their side… if they’re willing to find out.
Contemporary | MM Romance | Bisexual | Fate | Halloween
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