Monday, September 17, 2018

Don't You Ever Write About Straight People?

My mother used to ask me that.  She never actually told me that I shouldn't, as a female, be writing about gay males.  Though she believed on and off again that homosexuality was a sin against God, it probably bothered her more that I'm pagan than that I write about gay rocks stars.  Still, she was a voracious reader of romance novels, and I think she wanted to read something of mine without being weirded out because two guys were "doing it."  Also, she seemed to think I'd make more money if I wrote about straight people.  ;)

My answer to whether I ever wrote about straight people was usually evasive.  I always have written heterosexual romances.  But my first novel being a gay love story, it seemed logical to me to continue in that vein when I was working on a story I planned to publish.  LGBT culture attracts me, or maybe a better way to put it is that it speaks to me, to something in me I can't quite define.  I'm primarily straight in this life, but I've always felt that in another life I was a shy gay man who never got his shit together enough to be happy in his own skin.  I'm left with an eroded past self, the ghost of which is still present through all the other layers of me.  Not quite accessible.  But still seeking expression.

And really, I try to just write the characters as they appear to me.  If a gay werewolf pops into my head, he's getting a gay romance.  If a kinky-but-straight witch starts swimming through my brain, she gets a kinky-but-straight romance.  Simple as that.  The gay ones just get published more often, because I'm a creature who loves familiarity, and hates taking chances.

Also, it's always seemed like a lot of work to publish a straight romance.  So many writers use different names to separate their gay work rom their hetero work.  And obviously that's fine, but I just didn't think I had the energy for yet another personality.

Then my mom died.  And I have so many fucking regrets about her death, about her life, that this one thing--don't you ever write about straight people?--suddenly seems like such a simple thing.  I can't go back in time and be a nicer person when she was driving me crazy.  I can't go back and dig the time out of my schedule to take her on more day trips, or stop griping at her for her love of Hallmark movies turned up to deafening volumes.  But I can write a goddamn romance novel she might actually have enjoyed reading.

Although she'd probably be unhappy that my protagonist is a little bit of a junky, and a lot of a bitch.  But what can I say?  I like my girls crazy, damaged, and nasty AF.

And so that is the explanation for why a male/female romance novel is suddenly appearing under my name.  Ironically it's a story I wrote almost ten years ago as a cute little novella.  It went up online at FictionPress, and some people said they liked it.  Enough people that I always thought I'd like to redo the story as it deserved, someday.  And now someday is today.

Tomorrow actually.  Wolves' Blood releases tomorrow on Amazon for all you kindle readers.  And ironically it fits perfectly into the New Berlin universe.

I hope some of you enjoy it.  And don't worry; I am not turning into a different kind of writer.  Just letting ya'll see a different side of me.  Meantime, hard at work on the next New Berlin story, about a stoic fallen angel and the glittery cross-dressing exotic dancer he falls in love with.  And possibly the final installment of The Hunting will sort itself out before next year.  You never know.  Miracles happen.

Cheers, and peace out, yo.