Many people have asked me lately why I write m/m (male/male) romance (also called gay romance) and how I got started in it, probably in surprise that I don’t write your traditional m/f (male/female) romance. I started writing traditional m/f romance many years ago, but it never went anywhere. And by “never went anywhere” I mean I never wrote more than a few thousand words in any given story because I was bored out of my skull by own stories. Not exactly a good sign, amirite?
If you’ve read Suzanne Brockmann’s TroubleShooters series, you know all about Jules and Robin. I’ve been a fan of that series since the beginning. When out-and-proud FBI agent Jules Cassidy was introduced, I fell in love. And then there was Robin, a hot-mess actor who pushes all of Jules’s buttons, both good and bad. And then there was Jules and Robin. Their story takes place over several books and, to this day, I love every word. I still re-read their books at least once a year.
Anyway, my point is that after I read Hot Target (which is where Robin’s character is introduced; we meet Jules in one of Brockmann’s earlier books of the series), I thought this male/male relationship was the greatest freakin’ thing ever and I wanted more and I wanted it now. But I didn’t know where to find it. So I started Googling and lo and behold! Gay romance everywhere! And I do mean everywhere; it’s a huge niche market I hadn’t even been aware of, and I gobbled it up as if it was going to disappear when I wasn’t looking.
Less than two years ago I tried my hand at writing m/m romance and finally felt like I’d fallen into the genre I was supposed to write in. It’s what I’ve been writing ever since and will continue to write. Will I go back to writing m/f romance? Maybe. Never say never. However, I will say that the chances aren’t high.
Within the m/m romance community, I’ve found a network of other m/m authors who not only support each other, but who also support LGBTQ rights and activism. Writing in this genre makes me feel at home, even more so than when I wrote traditional m/f romance.
There’s something beautiful and magical about people falling in love, whether it’s man/man, man/woman, woman/woman, or anything else. But for me, gay romance goes a step above and beyond. A couple always has obstacles to overcome; a gay couple has the added pressure of knowing some people in society will hate them for who they are and who they love. I love seeing a couple come out stronger for overcoming their struggles and sticking together.
If you’re wondering if writing gay romance makes a person gay, the answer is no. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with authors who are gay, straight, bi, transgender, asexual, sexual, and everything in between. If you’re wondering if writing gay romance makes me gay, the answer is also no…yet it’s also a little more complicated than that, but that’s a blog post for another time 🙂
There are a lot of people who have never read a gay romance book in their life. To you I say: Boy, have you been missing out! Stay tuned to my blog where, later this week, I’ll be posting recommendations on where to start your m/m romance journey with a list of some of my favourite m/m romance books. (In case you haven’t figured it out, Suzanne Brockmann’s Hot Target will be on that list. I’m happy to lend you my hardcover copy, but it must be returned in a timely fashion in the same condition it was lent, capisce?)