Thanks to everyone who participated in the Rainbow Reviews Blog Hop! I thought there were some thought provoking and fun posts out there.
The winner of my little giveaway, as chosen by the all powerful random.org, is shawnyj of this most delightful website: http://cupoporn.net. They’ve won me over by saying I could come on and talk about knitting.
Anyway I’ll contact her by email, and thanks again to everyone! I had a great time reading all the comments
I’m also going to a water park this weekend, but that’s not really as relevant.*
The theme of this blog hop is “What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me.”
Writing fiction with queer characters is very important to me. I believe in visibility. I believe in the power of being seen, not just being seen with a big rainbow sticker on but being seen as doing the dishes, driving a minivan, fucking and falling in love. In other words, being just like everyone else.
I write fiction with queer characters because queer people exist. We’re not hiding in dark alleyways waiting to jump out on to unsuspecting straight folk. We’re here. We’re friends of yours, we’re parents at your kids’ schools. We’re not really any different from anyone else.
Do you guys remember when Joss Whedon answered that now-famous question: “Why do you write these strong, female characters?” (He gave this glorious speech, which you should go watch.) His answer, well one of his answers, is simply “because you’re still asking me that question.” That is what writing queer characters means to me. Why are you even asking me that? I write queer characters, kinky characters, characters who are pirates, characters who have tattoos, characters who are very tall or short. I write about people, people who interest me or entertain me. I write stories that I like to write. Sometimes, the people in them are gay. Sometimes demons live in the back of their neck. Stuff like that.
When I first came out as bisexual to friends and family, the reaction was mixed. What I often sense, even now, is an undertone of “who cares? You’re married to a man.” There is still a lot of invisibility attached to being queer, and inside that invisibility is a “disappearing” that makes queer people seem mysterious. “Othered.” Strange.
I am so happy that there are so many people, of all walks of life, who are enjoying reading fiction with queer characters (whether it be the dirty dirty kind that I write, or any other kind). I love to know that for them, a love story is a love story no matter the genders or whatnot involved.
I guess the answer to the question of what it means to me to write about queer folk is: Nothing. And everything. It means I write what I know and I write what turns me on and I write what I want to read. I’m so glad that others write that same way too.
Now for the giveaway. If you leave a comment here, I’ll pick one at random and offer a story from my backlist. You’ll find gay, straight, completely pansexual, pirate, ghost, deadly virus, treasure hunts and kinky dealings in there. I’d love to see which one appeals to you!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of the blog hop, via this link: http://rainbowbookreviews.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/the-rainbow-book-reviews-blog-hop-is-here/. I know I will.
*I don’t do sun. I burn. I’m a writer for heaven’s sake, we don’t go outside! I’m currently trying to figure out how I can carry a giant beach umbrella with me the whole time.
Every time I type that I giggle. Curse of the dirty minded.
So, I got a rejection on Waking Kiara and you know, that sucked. But that’s okay. Right along side the “aw bummer” feeling was a more positive one. I feel like getting rejections puts me on the road to being a writer. I wrote, I revised, I submitted, I got rejected. I’m really doing this, doing it the way it is supposed to be done. Can’t learn if you don’t fail, you know? Wasn’t my first rejection, won’t be my last either. Each one gets me closer to being where I want to be and makes me a better writer. Honest to goodness, the worst part was that I got the rejection while at the dentist’s office. Smart phones are sometimes the devil.
(still sucked. There was pie.)
In the interest of being back on the horse, I submitted her again. Courage, imaginary blog reader, that’s what it takes. Courage and pie.
I also managed to submit a short story* to a different publisher. I didn’t talk about this story much here, but it was super fun to write. It’s called The Ruby, a m/m erotic romance tale of pirate treasure and vacations gone awry. I was calling it “Indiana Bones” before it got a title, which aptly describes the silliness level I was aiming for. The best part of this one was that I reused a location I’ve written before, in A Pirate’s Legacy. It was like going home, if home were an imaginary tropical island.
Another call caught my interest so I’m working on a sub for that too. It’s super short, 3K is the upper limit, and due soon. I kind of like the process of writing in a relatively clipped timeline. It forces me to work frequently and efficiently.
In short, I think the writing thing is going well. I’m not *quite* looking forward to rejections in my inbox, but I’m glad to be working. Every story gets me closer to that million word mark, right?
*if a story is 18K, is it a novella, a novellaette, or a short story?
Well, erotic stories, anyway.
All month long, Lisabet Sarai is hosting authors from the various Coming Together anthologies. They’ll be posting about why they believe in the project, steamy excerpts and prizes. LOTS of prizes.
Alessia Brio (the tireless editor who puts together most of these anthologies) is giving away a Kindle Fire, for example.
Never heard of the Coming Together series? Check out the blog. Coming Together is a series of books, short stories, anthologies, podcasts and other projects. The authors and editors work for free, and the proceeds are donated to various charities. It’s a wonderful project. I’m very proud to have been a part of it.
My day on the blog is February 16th. I’m giving away a free book. Please feel free to come over and leave a comment there!
Think about it: erotica you can feel totally guilt-free buying! Win win! Head over to Lisabet’s blog and check it out all month long.
I thought this article at the Publisher’s Weekly blog was pretty interesting, and more than a little scary. Not surprising though.
Worse Things, the first draft I’m working on now, features a young lesbian main character. There’s no preaching or issues in the novel, she’s simply who she is. One of the overarching themes I hope to address in the novel is how parents and children connect when they’re very different people. Caroline’s sexuality is simply a part of that difference, one that keeps her isolated from her father.
The truth is, when I started daydreaming this novel to life, Caroline was gay from the beginning. There was no option for her to be straight–it just didn’t fit her. She’s a lot of things–emotional, a little punky, a little bit trouble but not the real kind, defiantly angry at society (aka a teenager), a talented artist, etc. Being gay is one of them, and while it informs her identity it isn’t her identity. But to make her straight? That wouldn’t be Caroline anymore.
Sometimes I get accused of being militant about things. I’m trying to write stories that are entertaining and engaging. Some people are gay. There’s no message or protest here, just the simple fact. Why are we trying to edit away facts?