Friday, August 24, 2012

Follow the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop

So for the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop, the topic of my post has to be about "what writing GLBTQ literature means to me."

Growing up, I didn't have access to any GLBTQ material. I had no computer, no Internet, and the closest library was over forty-five minutes away by car.

My friends enjoyed reading those "bodice-ripper" type romances, with damsels in distress with heaving bosoms, and the dark, brooding warriors with throbbing rods of love who rescued them, often by force.

That was all well and good for them, but for me? I had nothing in common with those characters whatsoever. I couldn't identify with the women, and I couldn't identify with the men. For years I scoured the local bookstore, trying in vain to find something I could sink my teeth into. To find a story featuring someone like me - a queer trans guy.

Fast forward to 2007. I've completed my first book, and I'm having trouble finding an agent to market it, because it contains... ::GASP:: a bisexual character. I wanted him to be a gay character, but my husband and I figured that, if I wanted any shot at publication, he'd have to be bi at the most. I have a three inch thick stack of rejection letters from agents for my bisexual romance. One agent finally did pick me up, but she turned out to be a scam artist.

I mentally thrashed about and gnashed my teeth until I found "Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander," which was marketed as a bisexual romance. This book was all over the shelves at my local Barnes and Noble. Success! I'd finally found something I could read and enjoy. Er...not so much. It's a nice book, with some fine writing, but not what I was looking for. Ultimately, I wanted a gay "bodice-ripper."

I was lamenting to my husband one night, and he suggested I try to find gay porn books. Not quite what I was looking for, he knew, but maybe it would be a start. So I went to my computer, and I typed in "male-male sex book."

And what did I find??? "Discreet Young Gentleman" by MJ Pearson. Oh. My. God!!!! Even the *cover* was reminiscent of those other novels. I was in love. I bought it immediately, and devoured it. I read it over and over again. And then it hit me - this was a PUBLISHED book. Someone had PUBLISHED it. And maybe...maybe...maybe they'd publish me, too!!

I wrote voraciously. I wrote story after story. Gay men. Bi men. Lesbians. Trans characters. While I didn't get published by the same place, I did end up finally getting published in the tail end of 2009.

So what does it mean to me? It means, in a small part, acceptance. It means not being alone. The GLBTQ romance industry is alive and thriving, and that's because people want to read this stuff. And that means I'm not alone in my love for it. It means breaking stereotypes - showing characters who are outside what people think is "typical" for gay people. It means showing other people that we exist. We laugh, we cry, we love. Just. Like. Them.

I take my spot in this industry very seriously. I *love* my spot in this industry. I'm proud to be a part of it. Sure, there are times when I shake my head in disbelief and wonder what's happening around me, but for the most part, I love it. This is exactly where I belong.

Okay, so now that you've suffered through my rant, here's what you really came for:


For my offering today, I'm giving away a free pdf copy of the winner's choice of one of my books. To enter, just leave a comment below, telling me what you like about GLBTQ romance. Don't forget to include your e-mail.


****PLEASE BE AWARE:  I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If winning that kind of a book isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****


  1. I love reading GLBTQ because there always seems to be a tenderness through any amount of turmoil. LOve the stories.

  2. I love seeing the more sensitive side of the MCs that most het men don't show. And two guys having sex is just hot, let's be honest. tmadamski(at)msn(dot)com

  3. I read LGBTQ fiction because I like reading about people that don’t fit into the “normal” category. I know that there are many people out there who hate me just because of who I am without even knowing me. I want to read about people like me finding love, happiness and acceptance.

  4. I come at it from both a writer and reader perspective. I never think about confining my writing by sexuality. The novel I’m shopping now has two male main characters that are in an established relationship. The novel I’m currently finishing up has two heterosexual romances. I’ve written short stories that have transgender themes, m/m relationships, and m/f relationships. It’s just what the story calls for. I’m proud to be an LGBT writer. When I’m seeking out LGBT fiction to read, I tend to gravitate toward stories that feature established relationships, that show the commonality of love, because all love should be celebrated.

  5. I love it because it feels so much less cliched and sexist than het romance (with that genre's alpha-male control freaks and swooning heroines). You see a fuller spectrum of experience and sexuality.


  6. I like them because you experience emotions different than in a regular mf book. It is pretty much a whole differnt experience and I enjoy that.

  7. I love m/m because I like to see a vulnerable (and often sweet) side of men.

  8. Good post! Glad I've met so many other LGBT authors. I'm a newbie. LOL!

    Stacey aka Coffey Brown

  9. I have been enjoying GLBT literature for a couple years now - why? Good question. It seems more like a good romance read to me vs a GLBT book. The majority of the books in my library are excellent stories - romances - life stories. It has been a while since I thought - wow I am reading a gay romance. Thanks for writing what I love to read.

  10. So what does it mean to me? It means, in a small part, acceptance. It means not being alone.

    This is part of why I write in this genre too--and one could argue that I'm as mainstream as most people get. The need for acceptance for who and what you are isn't tied to one group of people, though, which is why I think this genre appeals to so many.

    Why were the Harry Potter books such a hit? Because in most of us there lives an eleven year old child desperately hoping for that letter from Hogwarts. We want to discover that there is something special about us, that there is a magical world behind the mundane one that we know, just waiting for us to enter it.

    I think on so many levels GLBTQ stories offer exactly what you found here: characters that resonate with the reader and make them go "THIS! This is what I was looking for!"

    Thank you for sharing your story here with us.

    akasarahmadison at gmail dot com

  11. Less knocking your head against the wall, more knocking boots - that's what this world needs! Can't wait to read your writing.


  12. I love reading GLBTQ romances because they have touched me in a way that no other genre has. I find myself experiencing all the emotions the characters are going through! (I am sure I sound silly!)

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  13. I guess the main reason is because I like to read about relationships between men. I find these stories much more interesting than many of the other romance books that I've read in the past.

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  14. There are probably several reasons why I like GLBTQ romance (although I must admit not reading much of the L)... One is simply that there are good stories that I want to read. I'm a romance reader and a good romance story is more than the characters' gender identity or sexuality.

    (my email is in my profile)

  15. Hi
    I started reading GLBTQ back in about 2003 it was actually and book from "Imajinn" but it had a side story of two gay men I loved their story and have never read a M/F since!!!

    Please enter me for the Contest

  16. What I enjoy most about GLBTQ stories are the broader range in relationships, situations and interactions with the characters over M/F stories.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

  17. I think I like these stories because I don't have to "identify" with the characters. I just have to enjoy them and oh boy do I ever enjoy them.

  18. I like GLBTQ romance because I like romance- I think everyone should get their happy ending, and that everyone should have something to read to base the happy ending they want on. I think that writing reflects the human experince and not all humans are straight. :)


  19. My answer is simple. I love men, so one male is good, two men are better :)


  20. It's a pleasure to know you and I'm so glad you are sharing your talent and voice with readers and the literary community, J.S.

  21. I love pretty much everything about GLBTQ romance. I'm an emotional person, so I never understood when guys would tell me oh, men don't have feelings, they don't cry, etc. Never made sense to me. So I love seeing two guys who aren't afraid to admit they love each other. Who aren't afraid to show their feelings. Thanks for participating!


  22. I read GLBTQ books because thet are real, even the fantasy genre. They tell realistic stories with realistic characters.These books tell stories of love and passion and fighting and anger and conflict and resolution. Like you mentioned, one more set of heaving bosums and quivering thighs and I was going to scream! I love a book that makes me think, that changes my view and expands my horizons. Does that make sense?
    seritzko AT verizon DOT net

  23. Hi. I enjoyed your post. I've also enjoyed several of your books. I like reading GLBTQ because there is so much diversity in the stories. It's never the same plot line as with M/F romance. It's also great to see things work out in such tough situations.


  24. Hi D.C. We're Songpop buddies. I enjoyed your post and I guess I write and read what I do because it makes me happy and I believe everyone should have their own happily ever after. Hop on by if you get a chance. I look forward to seeing you again at GRL.

    kleemoon66 @

  25. I love reading romance in all it's forms ... Let's be honest there's a hope there :-D

    Sarah S


  26. It is good that there is literature for all sexual orientations