Saturday, May 26, 2012

general information about what I write

Especially in romance and in gay romance, there are some strong feelings expressed about things liked/not liked within a story, as is the right of readers, of course! This is my response as a writer in gay romance and what you can expect from me. For people who knew me from the first release of AFTER ANNA, it's probably more of the same when the first storm hit the horizon;) - though I might have softened a bit since then. In general, I like HEA (happily ever after), but if the story calls for it, if the place where the characters are at within the world I've built call for it, I'm going for a happily for now, not a HEA. Most of my  romances end with an HFN as I write them nowadays, honestly.

The important thing about all this is that I don't guarantee endings. In the past, I have made some folks unhappy with how I ended a book. While I realize that knowing and having the security of an HEA is very important to some readers, I'm not comfortable agreeing that my characters will end up a certain way by the end of the story.  

I don't like the fact that the word 'romance' has been co-opted by business and writers associations, but on the other hand I do understand it. I don't conform to it, however. My stance is that if I'm writing about a love story between two people, and it's the main part of the story, if it goes into detail about how they love each other and came to be together, it's romance, even if the ending isn't what is expected.

Addressing my stance on another hot-button topic within the romance community: if the characters are bisexual in my story, or if they've never made a big deal about labeling/defining what sex they're attracted to, you can expect there might be persons of the opposite sex in the story - even if the main thread of the story is about same-sex characters. Encounters with the opposite sex may possibly get graphic, even if it's a bit part within the story. I'm absolutely not in favor of hating/appearing to hate either sex, or hating their appearance in any of my stories, disliking their sexuality or the details of it that come to bear within the framework of my larger story about two people in love.The characters will act out true to their nature, even if it is painful to them (and some readers). My alternate writing persona, Klaudia, will be coming out with some work this year and you'll see it's the same from her as well.

There is clearly a large audience who goes by the 'don't get your peanut butter in my chocolate' idea. I am not in agreement. It doesn't jibe with how I feel about acceptance of sexuality. If a person is interested in straight romance, of course, read it! If you want a gay romance, yes, by all means, read it. But to expect that reading either of those excludes characters of the opposite sex and their sexuality, to expect being shielded from them - I am not that writer.

There is also clearly a large audience out there who want to know the characters they've gotten invested in are going to come out on the other side of the story happy. I understand that, I really do, and I'm a softie at heart. Having said all that above, I don't think that by the end of their story, you'll get a bad ending for the main characters in Theda's work. But they have to earn it, which means getting through major hurtles from inside and out. (When I write as Klaudia, it's a different genre and mindset, not applicable here). 

I love writing and reading. I don't go against what I feel because my opinion is different from others, or if it  makes them angry. I won't argue it, either - I've done that in the past (a little) and for me, it was a mistake. We all know there's a million different ways for each person to go in terms of what they'll like and accept, and that's the way it should be.