Time to hop to it with Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop, August 24-26! I’m looking forward to meeting so many talented people.
From reading everyone else’s blogs, looks like I did the prize thing wrong – typical of me. So include in your comment the name of the first fictional character you fell in love with and I will give away a copy of my ebook short, Revolving Door at random.
Also, I’m having a love/hate relationship with Blogger – mostly hate, because it doesn’t want to take all of my comments. Frustrating, since I’m reading and enjoying all of your blogs. When I get back to a decent connection on Tuesday, I’ll revisit some of the blogs I’ve been having trouble with.
What does writing GLBTQ literature mean to me?
There are many reasons why I’ve chosen to write literature featuring gay characters, from the prurient to the purposeful. Intellectually or aesthetically, what’s not to like about two (or more) beautiful men being beautiful together?
Everything I do is an opportunity to play, and invite others to play along. I first began writing stories involving gay characters to entertain my friends. They weren’t finding the scenarios they wanted to read, so I took their requests and wrote what I call “one offs” – short stories around those themes. I found that I liked it, and was rather good at it. From there I took off on my own, creating characters who are gay, bisexual, and who transcend gender, and providing worlds within worlds to give them the freedom to tell me their stories. Often it does seem like that – my characters guide me and I follow along, capturing their words and actions.
I’ve been fortunate to be part of several communities in which people are open and encouraged to be themselves in whatever respect. I am in great favor of breaking barriers and coloring outside of the lines, and I love people who never hesitate to be who they are and do exactly as they want and need for themselves. I find it inspirational and energizing. The personal freedom in turn opens creative freedom. I am unlimited in what I choose to explore in my writing, and how I choose to express myself.
I write stories with the purpose of entertaining, of course, but also to support and cheer people on to reveal those wonderful, inspirational sides of themselves that I so admire. Hardship and pain involving sexual identity is not my subject. I cannot assume to imagine, much less write about, those very visceral stories and so I leave that to those who can rightfully and artfully express them. For me, it’s about taking subjects and inspirations I respond to, and creating stories around those. My pieces are odes to authors, to literature and art and music I admire, to commonly held metaphors and belief systems – things that I love, things that fascinate me, and that we as a culture experience collectively and as individuals.
Right now I’m working on a five book series that I’ve fashioned as a metaphysical adventure. Vampires and werewolves and things of that nature are fun and have their place, but I wanted to develop a series around the metaphysics of the natural world – things that seem fantastical, but are in fact knowable and relatable and subject to mastery in the hands of those who are attuned to their nature. It’s meant to be empowering and inspirational as well as just a fucking good time, playing around with the unexplored and uncovering unique secrets and powers. A metaphor, if you will, for the powerful nature and unique experiences of gay men. They’re very sensual stories, I’m looking forward to sharing them.
I also have the loftier personal mission of blurring the lines between genres. I don’t like labels. Gay lit, romance, fantasy, classic lit – I know I’ve been put off by some of these labels, and I also know I’ve missed out on some really wonderful stories because of it. These are unintentional limitations to the power of the written word to reach across boundaries and invite people to discover new spheres, different ways of thinking, and to gain new passions. I don’t consider what I write to be exclusionary to anyone, and I want to encourage people who haven’t explored so-called gay lit titles to delve in and experience life through my characters.