Friday, February 15, 2008

Just Gay Enough?

I like to write Regency heroes who aren’t quite what you’d expect, in fact, I like to write heroes who appeal to the type of reader who is slightly intrigued by the tantalizing thought of gay men making out, but still likes a good romance along the way. My heroes will give you that. Not quite gay, but willing to experiment with anyone or anything if the opportunity arises, (and somehow it always does in my books) and also just Alpha enough to keep you interested and hot and, well, you know...

How did I end up writing them? I don’t know. I just got fed up with the whole Alpha, Beta, Metro thing. I mean, sexuality is much more complicated than that isn’t it? Aren’t there a hell of a lot of grays in between? I love the grays, the men and women who can appreciate that sex is far more interesting if you can be open and up for anything.

What does amuse me is seeing my books in the romance section. Yay, I’m a subversive! ‘Georgette Heyer on crack’ as one of my fellow Black Lace authors called me. I’m expecting my readers to want to know whether a sexually ambiguous pair of Regency gentleman like Lord Valentin Sokorvsky and Peter Howard who star in Simply Sexual and Simply Sinful, can find their happy ever after’s. And I want my readers to be happy for them and care about what happens to them. I want them to care even though these men aren’t remotely conventional and never will be.

I don’t have an agenda. I truly believe love is where you find it and that we all have a right to be happy and sexually satisfied. Is that going to become the norm? Will my kids wonder what all the fuss was about back in the day? I sure hope so 

So tell me, does ‘just gay enough’ turn you on or off and how do you feel about it being in the romance aisle?


Erastes said...

Well you know how I feel about it, Kate. Men have been gay since Ug first met Ig and I want to see gay historicals from any era. I don't much like seeing it "tacked on" to make a book more risque or saleable - but rather have proper explorations of what it was like to be gay in those times.

As for it being in the romance aisle - of course it should Definitely be there. Love is love, romance is romance. I defy anyone to read "At Swim Two Boys" or "the Charioteer" (although not Regencies) and to deny that either story are anything but true romances.

The nice thing about m/m fiction is that you CAN write two major alpha characters without having anyone "empowering" anyone else, or "submitting" to anyone such as hetero romances tend to do.

Also - the nice thing is you have more scope for open interaction - you might have trouble getting your heroine alone with the hero without ruining her reputation, but there's no scandal for two friends riding together or talking long walks together. There's worries of scandal are QUITE different.

More of it, I say!

Kate Pearce said...

The nice thing about m/m fiction is that you CAN write two major alpha characters without having anyone "empowering" anyone else, or "submitting" to anyone such as hetero romances tend to do.

that is such a great point-I hadn't thought of it like that :)
I was lucky enough in Simply Sexual and Simply Sinful to get the opportunity to look at the men's relationship from both viewpoints and it was very interesting to do that and see the differences, who thought he was stronger, and who weaker and how, in fact, they both needed each other in the same ways.

Gillian Layne said...

I'm not remotely as eloquent as Erastes, so I'll just say: I'll be the one in the romance section cheering when I see your books, Kate!

Love can be dreadfully complicated, no matter who's involved. And well-written is well-written, so good for you, and your heroes!

Lenora Bell said...

Turn-on definitely. Give me hot man love any day. I like seeing it in movies (especially if it's Ewan Mcgregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers!) and buying it in the romance book aisle.

I'll have to check out your Valentin and Peter, Kate.

Pam Rosenthal said...

Beautiful graphic, Kate, and provocative premise. Especially since the British public school culture was so steeped in homoeroticism. Perhaps, by following your passionate erotic imagination, you're simply outing something that links at the margins of historical romance anyway.

Kate Pearce said...

Actually Pam you might be right, I've never gotten over reading Tom Brown's schooldays-I totally fell in love with the evil Flashman :)

Victoria Janssen said...

I really like it when historicals have more than just heterosexual relationships. It offers additional interesting plot conflict, depending on how acceptable such relationships are in the society you're portraying. But even if there was no additional conflict, I enjoy a mixture of relationships in my fiction just for the variety.

Also, hot guy-on-guy action. Where's the bad?