For the hundredth time, I don’t write porn!

Okay, I’ve written one.

That was as a dare from my friends and it always sells. But apart from that, all my books are, well, books. But there seems to be a misconception from the mainstream. Unless you’re published by a major company then the novel with gay content you’re writing must be dirty.

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This is bad enough when it comes from our own community. Many of us who write for queer publishers get the random bad review because we don’t include sex. Say, what? But many people who’ve never picked up a NineStar Press, a Bold Strokes book, a Lethe Press novel or any other boutique published Queer book, think we write porn.

And it’s not only straight people.

A gay friend recently joked with me about my erotic line of literature as he was ordering a drink at a pub. I know he was just being friendly, but it made me wonder if he actually thought this.

Another gay friend blatantly asked me “Why are all gay novels, romances?” He is well read but he’s never ventured into my market. What could I say but, “They’re not!”

 

At a dinner party with straight friends, one was interested in reading my dystopian tale, Social Media Central. She was told by another “That’s not for you.” I corrected this error by simply replying “Yes it is.”

A friend of mine has a gay main character in a mainstream book.

It’s about a gay man’s nephew who is kidnapped by a paedophile ring. His uncle goes undercover to rescue him. Nowhere is there a love scene, or a romance. The gay character just is. It seems when Penguin publishes your work, no one expects sex.

Not that it couldn’t have an erotic scene, but no one questions what should or should not be within those pages.

On the flip-side, I have three sex scenes in a book because my publisher expected them.

The initial publisher of my first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, assumed it was a dirty novel. I was even chastised about its lack of sex in an email. And they hired an editor who wrote erotic fiction to work on it with me.

Eventually, the misunderstanding was sorted out, but still I caved in to adding sex scenes. To this day, I just pretend they’re not there. They don’t hurt the novel as they’re very short, but they just aren’t needed in a tale about unrequited love in the theatre district of the Afterlife.

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Okay, I have a novel called Drama Queens and Adult Themes.

In Australia, there’s a wry smile associated with the phrase ‘Adult Themes’. Television stations used to warn us about any type of sexual content with this phrase, and announcers would have a lot of fun playing with those two words.

There’s one sex scene and even that was toned down on the advice of a beta reader who is a fan of the first book in the series. And fantasy elements are thrown in, in line with the tone of the book.

So, only one of my books is erotic. The rest are not.

And there’s an army of writers out there sick of explaining that their Queer-themed Fiction is just fiction with Queer characters.


Photo Credits – Jerry7171 – the toy leather guy.

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