Friday, 1 April 2016

HOW I CAME TO WRITE M/M FICTION


How I came to write M/M fiction.

I’ve always been into genre fiction, as both a reader and writer. I love thrillers, horror, erotica, spy novels, crime fiction and romance. My first erotic story was published back in 1993 (I was very young – honestly) and I’ve written hundreds of short stories, three novels and several novellas in that time. But I never thought of myself as a M/M author. The term didn’t even exist when I started. Stories about gay men falling in love and having sex were confided to gay magazines and literary publishers. There was no “mainstream” market for these stories back then.

I must have become aware of the term M/M about 3 or 4 years ago. For a while I resisted it. In my ignorance I thought these were just “woman’s books”: gay stories written by women for female readers. I was narrow minded and continued to write my “gay erotica” believing M/M was not for me. Over time as I began to read M/M fiction I realised that it was not so different to the stories I was writing. Over time the focus of my stories had changed anyway, focusing as much on the relationships between my characters as the sex. I was writing M/M fiction at the more explicit end of the market.

Closer by Morning is my first proper M/M novel. From the very beginning I knew this wasn’t going to be one of my usual sex books. There’s sex in it but it’s not the main thrust of things. The book is many things – a love story, a thriller, a mystery, a bonkbuster – but it’s not a porn novel. I like to think of it as a gay romance with shades of Jackie Collins and Harold Robbins. I started writing it as a challenge to myself. After a 20 plus years could I even write a book that wasn’t 80% sex?

The answer was definitely yes. Not only could it write it, it poured out of me. It was the easiest book I’d ever written, it came so naturally. I was a M/M author after all. I loved the book when I finished it, but wasn’t 100% convinced it would find a home. A lot of the M/M novels I read were filled with angsty characters and miserable situations and that’s just not me or my book. There are dark situations within the story and the characters are put through a devastating ordeal, but they aren’t the kind of men who wallow in misery or bicker over the tiniest thing.  They stand up for themselves and fight.

I was delighted when Pride Publishing picked up the book. The doubts I had about the content of the book and whether it fit into the M/M genre, vanished.

Closer by Morning is scheduled for publication this summer. I can’t wait for people to read it. I’ll provide more information nearer the time.





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