A question I’m asked a lot … and a contest!

When I first started writing and publishing M/M or gay erotic romance, I was hesitant to tell people I met in real life what it was I wrote. The reason was when you tell someone you’re a writer, without fail, they want to know what it is you write. Seems everyone either writes, too, or wants to write. And here in the South, one just doesn’t talk about erotica (gay or otherwise) in polite company.

So at first I’d hem and haw. I’d say, “Oh, you know, I write fiction.” Or, “I write stories.” Sometimes, when pressed, I’d call them fantasy, which you can say they are, in a way. Eventually I would say romance, but that’s where I drew the line. I found out the hard way saying gay romance, even in this day and age, wasn’t the done thing.

That is to say I lost a nice job at a national soda company you’ve probably heard of because the women I worked with bought my first book and read it. I won’t name names, but if you don’t like Coke, then you probably drink the brand I used to work for instead. My advice? Make the switch.

I’ve grown a lot since my early days of writing part-time. I now publish other authors under my own LGBT small press, JMS Books LLC, and I’m more confident in myself and my writing to tell people who ask straight up what it is I write. Though, granted, there’s nothing straight about it! And nowadays, if it makes someone uncomfortable, then they shouldn’t have asked.

Who am I to be ashamed or apologetic for writing LGBT romance? Everyone deserves love.

Yesterday was the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, and this post should’ve run then. I apologize for the delay!

But I appreciate the gentle reminder from the kind folks at the Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality who pointed out my blog post didn’t … well, post.

To celebrate, I’m giving away 2 of my e-books (reader’s choice). Just enter below! Contest ends Saturday, so hurry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 thoughts on “A question I’m asked a lot … and a contest!”

  1. That must have been really tough losing your job but there are so many narrow minded people in this day and age unfortunately. I think it’s up to the individual what you write and read it shouldn’t make a difference to you day job.

  2. Sorry to hear that that happened to yo but you’re probably better off not working with such closed minded people.

  3. How sad about your job! I’m sorry! I don’t drink soda anyway, and Coke.. meh. 🙂

  4. No, Coke isn’t the company I worked for, but a competitor of theirs. So if you drink Coke, that’s okay. Just don’t drink the other guys 😉

  5. I, too, had that reticence at the beginning – which is even stranger as a gay man who came out in college!

    Here’s to coming out as erotica writers! Cheers!

  6. You know it didn’t even occur to me to really hide it at first. In a sense I have more of a problem now, and not really because of what I write but when I meet people on trips for instance, if I talk about anything personal I’m more aware that they’ll know a, b, or c about me and I’m out there as an author. I guess it’s the public vs private situations I’m more aware of, although what you see is pretty much what you get with me. We’re going on a trip soon and when asked, instead of just saying I’m a writer, mumbling multi-genre, and then refusing to talk about it, I’m tempted to say I write erotica and dark fiction. See if that puts a buzz round the dinner table. 😉

  7. As an author I have published books out there
    ‘ Through the Mist ‘ ‘For the Love of Tom’ ‘The Other Life’ they have gay content. When asked I reply ‘I write about Life’
    If my sexuality is questioned I reply…If I was a photojournalist and reporting on a war…That does not make me a soldier.

  8. I can relate to this post! I used to hedge about what I write too. I’m sorry you lost your job over it. One of the recent times I answered that question didn’t cost me work, but it was still really awkward. I assumed from the conversation the other parents volunteering with the school play would be cool with it…yeah, not so much. Turns out they are very conservative. Ah, well. 🙂

  9. Wow. I can’t believe that outing your genre had put you out of your day job. More power to you, since it looks like you’re way happier plus it pays your bills. The perfect comeback!

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