When I write, all my characters are bisexual until proven otherwise. My invisible friends earn their keep, not only by being part of how I make my living in fiction writing, but by keeping me sane, by giving me an outlet for all my urges and desires.
Over the past dozen or so years, the romance genre has begun to embrace LGBTQ equality. Because let's face it, love is love, and everyone deserves a chance to find their reflection in a book with a happy ending.
The recent flap over a romance novel titled For Such a Time whose plot features a concentration camp inmate falling in love with her Nazi captor has aroused the wrath of various critics and readers on grounds that it is too discomfiting and disturbing to have been published.
I spend a lot of my emotional, mental, and creative energy at the intersection of acceptance and resentment. Obviously, what this AA quote states are universal truths that are not merely about recovering from addiction.
I started reading romance novels in college at my mother's insistence (long-ish story). As a student of women's literature, she declared that I couldn't legitimately receive such a degree without reading the most popular and profitable books by women, for women, about women.
Thirty-one books later, Jenkins is known for introducing readers to little known histories of African-Americans in the 19th century, amid tales of complicated and strong heroines and the men who they grow to love.
The romance industry is big -- it's the second largest category of fiction, outselling science fiction, fantasy and the classics -- which means there are a lot of readers, who may or may not fit the stereotype. It means that you or someone you know might be reading romances.
Romance novels are more than just Fabio books. They are also more than bodice rippers, mommy porn, trashy books, rescue fantasies, guilty pleasures, or any of the other "funny" but disparaging slang terms we have for them.
When I started out, an author friend warned me that publishing was a crazy business, and he was right. Ever since my first book was published in 1990, I've been seeing news items about one scary trend or another.
Thankfully, things have improved quite a bit since those days. I now enjoy watching Will and Sonny on Days of Our Lives, and gay characters populate many shows on television and online. Still, I still keep thinking that there is room for more.
My goal this year was to read 100 books, including everything on my to-be-read (TBR) shelf and all those books I'd bought and forgotten about on my e-reader. Ha! Snort. Like that happened. I blame the people publishing all the amazing books I needed to read immediately.
We love to devour a good book, and so do the editors at XOXO After Dark! They've rounded up a tasty selection of fiction and nonfiction for you to sample, all about the pleasures of food. Use one of these as inspiration for your next dinner party, and you'll be well-read and well-fed!
Do some authors prostitute themselves to make a living creating stories that sell to the masses, rather than writing "their story" directly from the heart? That is the question of the day and one that I've asked myself repeatedly a thousand times.