I was all set to have a wrap-up post up yesterday, but then when I was writing it, the post turned into this screed about how much I dislike how sex is handled in this het erotica novel I’m reading, and probably that one is best left in my brain and not on my website. So besides that weirdness, what else happened this week?
1. Earlier this week I was elected vice president of the Rainbow Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America. I’m excited! I’m nervous! I do think, though, that we’re at a really crucial moment for LGBT romance, just as it’s starting to hit the mainstream. There’s still some work to be done to help LGBT romance writers be taken seriously. This is a really great board that I’ll be working with: President Damon Suede, Secretary Zahra Owens, and Treasurer Lara Brukz.
2. This is not the book I was talking about above, but my book club is reading Fifty Shades of Grey, which I had managed to escape reading to this point. I know, but here’s the thing: The actual content of the book is kind of irrelevant now. The fact that the book took off and that the perception of it is that it’s this hot, spicy book that is capturing imaginations means that a lot more attention has been brought to romance that is, let’s say, not the traditional boy-meets-girl-they-get-married-and-have-babies narrative. This includes more attention paid to erotic romance, BDSM romance, and, yes, LGBT romance. (There’s a subscribers-only article in last week’s Publishers Weekly on this very topic.) So I think, in the grand scheme of things, even if the book itself is terrible (I’m finding it boring) its publication has changed the landscape for romance novels in a mostly positive direction. (Not all of the press has been positive, obviously, but at the same time, how many books by your favorite authors have ended up on “If you liked 50 Shades, you’ll love…” lists? A couple of mine have.)
3. NaNoWriMo is always a two-pronged event for me. I both write a novel and do a lot of the social events. A week ago, I gave that above spiel about how, even if 50 Shades is terrible, it has generally affected positive change in the industry (mostly) to people at a NaNo party and they did not look at me like I was crazy! And last night, I was talking about JR Ward with a woman, and after we had the obligatory “Butch and Vishous should really just fuck already” conversation, she said, “I’ve never seen any other gay romance outside of slash fanfic,” and I said, “Oh, hey, let me give you my card.” I am apparently shameless!
It is kind of nice to answer the, “Oh, you’re published? What do you write?” question with “gay romance” and have people say, “that’s so cool!” instead of “Why would you do that?” See, changing times!
4. Word-count-wise, I’ve written roughly 54,000 words so far this November on two different stories. One is the book I’m not sure works (misanthrope meets colorful, outgoing guy) the other is a romantic comedy about a big gay wedding that is sort of an homage to every romantic comedy movie involving a wedding that you’ve ever seen. I hope to finish a draft of the latter this weekend. Would you like a tiny excerpt? Of course you would:
I knew I was being dramatic.
Okay, I was weeping copiously, my tears spilling on the bar.
“So what I hear you saying,” said Kevin from his perch behind the bar, “is that you want me to pour you a drink.”
“You don’t think he’s had enough?” asked Darren.
“He hasn’t had any.”
“Oh.” Darren shifted on the stool next to me. “That bad, huh? What happened, Tris?”
I was too blubbery to speak, so I pulled the invitation from my coat pocket and handed it to Darren.
He read it aloud. “…request your presence at the wedding of Stuart Harker and Roger Stone…” There was a pause, although I couldn’t see was Darren was doing through my fingers given that they were pressed firmly against my eyes. “Wait, Stuart Harker? As in your ex-boyfriend Stuart?”
“Yes,” I said, the word sounding watery. “His parents request my presence to witness the wedded bliss between their son and the asshole he met less than a year ago.”
“That’s cold, man,” said Darren.
“Ten years of my life! I was with Stuart for ten years! Then we break up and he marries the first stupid twink who comes along.”
When I looked up, Kevin and Darren were exchanging glances.
“Maybe Tristan shouldn’t drink,” Darren said.
5. On the other hand, I just got edits for Show and Tell so that is the next thing on my priority list.