I began writing M/M erotic romance in late October / early November of 2012. I remember precisely when this “awakening” happened as I had, never before, considered this genre. Everything I had been writing before was M/F and much of it in the suspense/thriller genre, although there was almost always a romantic element.
I had never taken my writing too seriously, thinking it wasn’t “up to par” in comparison to the books already out there, and I had a tendency to be my own worst critic. In September of 2012, on a whim, I decided to post two of my books-in-progress (Sins of the Sister and Eve of Passion) on Booksie.com. I had, on occasions, posted on other reading sites and didn’t usually get much of a response. So I was shocked by the overwhelming attention Sins of the Sister received, as well as Eve of Passion. It wasn’t until then that it occurred to me that people might actually want to read my books.
That revelation proved to be a powerful boost of confidence and I began focusing on those two stories, adding chapters regularly and gaining readers as my own interest and excitement for writing began to grow by leaps and bounds. I became more dedicated and intent on getting my books completed and published.
Looking back, it felt very random and “happenstance” at the time how I found myself wading into the M/M genre pool. It was near the end of Sins of the Sister that I very unexpectedly developed a scene that was intended to be one of violence in which a rapist receives his just reward by being raped. But during this scene, something shifted and the “punisher” –in his tortured state of mind –began to see the rapist as someone he had cared about from his past, and the tone changed as tenderness began to be implemented into the scene.
I don’t know what initially sparked this, as I mentioned –I have never had the desire to write anything M/M before that scene. I wasn’t certain how to write it, either. So I went looking for other M/M stories on the Booksie site, unsure how I truly felt about writing this subject. All my life, up until this point, I had believed it was wrong to be gay. By no means was I a “hater”, but I did believe it was wrong and felt no pull toward such romance or erotica. In my search, I came across a short story titled “Finding Charlie” by Booksie user pDaisy. A gay male author. Now, I had really no concept of gay romance. Maybe because of my conservative Christian upbringing, I simply didn’t understand it or believe it could be as real and authentic as “straight” romance. Whatever the case, I was not prepared for the impact that “Finding Charlie” would have on my life and how I ultimately came to view “love” in all its glorious colors.
Finding Charlie was the first real ‘gay romance’ I had ever read, and the first to involve teen boys. I can’t fully explain with words what happened to me when I began reading the story of Charlie and his simple but beautiful romance with a boy he met by chance on a train. The best way I can describe it is that my heart exploded with a blinding light and overwhelmed me with a passion for this beautiful, incredible love that is shared between boys. I will always believe that this “awakening” was from God, because after a lifetime of believing gay love was wrong –one doesn’t do an about-face this suddenly and powerfully without it being a greater force at work. Never once, following this experience, has even a shadow of doubt darkened my heart or mind, causing me to wonder if I’m on the wrong track.
But what inspired me to actually sit down and write my very first M/M romance? A friendly challenge. I commented on pDaisy’s story, did my best to explain the powerful effect it had on me and how it helped me see things so differently. We began to talk more and more, and he challenged me to write a M/M short story romance…just to see what would come out. I had no idea, really, what story to write. I conjured up a basic story line about a senior boy in high school who was bullied for being gay, and the new kid who came along and fell in love with him. Along the way, another aspect developed surrounding a friendship necklace, two halves of one heart. And the novella of The Brokenhearted Necklace was born. Never before had I felt such a connection with my characters. The boys burrowed into my heart and took me over, syncing my emotions with theirs until we were laughing and crying our way through the story.
This was the true beginning of my adventure into M/M romance. And Paul and Lonny my first “boys”, the ones who showed me the way, taught me how beautiful this special kind of love truly is. When pDaisy read it, it brought him to tears and affected him on a deep emotional level. With the creation of The Brokenhearted Necklace…it was like meeting the love of your life. You know it’s right, and it’s real, even when there’s no rhyme or reason to it. You just feel it in your heart and know that you’ve finally found what you’ve been searching for your whole life. Like coming home.
For almost three years now, that’s how it continues to feel to me. The “awe” of my awakening has yet to fade away or even die down. Every one of my boys take hold of my heart, explode it with light and love. And with each and every one, I share their joy, their sadness, their pain, their fears. When they break, I break with them. And only when they heal, do I heal as well. They are my heart and soul, as treasured to me as if they were my flesh and blood children. To me they are. And because of that, I tend to be very sensitive where they are concerned, very touchy and defensive at times. I don’t always mean to be, but can’t always help it, either. It is my instinct to protect and defend what I love.
When it comes to writing their stories, I let them tell it to me. I rarely outline a book, at any great lengths other than a few chapters ahead. On the occasions I have attempted to do so, the boys just chuckled at my silly efforts to anticipate what they would do and say, and proceeded to do as they pleased :) I am often as surprised as the readers themselves at certain occurrences that take place, as I had no idea it was going to happen until it happened. My boys take me on an adventure with every book. And though I don’t always know every detail ahead of time, they always share their hearts with me from beginning to end. And that is what makes all the tears and pain of each and every journey worthwhile –the heartbeats of my boys that bring it to life…that bring me to life.
Call me dramatic, melodramatic…straight jacket degree of looney…but this is as real as my boys are to me. Maybe it isn’t a good thing that I bond with them the way I do. But it feels good to me –even when I’m drowning in tears and buried in Kleenex –I wouldn’t change a thing. They have broken my heart a million times over and I couldn’t love them more. They are my heart and soul. And I thank God every day for reconditioning my heart to let them in and showing me the true beauty that is M/M romance.