Friday, March 25, 2011

Let's Hear it for the Boys! (And Girls)

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Those of you who've been following the story behind my novel "Perfect Score" (what? you haven't?) will know that I didn't set out to write an M/M story.

If you're really interested, you can find the story behind the book splashed all over the internet, or even here.  Suffice to say "Perfect Score" started out M/F. But circumstances within the storyline meant changing the sex of one of the main characters. It didn't matter to me a jot. After all, it's love that makes the world go round and who falls for who is just another facet of Nature. Right?

Wrong.

I've been amazed, and horrified, at the attitude of people since I've been published. I've had comments on websites asking me how my mother feels about my work; anonymous comments on here that just go into the Spam folder; people I thought friends have said they'd never read such a book. Such a book? What kind of book do they think it is? It's not erotic, it's non-explicit actually, and the focus is more on the suspense than the romance - didn't they read the blurb? They still wouldn't read it? OK, fair enough. Each to his own but if anyone else asks if it's another Brokeback Mountain, I might throttle them.

Now I realize what some responses to my initial submissions were all about. There were at least five agents and publishers who said, "Thank you very much but we don't publish this type of work." I'd researched well before submitting - I checked that they were happy with romance and suspense. What type of work were they talking about?

My belief in human-nature wobbled once again this week when I read a blog post by a well-known author. She'd been invited to write a short story for a YA anthology and she'd made the two main characters male. Look at what happened: here.

It amazes me that people are so narrow-minded to insist that a bitter-sweet - and probably educative - story cannot be published. The editor's attitude to the gay community is well summed up, I think, in her final words about wrestling.