What is All About Writing Wednesday? Well, basically it's just me sharing my experiences with writing and other crafty, artistic endeavors. In this post, I thought I'd talk about how I came to write M/M Romance. For those of you new to me as an author, M/M stands for Male/Male.
I'm not going to get into the boring debate about how I'm a bi-sexual female writing gay romance. I will say this and this though. If you don't like what I write than don't read it. Enough said.
Instead, I'd like to focus on how reading in the genre your writing is essential.
I got started reading the genre through a book group. Around ten years ago, there used to be bookswap websites. Now, before you start think it was a pirating site, you should know I'm talking about paperbacks. This was before ebooks were just about the only way to read. For those of you still clinging to paperbacks, you might want to get with the ebook program. They aren't going anywhere.
Anyway, the group primarily swapped erotic romance. The first book that had some homoerotic content in it was a book by Emma Holly. It was a paperback copy. I liked it so much that I started reading JL Langley's M/M contemporary book, The Tin Star. It was part of a series so of course I read all of the books.
If your interested in knowing my favorites in the M/M genre take a look at Bronwyn Heeley's blog the second week of every month.
I've been reading the M/M genre like a woman possessed ever since. So how has reading seven books a week helped me as a writer?
1. I know what I like and what I don't like. This has been important when deciding what kind of things I'd like to write and where my writing style fits in. Knowing where I fit in helps me market and promote my books. (I'm still learning about promoting myself. Marketing is a special kind of learning experience.)
2. Planning the future. Five years from now I know what kinds of things I'd like to be writing. Sub-genres have their own readership and it has helped that I've read several different sub-genres, so I can plan my own writing career out. I write M/M contemporary romance and if i suddenly started writing Sci-Fi readers might be very confused. I'd even have to write under a pen name which is basically starting over for a newbie writer like me. Reading as much as I have, has helped me figure out how to go from where i'm at to another direction without freaking out my precious readers. I love them and don't want to freak them out in anyway.
3. Knowing what's good and what's not. Okay, this one seems obvious and enough said really.
4. Getting to know authors and publishers. This as probably been the most important for me. Even if I was thinking about self-publishing I first need to know how to do that. It helped to know the authors who have done it and have produced good work that I enjoy. I'm traditionally published but it helped that I read so much because I know who the publishers are and what authors they already published. I knew all this before I submitted Whispers of Home for publication with Extasy.