Most readers who are familiar with me are aware that I like to cross genre. Gleefully, I hop from sci fi to fantasy to paranormal. I’ve done bisexual ménage, interracial, multi-cultural and BDSM as well. So it’s not surprising that I finally ended up writing (and loving) m/m romance…except that I never really wanted or intended to write m/m. I was pretty happy with my straight and bi romances. This genre is so jam packed with new and established talent, there just didn’t seem to be a point. But then, I also vowed never to write werewolves…
There’s always been m/m content in my romances. There’s something so wonderful and winsome about men in love. Many women love that fantasy, especially if they happen to be in the middle of the mix. In my father’s side of the family, polyamory popped up more than once…(my female relations do love their men!) so I’m comfortable with that concept. I love my heroines and take pride in writing amazing, complex women. I was really quite content with the variety in my writing.
That first m/m story came about pretty much by accident. I was doing a little writing exercise on first person POV and the male character that I was writing really had nothing to say. So I switched to the heroine, who was a bit of a disreputable princess. She kept spouting this line over and over…. ”A whore is a whore…” Beyond that, she didn’t have much to say. So I’m left sitting there with a first person POV exercise where neither character was talking. When that happens, you either scrap the project or turn their world upside-down.
So I made the princess a man.
Suddenly, Hela, who was now Helios, had a lot to say. And my reluctant hero pricked up his ears, got a gleam in his eye and told me that his name was Griffin. The story picked up speed and was suddenly in the hands of my Loose Id editor with a release date. An Uncommon Whore was surprisingly successful.
So my thought was that it was a fluke…right? I really didn’t want to go down that road too far. But when the Coming Out series was proposed at Loose Id, another character that had been languishing in my files came forward with a purpose. His name was Oliver Bleu and he wanted a man of his own. I finally understand the reason some of my characters and stories didn’t fly…they didn’t have chemistry with their heroine!
Have I crossed the road completely? Well, no. I still love my heroines. I love my ménages. But writing m/m romance was such a delightful shake-up in my routine that I certainly won’t be leaving it behind. I like playing off alpha against alpha and pulling little surprises in the balance of dominance. I enjoy letting tough men show their vulnerability to another man. In a good romance, I expect some element of sacrifice, and having a character risk his self image and his machismo is such a sacrifice.
So how did you cross the street? Did you download a m/m romance to see what all the fuss was about? Did you stumble across a manga, only to discover that the pretty girl was really a boy? Tell me about how you came to read or write in the m/m side of the spectrum. I’ll randomly choose a comment and the winner can choose an e-book from my backlist.
Belinda McBride lives in far northern California with her family, which mostly consists of an unruly group of Siberian Huskies. She writes for Loose Id, Changeling Press, Dreamspinner Press and Passion in Print Publishing.
Please visit her website at http://www.belindamcbride.com
Or her blog at http://www.belindam.blogspot.com
More information on her latest release:
LAST CALL EUROPE: BLACK WOLF
M/M Paranormal/Shifter Romance
Siberians live for the thrill of the chase; wolves exist for the joy of the capture. On a foolish dare, Jasper O’Shea takes a gamble at the Last Call, letting fate chose his lover for the night.
Detective Brutus “Brutal” Ballantine came to the Last Call looking for something far different than a sly, clever Siberian Husky. Yet when the call comes over the sound system, he finds himself unable to resist the lure of laughing blue eyes and a happy tail.
The chase is on, but who is the hunter, and who is the prey?
(Author’s note: While this story stands alone, it features characters introduced in Last Call Europe: Devil’s Advocate.)
Read an excerpt at: Changeling Press
Thanks for having me here today, Christie!
Great post thank you for sharing ! The book sounds devine ! All the best Desere
You’re certainly welcome, Belinda!
Desere, please e-mail me at belinda at belindamcbride.com to arrange for your download!
Drat. Looks like I missed the contest.
Well, I’ll still answer the question. My very first experience with m/m was in an Ellora’s Cave print anthology. The story was a m/m/f menage, but the guys were a couple and the woman joined them later. I very quickly discovered several other m/m/f menage books both there and at Loose Id. From there, natural progression to enjoying books with just the m/m and no female.
I watched an anime called Gravitation. Though it’s not really considered yaoi, it’s more boy love. Anyway, after that I was hooked; I went yaoi crazy and started a discussion board on Amazon.com. After we maxed it out, we started another one. We’ve been discussing yaoi since 2007!
I was on another discussion board about, of all things, vampires! 3 posters raved about The Assignment by Evangaline Anderson, so I bought it. The rest is history. So one of my bookcases is filled with yaoi manga and my ereader is filled with m/m stories!
Oh, this was fun to read! It’s always interesting to peek into the minds of writers, especially female m/m writers. Despite that one glaring thing we have in common, we’re really a diverse bunch and come to m/m from from a lot of different places.
Your question evoked a bit of nostalgia — I’ve been reading m/m so long I had to think way back to remember my first. But it was old school slash: Star Trek. I stumbled across the entire world of fanfic by happy accident (before the days of Google!), which of course led quickly to the discovery of slash. My first reaction was, “Um… no.” But my curiosity got the best of me and I read a K/S story. It took me three days to admit to myself that I had enjoyed it, and another week to admit I wanted to read more. The first time I wrote my own m/m I nearly fainted from all the blushing, but I was hooked. Having the romantic leads jump out of their culturally defined gender roles opened up a universe of possibility, and for me as an author, there’s no going back.
You know, when I think back, my first exposure to m/m was actually HK martial arts slash. There were women who wrote about actors like Ti Lung and David Chiang, or various permutations of the iconic Venoms troupe. Not long after that, I encountered Yaoi. 🙂