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Traci

*cough* well, um, I LIKE the X-rated bits. But that also comes with the caveat of it better be a good story to go with it. And romance is fine; more interesting than the usual hetero stuff that you know what the ending will be. But, no, it's not always about the sex.

I think she's right in that it's not going to show up in the romance section any time soon, but it's out there. There is gay romance, but it's hiding in the fiction section. (like books by Mann.) And Lynn Flewelling's latest is totally M/M romance (and it makes me not feel a bit bad about some of the dark stuff I put in mine. Seriously. Shadows Return is a bit twisted.)

Anne

I haven't started the Lackey book I bought yet, but now I'm really looking forward to reading all of them.

Interestingly, there's a been a "what do readers want" discussion on the Torquere Social loop and the choruses of "Give us Plot!" are well near deafening. That doesn't speak directly to the question of romance but I am heartened to hear it nonetheless. M/M readers deserve quality stories.

Anne

That was supposed to be: M/M readers deserve quality stories whether those stories focus on sex or the relationship or both.

Jay Lygon

I suppose Ginger thinks the success of Brokeback Mountain and Anne Rice's Vampire series are anomolies, because it isn't the sex that brought readers to those books (well, there is no sex in Interview With The Vampire). NY editors and publishers continue to show ignorance and arrogance when it comes to m/m. Maybe if they asked instead of lectured for once, they'd learn something.

Angie

O_O

I'm sorry, but there's so much WTFage in that statement, I'm about to drown in it.

Has this woman ever, like, read any romantic m/m? Or is she just assuming it doesn't exist? Does she read m/m at all? Because it certainly doesn't sound like she has any sort of handle on the genre, what's in it or what its readers want.

If Ms. Buchanan's point of view is at all common among the big NY publishers, though, then it's not surprising that there's so little decent m/m fiction coming off their presses. :/

Angie

Nicole T.

While neither is really my bag, if I had to choose, it would be the romantic one. I don't get my jollies off when two men are going at it like jackrabbits. No "thrill" for me there. I'd rather read the more in depth book so I could at least be a dork and go, "Awww." I own one yaoi picture and it's quite romantic, so there.

Zathyn Priest

This topic has certainly caused a stir among m/m romance writers and readers alike.

One of the reasons I decided to write a novel for Torquere was because of the emphasis on plot as opposed to porn. I've had several emails from readers and not one of them have mentioned I should remove the romance aspects of my writing in favour of adding chapter after chapter of gratuitous sex. I think that speaks for itself, after all the reader is the one we're ultimately writing for. If they're leaving feedback stating the romance and plot is what they love about our work then plainly m/m romance is alive and well.

Anne

Thanks for chiming in Nicole T!

Well said, Zathyn. The important thing is that m/m is thriving and its readers are become more discerning and vocal about what they want all the time.

For the record, I want to point out that Ginger and I have known each other for years and I have tremendous respect for her as a professional. While I don't agree with her views on m/m, I do recognize that they stem from accepted wisdom among the romance editors in her company. I welcome discussion of the issue, but please, don't take it out on Ginger.

Erastes

Well, that's one of the most redundant statements I've ever heard in a long time. Perhaps this particular editor doesn't know that it's already a thriving and growing genre even if she doesn't know about it?

Granted it hasn't yet been launched by the "big" publishers - I'm constantly knocking on the door of Mills & Boon and the like - and preaching about how they need to have a gay "arm" and still get "there's no call for it."

Which is laughable.

It's like the old story "that's the 1000th time this week I've had to tell someone there's no call for it."

Scott and Scott had to start their own gay romance line (Romentics) because no-one would do it (and that's written by gay men) and many small presses, notably Torquere, PD Publishing and Linden Bay Romance are specialising in having a line of Romance

Please tell your friend that Perseus Books/Running Press are going to be the first major publisher to launch a pure gay romance line in Spring 09. I'm quite sure that other publishers will scramble to join the bandwagon once one of their own goes first.

Anne

Ha! Your experience sounds a lot like mine, E. I have a print pub career and I've been bugging editors and agents about this for years. I told G that the first mainstream publisher to do it will make a ton of money, and you're absolutely right, as soon that happens, the rest will change their minds so fast it will make your head spin. M/M imprints will be popping up like bunnies.

D.N. Lyons

I just bought Brokeback Mountain and have yet to see it. I'm excited though, because it's supposed to be super racy and romantic. Wilde was super racy and romantic, and I loved it. I think this movie will turn out awesome.

I like M/M because I like to inject tenderness in men that isn't often found.

Plus, two c**ks together = win.

Jules Jones

Eh. Mine at Loose Id are all m/m romance, and I don't seem to have any trouble finding an audience. Dolphin Dreams made its minimum $1k royalties for PAN membership in its first monthly royalty statement (and almost certainly in its first week on sale). Lord and Master was also pretty fast. That's in ebook, which by its very nature is currently small press, simply because ebooks don't have much market penetration yet.

I've thought for a long time that there's a large potential market there, but it needs a publisher willing to take the risk of trying to connect with that market. As long as the bookshops keep putting the print books in the gay and lesbian studies section instead of in the romance section, where not going to see many print-only romance readers buying them.

Jules Jones

And of course, it's late here and I'm tired, so I only see the "we're/where" thinko in the last sentence after posting. Hate that...

Anne

I'm glad to hear your books are doing well at Loose Id, Jules. My first release with them is coming out at the end of the month.

I love, love, love the epub business model. It just makes so much sense and does away with so many of the things that make it really difficult to get ahead in print.

And yeah, where they shelve the books is just as important as whether they come out in print or not. M/M will sell in the romance section but there are a lot of preconcieved ideas preventing established publishers from taking that step.

Jules Jones

A lot of the m/m erotic romance readers want the "erotic", yes. But they want it with the "romance". The smutty stuff is a turn-on because there's an emotional connection between the characters -- if it was just blokes slapping their bits together, there'd be a lot less interest.

Steven Harper

Wait--what? M/M romance doesn't work except as erotica? I could list titles all day, starting with Marion Bradley's THE CATCH TRAP and ending with my own book Silent Empire novels--all four of them. I never wrote a single sex scene in any of them, either. Exploring a same-sex relationship isn't just for erotica at all! There are plenty of MM romance stories out there. Sheesh.

Anne

Yes, but so far they are not shelved in the romance section. I can't speak to The Catch Trap, but your Silent Empire books, and the works of Mercedes Lackey, Lynn Flewelling and others who feature m/m relationships in their stories, are published as science fiction or fantasy.

It's a fascinating phenomenon. For years I heard about all of these wildly popular sf/f authors, but it wasn't until Nica Berry did her presentation on the history of glbt sf/f at YaoiCon last year that I discovered what they were wildly popular _for_.

The fantastic nature of sf/f has provided a haven for m/m stories. But the publishers don't want anyone to know they're m/m stories, so you have to be in the know to find them.

It's all quite ridiculous, actually. One of these days we'll all run into each other in the m/m romance section of Barnes and Noble and have a good laugh about it.

Katrina Strauss

As both a reader and writer, one of the draws of m/m is that there is not a female in the story to identify with. I can simply sit back and watch the boys being boys. The mainstream industry will eventually catch on, however, just as they recently have with erotic romance and e-books.

Sarah

One of the most enjoyable reads I have had recently was Sharon Maria Bidwell's Angel Heart. What I loved about the book was the development of Dean's character and the difficulties he faces in his *monogamous long-term relationship*.

And I have to agree with Jules about the slapping bits together 'cause I tried reading a book recommended by a friend the other week, and it did not float my boat. Much bit slapping. heh. For me it is about the characters and their journey.

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