I can’t remember why I was at Electric Lit recently, but I stumbled across “this post” from a gay reader who resents heterosexual women writing m/m romance novels.
I can see his point, but of course, these novels aren’t meant for gay men, they’re written for straight women. They’re not supposed to be accurate portrayals of gay men; they’re supposed to be portrayals of men the way we want them to be. All romance is fantasy, after all.
Speaking for myself, I first started reading m/m romance when I’d read one too many hetero romances with a bimbo heroine and it occurred to me, Why am I reading a book about some TSTL heroine who isn’t me having a relationship with a great guy she doesn’t deserve, when I could get two men for the price of one?
It just made more sense to read about two men coming together than try to live vicariously through some stupid cow I couldn’t relate to. Evidently, a lot of other romance readers feel the same way. (♯^.^♯)
But I can totally sympathize with gay men who get a rude awakening when they stumble across one of these books. I feel the same way when I buy a bookmarked literary fiction, only to find it’s actually pulp fiction that happens to have stream-of-consciousness, a navel-gazing character, or an emphasis on characterization over plot. Personally, I define litfic by depth, not by gimmicks.
What’s needed is a better way to categorize books so the appropriate audience can find them and others know to avoid them. The problem is how to do that when the Book Industry Study Group is slow to recognize new genres, and Amazon has even fewer categories than the BISAC listings.
Actually, pondering it now, I don’t think it’s ever going to happen. ˓(ˊᘩˋ⋆)
OMP Admin Note: Akje Majdanek is a writer and OMP Network member. Akje is a guest blogger for the One Million Project website whose creativity is evidenced in her work. Akje’s books–Der Reiter and Adeline–are available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Akje_Majdanek/e/B00UZSTW74