Welcome to the Queer Romance Blog Hop, where queer writers and readers of queer romance share their thoughts on the genre, as well as a few recommendations for books to read! Everyone participating in this blog hop identifies as queer and also reads and/or writes (or edits, or reviews!) queer romance. For our purposes, queer romance refers to books with:
1. LGBTQ+ main characters
2. In romantic relationships
3. That have a happy ending. (No Brokeback Mountain here, folks!)
When something like a Queer Romance Blog Hop pops up in my Twitter feed, there’s no way I’ll say no. In fact, I distinctly recall the muse elbowing me in the ribs rather forcefully, going, “That’s us, Dude.” Let’s see if she’s as enthusiastic when it actually comes down to answering the questions that Heidi Belleau thought up for us.
1. Let’s start off with the getting-to-know-you stuff: How do you identify, and what does that mean to you? Whatever level of detail you’re comfortable with, of course!
I identify as bigender. If I could make my body go back and forth, I’d be most happy, but I’ve learned to live with its innate disability. And the internet with its opportunity to live out different personas suits me quite well. (The muse would like me to point out that she’s okay with that, too.)
As for the rest, I’ve known that I was interested in more than one gender pretty much since my age hit the double digits. At the time I wasn’t aware of more than two, and I identified as bisexual for quite a number of years. That awareness has been widened by the amazing people I’ve had the privilege to know and love, so I guess that, of all the labels out there, the one that says ‘pansexual’ comes closest.
It means that, as long as I keep my mouth shut, it’s easy for me to ‘pass’. But it also means that I ‘pass’ as someone I’m really not. The pressure to come out to new acquaintances is relatively lower, which means coming out to anyone always carries with it the whiff of having an agenda. Double-edged sword and all that.
2. What’s your preferred “flavour” of queer romance (e.g. trans*, f/f, m/m, menage with queer characters, etc.) Why?
My preferred flavour is well-written, hard, fast, and ‘real’ (which by no means excludes sf/f – au contraire) with lots of chemistry and soul. I honestly don’t care about the plumbing. For the time being, the sheer numbers out there favour M/M, but I’ll read anything that gives me my fix.
3. Do you write/read/review? Do you think being queer affects your participation or platform in romancelandia?
I write and read. Being queer definitely affects both the what and the where. I don’t think it changes the human condition.
The book I’m currently working on is M/M, the next one will have a transgender protag, and the muse keeps bugging me about an F/F story that sounds really good. To say it with Cole Porter: “Anything goes.”
4. What drew you to queer romance?
I’m always hooked by the books that break molds, the ones that go beyond the narrow matrix established in and by hetero romance publishing, and that take the genre back to a more encompassing definition of romantic love.
5. What do you love about queer romance in general, and/or your specific subgenre?
I love the optimism, the sensuality, the attitude. I love all the fucks not given about restrictive societal norms. And I’m a sucker for poetic justice.
6. What’s your pet peeve?
Hate- and fear-mongering. Always and in any group.
7. What growth would you like to see in the genre, going forward? Any ideas on how to accomplish that?
I’d love to see more LBT in LGBT romance, and more PoC. I’m working on it. I’m convinced the audience is there. Queer publishers specifically asking for it help find the writers.
8. Do you seek out other queer authors when you read?
The story comes first for me. How the author identifies is secondary. But the fact that my social circle tends to be colourful certainly influences the titles popping up on my radar, even if I don’t specifiaclly seek them out.
9. How do you feel, in general, about straight peoples’ participation in reading, writing, and reviewing queer romance?
At some point all of us will read or write about experiences we’ve not personally made. I don’t see that invalidating participation. Wheaton’s Law applies.
10. Rec us 3 titles in your chosen subgenre and tell us why you love them.
I don’t really have a chosen subgenre. (And I’m trying very hard right now to be good and not intentionally misread the ‘chosen sub’ part. We should make the next blog hop about kink.)
- Unhinge the Universe by Aleksandr Voinov and L.A.Witt for the sheer balls with which it defies expectations
- Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander for the brilliant voice
- Portside by Elyan Smith for the haunting, stark poetry (no HEA, but not Brokeback Mountain either)
Thanks for reading and for following the tour! Be sure to use the links below to check out more great posts from our participants!