Monday, 18 May 2009

Thoughts on the M/M romance genre and on self publishing

So why write M/M?

Why not. I really don't think that women writing M/M fiction is that big a deal anymore, it's nothing out of the ordinary. No one is claiming its meant to be Gay fiction in a pure sense (i.e. writings about gay experience, written by gay men for gay men) Gender switching authors are nothing new, look at the Brontes and George Eliot. Men write under female pseudonyms, women write under male pseudonyms, for various reasons, including marketing. On the whole writers write whatever ticks their box. The reasons why one female author chooses to write M/M will differ to why another chooses to do so. Perhaps the underlying motivation is voyeuristic in aspect, a M/M manifestation of the F/F scenes written by many het male authors...and no one questions them. Click the link below to read more about my own particular style of M/M:

So why self publish?

Again why not? I prefer to be in control of my own work and anyway I can't take rejection, it makes me ill. ;-) I decided to become my own publisher last year when I needed a challenge to get me through a difficult period. It’s been hard work, but I’ve enjoyed it. I've actually had some of my more mainstream writing published in magazines and I have to say that I found the whole process to be unsatisfactory. Edtitors imagine they know best, in fact eight times out of ten they don't. They're merely opinionated butchers of other people's babies. They take the lifeblood out of your work and give you back a nicely embalmed corpse. Of course brilliant editors do exist and they can give truly useful and constructive advice without robbing your work of originality and personality, but they're a rarity, at least in my experience.

There are very few, if any publishing houses that cater for the style of fiction I write. There are lots of publishers that cater for M/M erotica. However, I don't write heavy sex scenes, so my work doesn't quite fit in there. I simply don't have the skills, or interest in writing that kind of thing, love reading it, but cannot write it. My fiction is much more emotional than physical. The communities that cater for the spanking fetish tend to be almost solely dominated (no pun) by M/f scenarios and they don't want anything to do with M/M spanking fiction. So far only one respected publisher of spanking erotica has even agreed to carry a link to my pages (thank you pink flamingo publications) Bethany's woodshed won't even deign to reply to my requests to exchange links, nor do many, many others. No matter, I actually think my brand of spanking fiction is vastly superior to much of the M/f stuff that's on the market, so it's their loss not mine. ;-) I also recently applied to join the erotic authors association, but the ensuing silence seems to indicate a negative result, maybe I haven’t given it enough time. I did think that perhaps my work wouldn’t quite fit their bill, but being new to all this self promo stuff thought I’d give it a go. I wouldn’t have minded being turned down at all, if my stuff doesn’t fall within their boundaries then that’s fair enough. What I dislike is not being given the courtesy of reply. After all it was an open invite issued by the association and surely a reply to applicants, yes or no, is really only good manners.

I know that my stories are enjoyed (despite the odd grammatical glitch or overlong sentence) and I get a BIG kick out of that. i've been writing online fiction for almost eight years now and have had fan mail from all over the world. A love of slightly kinky M/M romance is universal it seems ;-) I have written under several pen names and finally settled on Fabian Black for several reasons, none of which matter.

No comments: