What’s an author to do?
By Nese Lane
How does a female author go about introducing the mindset of a man who is in desperate need of another man, from a male’s point of view? Well, I can honestly say that finding my m/m voice has been my most exciting experience by far.
So what’s an author to do? I’m new to the m/m erotic romance genre and believe me I’ve asked myself that question on many occasions. I absolutely love building my gorgeous male characters and putting them in the conflicting situations we all love, but I’ve come across a few differences in opinion on just how to go about it.
For example when I wrote Keeping Secrets From Sir, my gay brother beta read for me, and quickly pointed out a situation where my sub mentioned things between he and the Dom had been strained for five or six weeks. His take from a gay man’s perspective was, “Men would never wait that long to confront each other and deal with the situation.” So I changed the story to say two weeks.
When I received my first edits, my editor suggested I change two weeks, to five or six, because two wasn’t long enough to build the desperation level that caused my sub to misbehave. **head pounds on desk** She had a great point, as well. The fact that she’d zeroed in on the same exact paragraph I’d changed before, was amusing in a completely frustrating way.
I ended up going with my gut and changing it back to the longer time period, because the D/s dynamics of the story were very important to me. The BDSM lifestyle is something I have complete respect for and strive to show from a realistic viewpoint.
As authors are known to do, while researching a story, I immersed myself in all things BDSM, visited public dungeons and conducted interviews. My DH was pleasantly pleased with my new outlook, and I was blown away at how quickly I was able to relate, and discover the hidden needs for my subs character.
My major dilemma was that I wanted to write a story that both gay men, and women like myself, who love to read m/m erotica would enjoy. There were several other points in the story where the female vs gay male outlook on relationships were different, and I began to wonder how I was going to pull off a story that appealed to both audiences.
In the end, I relied on my brother’s unending support and fountain of information, along with my love for m/m erotica and I am confident Keeping Secrets From Sir is a story that will be enjoyed by all.
Is my desire to straddle the line and appeal to both gay men and women who love m/m erotic romance an unobtainable goal? Let me know what you think…