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Monday, February 22, 2016

Prejudice Deserves the Old Heave-Ho! #article #gayromlit #prejudice #authors

Welcome to BRB, everyone! 

Have you ever wondered why you chose to become an author? Like many of us, I do it because I love writing. Period. My imagination won’t stop; it seems to run full tilt twenty-four seven. Story ideas come to me almost on a daily basis. Whether I develop all my ideas or not is another issue. I create a goal for the short term and try my best. Right now I’ve got one book with an editor, and another, what I call a “final draft,” which means it's nearly ready for editing. So, that’s two new releases under Blak Rayne. But, I also have another WIP almost finished, which will be published under a different name. In fact, I’ve got several novels nearing completion strictly for my other pseudonyms. Then there are the rewrites. In my spare time, what little I have, I try to work on re-editing past publications for republication. I know, this all sounds confusing, but really, it isn’t. 
I divide my time for each project and work diligently to complete them all. The people I feel sorry for are my editors. Because very soon I’m going to dump several manuscripts in their laps and say: “I need it now!” I’m just kidding. The editors I work with are so wonderful, and I can’t thank them enough.
My point is, as an author I work tirelessly to get the next project done, and I also work to promote. The other day, a close friend and fellow scribe asked me if I’d be willing to do an author interview for her blog. However, she didn’t want me to do it as Blak Rayne because she’s a YA writer, which is totally understandable. But she didn’t know how to mention it without hurting my feelings. Finally, she just asked straight out and I immediately responded with: “Of course, I will! No problem. I don’t want any of my pen names associated with one another at this point, anyway.”
Lately, I’ve experienced some really, what I would call, harsh Neanderthal reactions from people. They ask what genre I write, I tell them, and then I see that horrified face—the one that exemplifies disbelief and OMG disgust! When I first started in this business asshole comments and revulsion were almost expected as part of the territory, and honestly, I remained stoic in the face of that prejudice. But lately, it’s happening again. I don’t know if everyone’s forgotten but we are living in the 21st Century. Gays, as well as their supporters, have rights in this country. I can read and publish whatever the hell genre I want. And I’m tired of people looking down at me for what I enjoy doing. That’s why I’ve chosen, at least for now, to separate my pseudonyms: two female names and one male. It isn’t that I’m embarrassed by what I write, it’s the fact I’m sick of people judging my work based on their narrow-minded views. As if gay romance doesn’t have a place on the shelves, it’s somehow insignificant and doesn’t require any thought process to create, and neither does it deserve any literary merit.
“She publishes gay romance so her writing can't be that good.” Yes, a woman actually said that under her breath, and she thought I didn’t hear her.

Broken Back Mountain leaps to mind, and it won awards for its literary merit. Eventually, when the time is right, I will link all three. But for now, I chose to avoid the stigma by keeping the genres separate. Perhaps then someone will notice that I am capable of putting cohesive thoughts together on paper, for real.
Happy Yaoi Hunting!
Blak Rayne

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