Greetings my Pretties!!!!!
I had several debates on “happily-ever-after” (HEA) at Gay Rom Lit. One might tag me as a troublemaker… Okay, fine you might be right but I was rather shocked and confused that the main characters in a romance novel walking off hand in hand into the sunset was even open for debate. Right there on my badge ‘romance’ is front and center in the title.
Romance has a specific definition. To quote the Romance Writers of America: “Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally-satisfying and optimistic ending.” (http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/Id/fid=578) That’s only one definition but it is rather specific.
1+1 = awww (or 1+1+1= awww) Romance is a specific genre with expectations. To paraphrase ZA Maxfield & Ethan Day during their session in the writer’s track, romance is a warm bath. You just ease into it and you know you’re going to feel better when it’s done.
You can imagine my surprise when another author said he didn’t do HEA or even HFN (happy for now). It tapped right into my primitive brain and I denied the possibility. He was a lovely man but I thought this conversation had to be a fluke. How could a romance author not write HEA or HFN? But when the second and third discussion occurred my heart hurt.
What was happening? Had the world tilted and dropped me off in hell? No, no I was still at GRL (& the Heaven & Hell costume party wasn’t until Saturday night).
My reader self rebelled when one author said he wanted to educate the reader giving them a ‘richer more educated read’. I tried to explain as a reader I am drawn to romance for the unfolding of love and as a writer that’s what I want to provide my readers with a bit of happy brain candy that has the potential to make their world brighter.
After a number of discussions, I figured out these lovely authors were writing Gay Fiction, which is a different animal than romance. Gay fiction is fine and a wonderful genre but I’m not your reader base so don’t try to convert me to ‘meaningful’ non-HEA endings cause it’s only going to annoy all of us.
For the record, I don’t want anyone casting shadows over what we write or read by implying romance is ‘less’ intelligence, important, or meaningful because we have happily ever after’s. These romances help turn ‘ew’ into ‘aw’ with every single page. When a mommy/daddy finds out their child is gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, queer, or differently oriented, the parent who has exposure to this genre would further along in the acceptance process then had they not.
And just to clarify I don’t fetishize about gay men (You truly are NOT my fantasy… I respect and wish you well… just putting that out there). I identify with gay men as a category more then I would with ‘straight’ females but that has nothing to do with ‘you’. Something not discussed much is gay romance is helping to re-associate some Q women back to their own sexuality. It is experienced differently than what is found in HET romance. So turn off your judgment off… cause we deserve better.
As for my characters and stories: I worship the edges and I write in the Yaoi style. I don’t expect gay men of a certain age to enjoy my work but to be honest I’m not writing for anyone but me. It’s my sanity, my air, and my world. If you enjoy it come play with me (Currently, I can serve you up hot dirty rockers and sexy zombies who need male essence to survive)… if not let me hug you on Facebook but don’t try to convince me to read non-HEAs.
Soooooo my Pretties tell me what you think?