04-21-2009 11:48 PM
I was at the store tonight and while I was walking out of the store I noticed two books sitting on the New Arrival table and they were amongst the typical romance novels I have seen. What made me stop was the pictures, both books had pictures of two men with no women. So I was curious enough to take a look at them and they read what I have come to expect from the normal romance novels my girlfriends read. Now as a gay man I'm not all that sure I would be interested in reading a m/m romance written by a straight woman. Plus the style of the book is what I associate with the type of book a woman is more normally going to like than a man.
So I am curious to hear from you guys who these books are aimed at. I assume they are aimed at straight women, but I never thought of straight women wanting to read a romance novel about two men. Needless to say I am a little intrigued by the idea and almost bought one of them but I am a little wierded out by the whole idea at the same time.
These were the book I saw:
04-22-2009 09:51 AM
I am a straight woman and m/m romance doesn't appeal to me or the group I hang out with, of course maybe being in my mid-fifties might have a factor in that. There is one exception to that rule and that is the suspense romance author Susanne Brockmann in her Trouble Shooters series there is a m/m romance between an actor and an FBI agent that even rated it's own book and I really liked that, but that romance was nurtured through many stories. But as far as being written by women I don't see a problem with that, men write regular romance and hit the nail on the head pretty well, and women write novels that involve male heros, I think it just takes a great storytelling ability and a good imagination to write any kind of fiction. I usually prefer women authors because they think like I do, but there a spattering of men authors who rate as my favorites too.
And as far as wondering why those book would appeal to a straight female audience, well ask yourself why straight men enjoy watching f/f stuff.
04-22-2009 11:13 AM
I just reread my first post and I think I misstated my feelings abou tthis issue. I'm not weirded out by the whole thing I am more curious than anything. I found this commentary online about why women write m/m romance for women and I found that it made sense. I would also like to know other books in this sub-genre that are good, because quite frankly from what I read of the books I saw last night they weren't very good.
Do answer why I think straight men like f/f, I think it has more to do with themselves than the actuall females. The straight man always puts himself into that situation.
04-22-2009 12:43 PM - edited 04-22-2009 12:44 PM
04-27-2009 10:08 PM
Hi Ryan_G! Your questions and curiosity are pretty typical and perfectly understandable for anyone who first encounters m/m and its female audience, without knowing much about it. The truth is, besides the genre's legions of female fans, a lot of gay men also enjoy the more romantic focus of m/m stories.
I'm an m/m author and I blog about this stuff a lot on my site: http://friskbiskit.com.
Until now, the genre has mainly been online, the books available through epublishers like Loose-Id, Torquere and Samhain. The books you saw are the first efforts of a print publisher to bring m/m romance into the romance section of a brick and mortar book store. As a genre, we've faced a lot of prejudice from the established romance industry, due to their definition of what a romance is.
For reviews, try Literary Nymphs: http://literarynymphsreviewsonly.blogspot.com/ or go to the lgbt section of All Romance eBooks and check out the top-rated titles: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/category145.html
04-28-2009 02:47 PM
I'm one of the many women who read and write M/M romance fiction. I don't think that you can define exactly why this kind of fiction might appeal to straight women, the reasons will be as varied as the individuals concerned. Straight women fantasize about sexy men and of course M/M fiction usually has them in abundance, it doesn't seem to matter that the men concerned are gay. It might well be a reversal of the straight guy's fascination with viewing lesbian sex?
I write M/M romances that have a slightly kinky element, they're erotic, but not sexually explicit as such. They appeal to a fairly broad spectrum of people, both gay and straight, who appreciate the kink concerned and enjoy reading about it in the form of a nice romance story.
One of my books is available here on B & N. It's called Moving On, written by me...Fabian Black
04-28-2009 03:24 PM
04-29-2009 12:28 AM - edited 04-29-2009 12:28 AM
Jessica and/or Fabian
Thank you for replying to the post. I read the literarynymphs page and was curious are these books available in stores or only on line? Second question, is for someone who is new to this particular genre what would be a good first book to read.
Now I'm used to reading m/m books written by men like Michael Thomas Ford, Timothy James Beck, and Dave Benbow. So my third quesiton is how would you describe the style difference between a woman writing this type of romance and a gay man?
04-29-2009 09:35 AM
The majority of my readers are straight women. Most M/M fiction written by women is, I believe, aimed at other women. It’s different to gay fiction written by gay men for gay men. However, that said, I also have a gay male fan base plus a sprinkling of straight male readers.
Ryan, I would say that most M/M fiction is still to be found in online bookstores, though maybe that has begun to change. There are hundreds of different styles out there and as with any kind of fiction it’s a matter of finding out what suits your personal taste. I honestly don’t think the gender of an author matters nor their sexual orientation. Brokeback Mountain was based on a short story written by a woman. There are loads of male writers who write romance novels under female names in order to appeal more to a female audience. Some men only want to read porn, other men like something a little more romantic and the same applies to women. If you like it you like it and if you don’t you don’t. Try the following link, you’ll find an array of M/M and GLBT fiction there.
Best wishes,Fabian Black :-)
04-29-2009 10:32 AM
Most of my readers are women, though I also have gay male readers. I also know a number of lesbians who are fans of the genre, so there you go. Almost everyone loves m/m!
I know one of my favorite aspects of m/m is the absence of the heterosexual power dynamic. When writing a relationship between two men, I am free to play with power dynamics between them without having to either adhere by or refute long-standing gender roles. I find it liberating.
As far as differences in in how men and women write... I do agree that it depends on the individual. There is a difference between gay erotica and m/m romance, in that the empasis in m/m romance is on the development of a relationship, but both kinds of story can be very hot.
My favorite m/m author is Lee Rowan. She writes historicals. Alex Beecroft is another favorite of mine, and also an historical author. You might also try Kiernan Kelly. If you like mysteries, Josh Lanyon is a good writer, and finally, I'll add a shameless little plug for my own work, which is contemporary, sometimes with paranormal elements. You can find out all about that, and sample some free fiction, on http://friskbiskit.com. Google the other authors and you should be able to find their books, either through their websites, their epublishers, or a distributor site like All Romance eBooks.
Yes, m/m is almost entirely published in electronic format. As I mentioned, there's a lot of skepticism in the established print publishing industry over the market for romance novels with two male protagonists. Hopefully, the books you saw, Ryan_G, will help to change that perception.