Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Write What You Know (ahem)

"Tris wrote a gritty, realistic novella and my first impulse was to, well, feminise it I guess. I wanted to take out the shocking sexual scenes and replace them with gooey romance.

Tris gacked at the very thought!

The above are the words of my EP editor Emma Shortt in her recent blog post to mark the publication of my M/M romance, Lorenzo il Magnifico. And you bet I - to steal a word that's new to me - gacked!

I have to say I was shocked that Emma found some of the sexual scenes 'shocking'. Whilst Lorenzo il Magnifico is explicit ( it has the hottest EP rating) there really isn't anything in the book that is remotely kinky or even unusual. But, as Emma says, I am gay. What I write, though it be fiction, has to ring true. There is no way I can write about men doing anything other than what comes naturally. My stories are contemporary, about real characters, not pure fantasy. Almost all of my characters are based on someone I have met, or even known in the most Biblical of senses.

I think the editing process was enlightening for both of us. Certainly it woke me up to the fact that things I don't bat an eyelid at might make a woman chew on her bottom lip. But is that a bad thing? I don't think so. If my books satisfy curiosity and help to dispel some of the mystery that surrounds the gay lifestyle, surely this is positive. When Emma sent me comments like 'this would not happen in a M/F romance' my answer could only be 'but it's not an M/F romance'. And there lies the crux of the matter. You cannot read an M/M with M/F eyes.

Emma let me keep it real. There wasn't really much of a fight, it was all good natured. Both of us are happy with the result. Now we wait to see if the readers are.

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