I’m continuing my January salute to Indiana Romance Authors today with author A.D. Ellis, who is an Indiana RWA chapter sister. I haven’t had much of a chance to get to know A.D. very well yet, so I’m pleased as anything to have her here with me today. I asked her to talk about writing M/M contemporary romance because it’s a topic I know nothing about and I confess I’ve always been curious about how women write gay male/male stories. A.D. is an award-winning independent author. She is also a wife, a mother of two, and an inner city alternative education teacher. So without further ado, I’m turning the blog over to A.D. Ellis.
Thanks, Nan. I’m glad to be here. I thought I’d share a typical conversation when people find out what I write:
Random person: “Oh, you’re a writer? What do you write? Anything I would have read?”
Me: “I write romance.”
Random person *looking sly*: “So, like Mommy Porn?”
Me *taking a deep breath and smiling*: “No, like romance novels. Actual stories.”
Person: “Yeah, but like it’s mostly sex, right?”
Me: “No, my books are actual stories with a plot. Romance and possibly sex are part of the story, but not the only part.”
Person: “So, what made you start writing romance?” *curls lip in disgust at the word*
Me: “Romance is what I love to read. I started writing contemporary romance because it’s what I knew. But, I soon figured out that my niche is male/male romance.”
Person *frowning*: “Male male? What’s that?”
Me: “Gay romance. Love stories with two men.”
Person *squirming and curling lip in extra disgust*: “Oh, really? That’s…interesting. Why did you choose to write that?”
Me: “Well, it’s sort of a long story. I wrote a child character and I knew from the moment I penned him that he was gay. His name was Sawyer and he had a twin named Decker. At the time, Sawyer and Decker were just two child characters I thought I’d never see again. But, later, when I decided to continue the Torey Hope series, I realized I’d need to stay true to Sawyer and that meant his story would be a male/male romance.”
Person: “Why not just write him straight. Like pretend he was the girl or something.”
Me *attempting not to roll my eyes*: “Because that wasn’t being true to Sawyer. I wouldn’t make a real friend or person hide who they are so why would I make my character?”
Person *looking at me in disbelief and confusion while nodding*
Me: “So, I reached out to readers for any who would be willing to help me with making a realistic male/male story. One dear reader introduced me to her son and the rest, as they say, is history. He’s now one of my dearest friends and I, thanks to reading A LOT of male/male romance and asking even more questions, fell in love with the M/M romance genre. Ten male/male romance novels later, I’m still in love with the genre and going strong with the stories.”
Person *crinkling brow*: “But, are you gay?”
Me *smiling politely*: “No, I’m straight. But, thanks to my friends, my questions, and this journey, I understand a lot more about gender and sexual fluidity than I ever would have dreamed. And, I’m a hopeless romantic. Who doesn’t love a great love story? I don’t care if it’s guys, girls, or aliens, I love love and want nothing more than to see people safe, happy, and loved.”
The conversation usually goes a couple different ways after that. Some people are offended or disgusted or whatever and back away quickly. Some people excitedly want to know more about the books I write because they love romance or “have a gay friend who would just love this.” It’s great when the conversation turns to more questions, curiosity, perhaps some minds being opened. I adore when I find someone who loves to read. It’s even better when they love to read romance. If they love M/M romance? Well, I feel like I’ve found my soul mate.
Truly, though, I don’t ever mind answering questions about what I write. I can’t exactly explain WHY I love the M/M genre. But, I also can’t explain WHY I love Brussel sprouts or nacho cheese on my pizza. I just do. I love chocolate, hot tea, sweet wine, pulled pork, pizza, and naps. Throw in some romance, especially between two men, and I’m a happy girl. It’s who I am.
Readers who also love reading about love can find my contemporary romance and male/male romance titles on my website http://www.adellisauthor.com.
My books are on Amazon (author.to/ADEllisAmazon) and the contemporary romances are also on iBooks, Nook, and Kobo.
Readers can connect with me on social media: