Destination : m/m
My reading journey … destination m/m
Pre-kids I loved reading – I always had a book (or two) on the go. Wilbur Smith was my favorite author, he wrote what I knew, what I recognized, dealing with issues that interested me – Africa. My husband is Irish and so my tastes and interests moved outside of Africa, I remember reading a book called “Jig” by Campbell Armstrong and oh my God! It was excellent! When I finished it I truly felt like I had lost a friend – that book was definitely one of the most potent reading experiences I had ever had. Then I had kids… And the time to read was a luxury I did not have.
Fast forward 10 years and a friend begged me to see this movie with her. She was kinda embarrassed as it was a teen movie (we were in our 40’s) the movie was “Twilight”. I loved it! I saw it 8 times at the cinema, bought the blu-ray, and yes I bought the t-shirt too! But most importantly I bought the books – this rekindled my love of reading. The kids were at school, I had the time, and I was a bookaholic once more.
I upped it a notch from Twilight by moving onto the “Sookie” books by Charlaine Harris. Still very much Vampire and Werewolf crazy I went into a paranormal frenzy – Laurel K Hamilton, Chloe Neil, Rachel Vincent, Karen Chance, JR Ward etc and along the way I picked up some friends that will be in my life forever. JR Ward’s “Black Dagger Brotherhood“ was my first hint of m/m with the possible thought of Butch and V as a couple. I liked it. Then a good friend, Faye, asked me if I would read m/m and recommended “PsyCop” by Jordan Castillo Price. I said sure, why not? And so FINALLY I get to the point of this post…
For those that don’t know me I need to share a bit of myself – I am not stupid, I am pretty creative, I am very corny – honestly, I do try to restrain myself from making catch phrases for everything! But this is the key Barb-trait – I am ridiculously naive. I said to Faye at the time – “this is so neat, a series of books with gay guys as the main characters – I see a real niche for this!” I truly had no idea that there was a whole LGBT genre out there with every kind of sub genre within. She told me politely (and maybe laughingly) that there was. After Jordan I moved onto Josh Lanyon, Ethan Day, Ginn Hale, Voinov… and destination m/m was reached.
Friends of mine ask why m/m has me so hooked – and honestly I don’t know how to answer. Sure, two guys together are hawt but I feel patronizing and sexist by just saying that. I am a sappy romantic at heart, I absolutely have to have romance in any book I read and the sweetest romances to read are those when the journey is the hardest – and in 2013 with all the homophobia still about, the journey to HEA-land for two guys is just so powerful and beautiful. I do know that as a 49 year old wife and mother, I may not “get” a book in the same way that a young gay guy might. I also know a sweet coming out or coming of age story cannot mean to me what it might mean to a guy that has shared that journey. But that surely doesn’t make my opinion on a book pointless? No books in fiction ever have a total focus group, that excludes others; ultimately books will always resonate differently with different people. But a well told story is capable of transporting the reader to a time and a place well outside their normal day to day life experiences.
I have often wondered what gay men think of women being such big players within the m/m genre – be it writers, readers, reviewers. Do they feel slighted by it? Or do they feel that by wives and mums loving the genre it can only feed on through family values to their kids and that will lead to a better, more open minded society? I know that after my discovery of the m/m market my children have watched movies like “Shelter”, which we all loved, and that can only be good – to see it as romance not segregated as gay romance. Just romance. Pure and simple… and beautiful.
Please leave your opinions and comments – I would love to know your route to the m/m genre or your opinion on females loving it as much as we do. Thanks xx