First and foremost, I’d like to thank RJ Scott for giving me the opportunity to join in on the Saturday Essays. Thanks RJ!

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As I sit to write this post, a thousand and one thoughts swirl through my magpie mind. I wonder if my new book will be banned next week, or if it will once again be on the up side of the flippity-floppity dance that PayPal and the third party distributors have been engaged in of late. I wonder about why so many who read and write romance which occurs between two men seem to have such deep-seated antipathy towards women. Especially when most of the readers and writers of this genre are themselves women. And then I remember that I live in a world where a very short time ago women everywhere were considered chattel. I recall that in the language I speak, English (and yes, it is American style, but still, English), the most pejorative slurs refer to women’s body parts.

Oh, yeah.

That’s right.

When I keep those things in mind it no longer comes as a surprise that a genre dedicated to romance between men would seek to strangle the life out of its female characters and make mockery of or gasp in horror at the authors who dare to have strong women in their books. Who have a sister or a mother or a friend of the gay main character have a brain and show it on the page. Even more astonishing are the authors who actually let a woman save the day.


At least these authors, poor deluded fools, have not committed the ultimate crime. They have not dared to write a gender fluid character who is satisfied being female from the waist up and male from the waist down. Oh, the horror of a character who does not care to transition 100%.

*this is the point where you should swoon at the awfulness of it all*

They have not written a trans-man or trans-woman’s story and they have not written/committed the gravest sin of all, a character who falls in love with a PERSON and not with a set of genitalia.

*Wait a tic, just have to dodge the thought police here… whew. Dodged them this time.*

Okay, so all sarcasm aside… why I write is to entertain. But that is not the whole of it. I also write to educate, and to quiet the demons of my soul, and to feed my family… I have a thousand different reasons. I’m sure that every writer does. But I’m getting off topic. Let me point myself back in the right direction. I write stories because the characters in my head demand to be heard. I write the world that is and the world that I wish to be and the world that never was. And in my own little sandbox I am God and Goddess and most badass Smut Sprite out there, sprinkling love and happy bunnies any damn place I want to. I write to reach the lost and I write to heal the wounded. I write stories for the voiceless, that they might be heard, and if that gets my books banned then so be it.

Everybody wants to read the banned books anyway. We just have to be sneakier about it. My book that just released from Silver has been getting the flippity-flop jerk around of yes it can go up, not it can’t, yes it can… because of one scene. A rape occurs in that scene. It’s not glorified, and it’s not sexy. It just happens. And it’s crucial to the over-arching political landscape of the world on which it occurs, and eventually to all the worlds that are influenced by that world… and that’s enough to leave my little (well, at 458 pages, not so little) book out in the cold. Thank goodness my publisher has my back, and that my characters are all on my side, or for fuck’s sake, I might be a total wreck over something like this.

I’m not though. Because I just write what the characters need. What they whisper in my ear. And I really don’t think I’ll ever feel the need to apologize for that. If you go looking at my books, be sure to check to see if the particular one you are getting ready to pick up is for you. I write about people. I like to write about people who fall in love, and I like to give them all happy ever afters, because in my world(s) I am God/Goddess and I can make that happen. I don’t pay much attention to what shape their bits and pieces take… well, except when they are taking notice, or –ahem— utilizing them. Heh.

No.

Wait.

That’s not entirely true.

I have a daughter.

I want her to be proud to be exactly who she is. She tells me all the time that she likes boys (sheesh couldn’t the kid be asexual until age 30 or something?) and that she wants to be a wildlife conservationist. Oh, and she loves to shop. So if my stories are a little heavy on the strong women, and if my gay characters still like women, be they friends or daughters or wise old grannies… well, you can bet I did that for the kidlet. Because when I give her the edited to be YA friendly versions of my stories I want there to be women she can model herself after. I want her to feel happy in their company, and accepted by all the folk of my worlds.   Because I love her. So if you want two dimensional women in your M/M romance, don’t pick up one of mine. I’d hate to see you disappointed. If you want stereotypical heroes… well, see above.

My guys are mean and dirty and light and fluffy and some of them (like my real life ex-boyfriend) have girls names. Read the warning labels, folks. And if you don’t like any of this, do not worry. There’s a thousand other stories out there you can find that come in lovely cookie cutter shapes with nary a trans-sexual, strong woman, bisexual or other alien life form. It’s your money, babies. Buy what you like. But seriously? Don’t come asking for a refund. Cause I’m telling you right now that I make no promises. Some of my stories will be all about men falling in love with other men. Some will have nary a woman in sight. Some will have strong females and some *gasp* will have girly bits jiggling all over the page. Some of my heroes will be abrasive, like Lewell’yn. Some will be sweet and hapless and need rescuing time and again. Some will be average Joes.

Whomever pushes their way to the front of the queue and demands their story be told will get their chance. Check them out. If you like your characters strong and bold and real right down to the ground, then I just might be someone whose works you’ll enjoy. Here’s a little taste of the guys from Tian’s Hero for you to sample and see what you think.

oOo

Blurb: 

A spy posing as an assassin finds himself riding the ragged edge of sanity during his latest mission; a frantic search for fabled lost colonists who fled his planet steps ahead of a devastating plague. The possibly mythical pre-plague migrants hold the only key to survival for his entire race.

Lewell'yn’s situation would be difficult enough without receiving deliberately false information, and now he’s light-years from reliable help and saddled with the two huge complications: a fiercely passionate healer, and a sweet, innocently sexy chef.

The bombs are in place. The detonators are set. The chrono is ticking. Caught between two men desperate to escape the clutches pirates and an insidious, hidden enemy, can Lewell'yn find a path to become Tian's hero?

BUY LINK FOR TIAN'S HERO

Excerpt

"Lewell'yn, where's Kay?"

Lewell'yn handed Tian two of the smallest carisaks. Pointing towards the enclosed area at the back of the sickbay, he replied.

"He's in there. Put those on the gurney with him."

Tian hurried into the walled off area, expecting to see Kay hooked up to a mobile sustainment pod. Kayron lay on one of the gurneys used to move dead bodies. Tian froze in place. Kay's face was grey and he wasn't moving, and someone was screaming.

A sharp crack sounded. Tian raised a shaking hand to his cheek and stared up at Lewell'yn.

"What in the fuck are you screaming about, Tian?"

Tian closed his mouth. He hadn't realised he was the one screaming. He looked at the gurney again. Kay was dead. Tian turned to Lewell'yn, tears streaming down his face.

"My fault, it's my fault, all my fault—he's dead!"

Lewell'yn slung his carisaks under the bottom of the gurney. Turning, he grabbed Tian's shoulders and shook him lightly. He smiled at Tian even as he rolled his eyes.

"Little idiot. He's not dead. He's drugged. We have to get him to a secure location though. He's in danger here, Tian. Do you understand? We've got to get him out of here, and anyone who sees the vid of us moving him needs to think he's dead. These pirates will treat him—very badly if they find out what's wrong with him. You have to help me get him to safety."

"You mean they'll rape him if they find out he's pregnant—if they find out he's an Akanti like me, but not part of the Kyrth contract, right?"

Lewell'yn looked shocked for half a second, and then a deadly sharp smile spread across his face. Tian gulped. Lewell'yn's expression caused a wave of sensation to run over all Tian's skin at once. His stomach knotted even as his cock twitched in interest.

"Ah Peaches, I like to be reminded there's a sharp mind behind your pretty face. We're taking him to a—safe room—I have down by engineering. You'll wait there with him while I take care of a bit of business."

Tian spun various possibilities through his mind.

"Will Jeram and the other Akanti be safe?"

"As safe as I can make them, Peaches."

Minutes later, hurrying through deserted corridors, Tian wondered exactly what the dangerous man in front of him was up to. Lewell'yn seemed to have some larger purpose in mind. Tian couldn't fathom what the man's big idea might be. He was certain whatever the plan was, his best chance to save himself and possibly a good many of the other Akanti, lay in following Lewell'yn. He just had to hope to Brightness Lewell'yn could get them all safely through this.

Over the last two weeks, Tian had noticed guards assigned to watch the Kyrth-bound Akanti changing until they were nearly all new men. They all seemed—not cleaner exactly—but perhaps more professional? And they all seemed to be far more loyal to Lewell'yn than to the captain.

Tian held onto the back of the gurney and ran as fast as he could. With his shorter legs, his quickest pace was not going to be fast enough. He kept stumbling and nearly falling. Lewell'yn slowed the gurney slightly, and depressed a button allowing the equipment poles to extend upwards from their bases.

"Grab onto the poles and brace your feet against the bottom. There's room for your feet if you push the carisaks slightly forwards."

Tian grabbed the poles and gave a little leap up and forwards, wedging his feet in with the carisaks. Awkward, yes, but he could tell they were already moving faster, which was probably a good thing, given the way Lewell'yn was swearing. The man had come up with some very creative things for a man he called Boss to stuff into various orifices. He also seemed to have some seriously conflicting ideas about just what the man's parentage was. He was however very clear on the issue of what he would like to do to the man, all of which sounded rather painful.

"Dark-hearted son of a Trithigan whore… silver-eyed plaguing bastard… I'll make him eat his own fucking entrails!"

One of Tian's hands slipped. He grabbed the pole again, clasping the metal as tightly as he could with the slippery glove of the contamination suit. He started chanting one of the prayers for protection Father Arnik from the monastery had taught him. A few moments later, the entire ship was wracked with a series of violent explosions. Tian found himself flat on his back in the middle of the corridor, gasping for air. He hoped Lewell'yn realised this time really wasn't his fault. The huge explosion—somewhere very close—and subsequent shockwave had knocked him off his perch.

"You fucking prick! How dare you send me out with sub-standard shite-arsed equipment on top of everything else? I'll make sure you die slowly…"

Tian couldn't hear the rest of what Lewell'yn was ranting about. His ears didn't seem to be working as well as usual, and the farther Lewell'yn got away, the harder it was to hear him. Thankfully the man took enough time away from his vitriolic tirade to look around and check on Tian. He wrestled the gurney to a stop and ran back for him. Lewell'yn smiled wryly down at him.

"Trouble. Knew it the first time I laid eyes on you."

oOo

Cherie NoelAbout the author:  

Butcher, baker, candlestick maker…ummm, eww, every chance I get, and I surely would if these damn characters would ever shut up. Born in West Palm Beach, Florida and raised…er, is all over the damn place a sufficiently descriptive term? No? Then how about this? Tinker, tailor, Indian chief…Ooooh, especially when smexy men are involved (!), only under duress, and did the cheek-bones give it away?

Seriously? I’ve lived in Washington D.C., Virginia, Upper Michigan, Texas, New York, California, and Alabama in the United States; Hessen in Germany, London in England, Masirah Island in Oman and…sometimes it was in a house, sometimes in a tent, and sometimes anyplace I could find to lay my head.

I’ve been in love with words since before I drew breath, and I don’t see that ever changing. I write stories. Sometimes I write music with them, sometimes they’re poems, and lately, to my great delight, M/M erotic romance. Yum. Smexy man to the second…or third power…now that’s the kinda math I can get behind!!

The hair curls or frizzes as it will, the eyes are green and tend to look in two different directions—no, really—and the rest is subject to change. You know the guy who didn’t know if he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man or a man dreaming he was a butterfly? Yeah, that’s me, but substitute drag queen for butterfly and wacky, wild ex-Army chick for man.

Contact details for Cherie:


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