It’s no secret that in the past two years I’ve written a lot of m/m romance novels with storylines that have been based on either classic m/f romances or popular romance films with m/f characters. I didn’t do this because because I’m a huge fan of fanfic. I did it because the lgbt community has been so starved for anything pop culture related I wanted to give them a sense of what the straight community often takes for granted. The simple things, like being able to walk down the street and hold hands, or kissing good-bye at the airport. Believe it or not, in spite of what we see in TV shows like Modern Family, most gay couples don’t show any affection in public because they fear they are going to be ridiculed…if not bullied.
When I wrote THE VIRGIN BILLIONAIRE, I decided to revolve the storyline around Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I wanted to do it with a contemporary take, and with two gay men as the main characters. In his day, Truman Capote was one of the most flamboyant gay men around…although I’m not sure if he ever actually admitted this openly. I’ve read his bios and his novels, and there’s always a hint of homosexuality, but never anything distinct. It’s the same with work that was written by Tennessee Williams, another gay writer who wrote mostly straight characters, with homosexual overtones.
But in Truman Capote’s day and age, writing gay fiction would have been author suicide. He may have found a small cult following, but in a general sense he would have been rejected by every agent and publisher in the world if he’d queried them with a gay version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. He probably would have been laughed at and mocked. And I often wonder what writers like Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams would have been writing today. For all I know, maybe they’d still be writing straight fiction for a mainstream audience. Though a lot has changed since their time, certain things have continued to remain the same. If you look at the mainstream bestseller lists, there aren’t many lgbt oriented books. But I’d like to think they might have found an audience on some level with lgbt fiction. And I certainly would have enjoyed reading their works.