the women who love to love gay fiction

"Tampa" Preys on School Boys for Sex; Lesbian on Two and a Half Men; Women Who Love Gay Romance

“Tampa” Preys on School Boys for Sex

There is a new book out this summer, Tampa, that is creating a category six shitstorm everywhere because it deals with a female school teacher who preys on teenage boys for sex. I haven’t read it, so this is not a comment or a review. According to the author, Alissa Nutting, this is her way of making a statement, using shock value in fiction to make that statement, and addressing a serious issue with satire (yes, satire and child abuse). So far, it’s been banned in bookstores in Australia and the author won’t even let her own Catholic parents read it.

She said, “I wanted to satirise the way these cases are received in society. Always looking to excuse the woman rather than looks at it as a criminal case, the way we do with men.”

She continues to talk about how she was inspired by a Florida case that involved a female teacher seducing a teenage boy, and how she wants to change the way society looks at these things. Isn’t she just the ultimate concerned citizen.

She said through the sexual content in her book and the extreme character of Celeste…who won’t even have children because she’s scared she’d want to have sex with her son when he’s a teen…she wants to change people’s way of thinking when the seducer of a pupil is a woman and not a man.

All I can add to this right now is that I don’t know what planet she’s been living on, because in the society where I live I haven’t seen much of a difference between the way men and women are treated in these cases. It’s a crime; you’re a fucking creep; man or woman. If anything, I think the female teacher who goes after the teenage boy tends to get more heat from society than the male teacher. In fact, when older women go after younger men…and the men don’t even have to be minors…there’s always a double standard and the woman is treated worse. So from what I’ve read so far the defense about what motivated Nutting to write a book like this isn’t very strong. It’s sounds contrived and she’s reaching too far.

As a sidenote, this is another HarperCollins gem, which makes me wonder just how bad things are in trad publishing right now. I did read a few of the reviews, which are interesting. But I’m not linking to this one. And that’s because I can’t help feeling this is nothing more than a grandstand by an author and a publisher who isn’t as concerned about kids as she (they) is about making money. I write erotic romance and I have to watch every single step I take to the point where I can’t even use the word “boy” to refer to a grown man in a book. And when I see something like this I want to spit nails.

Here’s what one reviewer wrote:

Brave and beautifully written; a provocative look at a taboo subject. — Irvine Welsh Tampa is a wild ride – sexy, fast, funny, and frightening, the counterpoint to Lolita. Humbert Humbert is tame by comparison. You won’t want anyone to know how much you enjoyed reading this book. — David Vann Tampa is an instant classic. A dirty, funny, shocking, provocative, Nabokovian scandal-in-waiting that will be read and mis-read and fiercely debated. — Matt Haig Tampa charms and seduces you into the mind of its remorseless female protagonist then twists the knife by skating uncomfortably close to your own inner darkness. Lock up your sons. — Viv Albertine

Brave? I will be buying this and reviewing it.

Alissa Nutting’s literary agent is Jim Rutman of Sterling Lord Literistic. If you’ve written a book with underage characters and sex, this is the man to query.

Lesbian on Two and a Half Men

I recently read they will be introducing a new character on the TV series, Two and a Half Men. And she’s going to be a lesbian. I can still remember what a huge deal it was when “Ellen” wanted to come out on national TV.

“Two and a Half Men” is introducing a new female voice to shakeup Season 11. That voice will come in the form of Charlie Harper’s (Charlie Sheen) illegitimate daughter, Jenny, a 21-year-old lesbian from New York.

“I think it would be great have that voice on the show from a different perspective,” “Two and a Half Men” creator Chuck Lorre told reporters at TCA. “The show has had enough testosterone to last a lifetime.”

I’ve watched the show on and off over the years, and it’s actually one of the few I’ve liked. It should be interesting to see how a lesbian character is handled…portrayed. Because most TV sitcoms still don’t seem to get it right with gay male characters in the sense that they never show the diversity within the gay male community. Just like straight men, we’re all different. Same goes for lesbians.

Women Who Love Gay Romance

The title of this anthology poses an issue with my blog posts because it’s so long…The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. I think in terms of search engines when I’m blogging and I try to keep the titles short and simple. However, this title needs to stay because that really is a summation of all the stories in this book.

I still don’t have an exact release date yet, however, it will be next week. I’m still having cover issues and it’s hard to set an exact release date at this point. But it will be sometime next week, and I’ll be posting about it periodically from now until then.

Here’s the introduction as it will be pubbed in the book:

When I first imagined the notion of an anthology of short stories about The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, I wondered about how many responses I would receive in the calls for submission. The next aspect that made me stop and wonder was whether or not I would receive the kind of stories I wanted to include in a book like this. In other words, I wasn’t looking for M/M Romance written by women in the classic sense. And I didn’t want drawn out academic diatribes about gay men in M/M Romance. I was hoping to receive stories about women who not only love gay romance, but were willing to include strong female characters in gay romance as active participants in the actual romantic storylines. But more than that, these stories also had to be plausible…or at least reasonable…as well. In the same respect, I didn’t want to place any restrictions on the authors, and I wanted them to run with their fictional fantasies, so to speak.
 

An unusual thing happened. The moment I opened the first story submitted for the book and I started reading I couldn’t put it down. It left me in tears and yet it had a happy ending. In fact, I hesitated to open the next story because I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as the first. But the same thing happened the second time: I couldn’t stop reading. And that’s literally what happened with each story that followed. What is even more interesting is that none of the stories are similar, and yet they come together in this book and complement each other in a way I could not have predicted. Some of the authors have been published before, and some are brand new voices. And when I was finished reading all the stories, I found that’s it’s not only possible to include female characters in gay romance, but there’s a deeper emotional meaning that taught me a few things I didn’t know about why so many women love to love gay romance.

 

 

Sex Slaves Want Resignation; Benjamin Leroy on Queries; Women who Love Gay Fiction




Sex Slaves Want Resignation

This is something I never knew. Thousands of women were forced into prostitution during WWII in Japan. And now it seems two former Korean sex slaves in their 80’s want the resignation of Mayor Toru Hashimoto because he actually tried to justify this act of sex slavery and prostitution.

The women, who did not appear in public, said in a statement they were heartbroken by Hashimoto’s “outrageous comments” and didn’t want to be seen contributing to a less-than-sincere apology.

Instead, they demanded that Hashimoto, 43, apologize and resign as mayor of Japan’s second-biggest city.

It’s a fascinating, heartbreaking piece from the sex slave angle in itself, but when you read about how someone actually insulted these women and tried to justify these actions of the past it will blow your mind. I have always been a proponent of legalized prostitution. I actually do believe we all have the right to do what we want with our own bodies, men and women. However, there is a huge difference between forced prostitution and legal prostitution. One is a choice. The other is taking away a fundamental choice that leaves the kind of emotional scars that never go away.

I hope he does resign.

Benjamin Leroy on Queries

If you haven’t experienced the fresh hells of querying a literary agent, I suggest you read this post. I don’t want to turn this into a negative thing. I truly don’t. There are excellent agents out there who handle the query process with professionalism, and they never insult you or treat you like an inferior. I’ve had both good experiences and bad with queries (mostly good). And I am very pro-agent.

For a long time the query letter was the only lifeline between authors and publishers. If you didn’t have an agent the odds were your books would never be pubbed. Although it’s still like this to a certain extent with large publishers, there are many new authors out there, both pubbed and un-pubbed, who have been paving the way in indie publishing for other authors. I even include the recent announcement from Amazon with Kindle Worlds here. Fanfic authors deserve credit, too, because they are constantly building readership in spite of the obstacles.

In any event, learning how to actually work the query process is a good thing for authors. You learn how to write tight book descriptions and you learn how to handle rejection as well. But while I think it’s a good idea to query widely and to research agents, I also think it’s a good idea to query and explore all your options as an author nowadays. And you do have other options besides querying.

Benjamin Leroy has a list of the top things you shouldn’t do when querying an agent. Some are good, others annoy me. This is one that I find a little tired now. But it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t tell me your book is a “guaranteed bestseller” because nobody knows that kind of thing and if you’re delusional about that, you’re going to be delusional about a bunch of things and I’m too old to deal with that.

A lot of new authors tend to do this…make promises like the one above. They don’t mean any harm. They are nice people hoping for the best. I’ve had more than one calls for submission for anthologies of my own and I’ve worked with a lot of new authors. I tend to enjoy their innocence. I like meeting them and I don’t think they are delusional. But this is also where new authors have to be careful. There are vipers out there who don’t have the time or patience for newbies. Try not to be too innocent. You don’t get points for that from everyone. So this is good advice from Leroy…it’s excellent advice. But it’s good in the sense that it proves how insulting the query experience can be sometimes and how careful you have to be while querying.

There’s a simple reason why a scorpion will always sting: it’s in their nature.

Women Who Love Gay Fiction

I’ve had excellent responses to the calls for submission that I released in January for my upcoming anthology, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Fiction. Yesterday I replied to everyone who submitted and I told some of them their stories will be included in the anthology.

This is going to be different than most anthologies in many ways. And not just because of the theme. The authors who will be included have given me a wide range of stories that cover all kinds of territory I found fascinating. And one author submitted three short stories in an almost short story trilogy fashion. At first I thought I would only take on one of the stories. But once I started reading them I wanted to find out what happened to the characters, and I decided to publish them all back to back.

I’ll post more about this with excerpts in the coming weeks. I haven’t set an exact release date yet, but I will do that very soon. I originally thought it would be August, but things are moving along so well it might even be sooner.

On another note, here’s a great link to the Alumni Association of Princeton University that will lead you to a video about Gay Marriage.

During the Every Voice conference for Princeton’s LGBT and ally alumni, Hayley Gorenberg ’87, Deputy Legal Director for Lambda Legal, discusses the strides made in the marriage equality movement and what needs to be done in other realms such as the trans-rights movement and HIV-AIDS rights.

The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance: Call For Submissions: Erotica Readers and Writers Association

My call for submissions, for the anthology, “The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance,” is now up on the Erotica Readers and Writers Association calls for submission page.

You can get there from here.

I will post more in the future as things progress. I’ve had a lot of interest so far and I think this is going to be an exciting project.

Big thanks to ERaWA.