Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pam's 12-hour tour of London + some other stuff

Pam’s article on her 12-hour tour of London is live on the Independent Online Travel. Check it out.

I also want to point you to my writing friend Tam, who has posted a rant about the writing life. I could so relate to Tam's view, because a lot of the writing that I do to pay bills is not exciting. I don't hate it and I'm grateful for the work, but it's not exactly what little girls think of doing when they dream of becoming writers.

Finally, check out this article, where American authors say that they were asked to "straightwash" their gay characters in a young adult novel.

The reason this article resonated with me is because two of the main characters in my NAMELESS WIP (which I have made a lot of headway writing) are actually gay and they are falling in love and it's a lovely story that I feel compelled to tell. I second-guessed myself for months/years, trying to make the couple heterosexual, but somehow, the story didn't quite work. Then I made the heroine a guy and suddenly, he came to life and he was growing and evolving throughout the story.

There are a lot of gay romance publishers out there ( I researched), so I'm only worried about writing a good story, not where to place it when it's done. If it's good enough, it will find a home. It may not be a mainstream novel, and it certainly isn't a story that I thought I would end up with when I first started working on the project, but I had to get it out.

Some of the questions I had to grapple with, and I also discussed some of them with Pam, relate to whether writing romances is real writing (yes we know it is, but there is also the school of thought that we could do better, write more literary works). And in that context, a gay romance becomes the cousin who's looked down by everyone else.

Yet, during my research to see if there is a possible home out there for my WIP, I found that gay romance publishers are constantly looking for manuscript ( big market for writers) and the novels sell like crazy (read that somewhere with stats, but can't remember the publication link).

In any case, I have created  pen name by which I will likely publish the WIP, if I ever finish it and can place it with a publisher. Some months ago I also created a blog for her and started posting portions of the story online to test the market. Interestingly, the target audience love the story and they have also offered very constructive criticism on the story, which will help me during the edits.


po said...

Can't believe they make people straightwash their characters, or that that word even has to exist! Oh, wait, I can believe it. I guess the publishers thought that the targets for that readership were mainstream and couldn't handle it. How silly. I hope your manuscript finds a good home when the time comes.

Pamela said...

D, I am sure your WIP will find a home and that. Clever of you to test it. I hope the weekend is better than the week for both of us. :-)

Damaria Senne said...

Thanks Po. You're right. The publishers are basically looking at the mainstream market and thinking that the readers wouldn't be able to handle stories of gay characters. As Black person, I find it sad because there was a time when mainstream readers were not expected to be able to handle Black heroes and heroines. And while that has changed to a large extent, there are still pockets where those beliefs remain.
@ Pam - thanks. The weekend has been much better. Slept a lot, watched a bit of rugby, did a lot of creative writing on WIP. I hope you're also having a restful time.

BTW, Lynn emailed me directly after reading this post and she likes your IOL article. Says it's well-written.

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