Genre and LGBT publishing

I decided to join in with the Wednesday blog thing, #QueerBlogWed. More content on my blog will never go amiss and honestly, blogging is still my favorite form of social media, probably because I love to talk and talk and talk…

I’m almost too tired from finals week to come up with anything cogent but I did want to talk (whine if you will) about genre fiction in LGBT publishing, especially SF/Fantasy. It’s a fact that contemporary fiction sells best in the romance genre, a fact that makes me just a touch sad. Mostly, that’s because I do not like contemporary stories and never have. I’ve been a genre reader my entire life. I started with mysteries in elementary school and before I was even in middle school I was already into SF and fantasy. Those three remain my main reading interest. I’ve tried contemporary books and just can’t get into them.

So that means a lot of my favorite LGBT authors I haven’t been reading lately because they’ve been herded into writing more contemporary than SF/F/UF. Oh I’ve tried but even though I know the books have been good, they aren’t my thing. One of the authors said to me “I write the contemporary books because they pay and let me write the things I enjoy more.’ That’s a great way to think about it but there’s just one problem. If you don’t like a genre, it’s very hard to write it and write it well.

That’s where I am right now. I have a single contemporary short story out there, A Light in the Darkness. The other one I tried to write was…boring. I’m not surprised it generated no interest. I have two novels started but it’s plodding for me to write them because it’s not my great love. It never will be and it makes me sad to see a lot of genre series canceled lately and some authors have been told straight up they need to be writing more contemporary fiction. Most of the publishing submission pages contain a line that reads ‘contemporary sells best.’

Now, I don’t blame the publishing houses one bit. It’s a business and they need to do what’s best for business. I’m just wondering is it really true there isn’t an audience for genre fiction? I don’t believe that. I belong to the Queer Sci Fi group on Facebook and I know there are a couple thousand members. When the m/m romance group on Goodreads was doing their writing exchanges, many of the prompts were genre related because I had so many to choose from it was impossible to even whittle down the ones I wanted to toss my hat in the ring for. For that matter I know a lot of the buying audience are women from the slash fic fandom arena (which is a whole other can of worms for another day) and many of the fandoms are genre.

So there is an audience out there, granted it’s smaller than the one for contemporary fiction (that’s true too of the non-LGBT side of publishing as well) but how to reach it, that is the question. I’m sure I’m not the one to answer that question. I am sure that I’ll continue to support genre authors because SF/F/UF is my passion. I’ll continue to struggle to find a contemporary plot I can write but at the end of the day I hope genre doesn’t just fall off the publishing houses’ radars because of low sales. I’d hate to see it cut away as dead wood.

Sunday Small Talk

One weekend I’ll have time to actually compose something intelligible but that weekend is not this one. I’m still prepping for finals week.

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I did win nano! Huzzah. It’s not actually for publishing under this pen name and it’s not nearly finish but it’s a good start. It has some issues I need to work out but that’s what 2017 is for.

I’ll be picking up editing of Blood Red Roulette again. Sadly in the month of writing nano I forgot some of the changes I’ve made and need to reread the first 7 chapters again. The problem is, I’ve read that so many times I’m not sure I can without losing my mind.

I also want to start writing Behind Blue Eyes too and I have a couple story ideas knocking around in my head like a steampunk Christmas story for next year and I’m still going to try to do a contemporary if it kills me and it just might.

I did write Wayward Ink to retract Cassadaga Nights, haven’t heard back but I think with all that’s going on I’m not really expecting too. I think I know where to send it next.

I need to go back over Queer Sci-Fi’s workshop FB page because there was a question that had a lot of possible publishers I want to bookmark. There was one that was looking for nerdy short stories and I do have one. I printed that out for editing since it’s been a few years.

Also I’m going to try and take part in a weekly blogging challenge on Wednesdays so maybe there’ll be more interesting content soon enough.

Rainbow Snippets

I’ve been so immersed in writing final exams, I forgot it was Saturday! I’m still working on commenting to last week’s round. Happy anniversary to Rainbow Snippets! It’s been a lot of fun.

Here’s something new and coming out soon in the Once Upon a Time in the Weird West anthology by Dreamspinner. It’s from my story Corpse Powder which was a ton of fun to write. Here’s the blurb for my story: Doctor Isaac Adler came to Virginia City, Nevada, to escape the horrors he witnessed during the War between the States. Despite a living in a thriving Jewish community, Isaac’s having trouble finding his faith… and finding work. Just when he’s contemplating leaving the desert, life takes an unexpected turn when the airship Aurora is attacked by pirates and Isaac is called upon to help the wounded.

The ship’s first mate, Tsela “Alexander” Zhani, is also trying to outrun a nightmare, his in the form of the powerful skinwalker who drove him from his Navajo village. Tsela’s friendship with the handsome doctor responsible for saving the lives of his friends gives both men a fragile hope for a better future. But their demons aren’t as far behind them as they thought.

It’s set here: virgina-city-nv

So let’s meet Isaac as he’s trying to board the airship Aurora after she was attacked leaving the doctor many patients to try and save.

Isaac swallowed back a wave of fear as he climbed. He reminded himself the ship was docked and he wouldn’t be flying off anywhere. He couldn’t handle flying. Isaac struggled his way onto the deck, followed by the airman. Waiting for them was one of the most handsome men Isaac had ever seen, in spite of the goose egg forming on his chin. His raven hair swept back into the intricate knot Isaac had noticed on a few of the other Navajo men in town.

Anthology’s Blurb: This isn’t the same old Wild West. The usual suspects are all present: cowboys, outlaws, and sheriffs. There’s plenty of dust, tumbleweeds, horses, and cattle on the range, but there are also magical gems, automatons, elementals, airships… even dinosaurs and genetically modified insects. Roaming among the buffalo and coyotes, you’ll encounter skinwalkers, mad engineers, mythical beings cloaked in darkness, and lovers who stay true to their oaths… even beyond the grave. On this frontier are those at the mercy of their own elaborate devices as well as men whose control of time and space provides a present-day vision of the West. There might even be a dragon hidden amongst the ghost towns and wagon trains.

If you like your Westerns with a splash of magic, a touch of steampunk, and plenty of passionate romance between men, these genre-bending tales will exceed expectations.

Hold on to your hats, cowboys and cowgirls. The West is about to get weird, and you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Pre-order link here

If you’d like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It’s been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It’s been a great supportive group!