I thought I'd blog about something that fascinates me: the male/male romance. It's not everyone's cup of tea. Hell, I never thought it would be mine. But I won a contest. Stupid me didn't realize that "ManLove Rocks" meant man + man=love. Well, let me tell you, I was stunned by the anthology I won. Stunned and fascinated, in a horrified kind of way. I read every damned page. Then I read them again.
I was currently working for a trucking company, and the thought of Bubba sucking face and groping under two hundred pounds of Jimmy John's belly grossed me out. The anthology's stories, however, were well written and gave me a different perspective on "man love." The men described were hot, for one. And it wasn't so much a male/female romance written with two male characters. The romances were actually between two male characters.
Time passed and I continued to write m/f. Then I tried ménage, but strictly m/f/m. I'm not sure why, but the m/m romance never left my mind. Maybe because I've spent my life working in male dominated professions. The Marine Corps. The Information Technology field. A transportation company. More and more writers were writing m/m, too. Good writers like M.L. Rhodes, Ally Blue, Jet Mykles and Jamie Craig, to name a few.
I liked the dynamic of two strong males needing to be vulnerable with one another. I wrote Firebreather, a story for another publisher that included a romance between one woman and a group of male dragon shapeshifters. Two of those males had their own relationship. Still, most of the romance was centered on the female and her mate.
I've written more ménage stories that include m/m/f groupings. But none of my stories were strictly m/m. Heck, I'm a woman and I like putting a part of me--the female--in my stories. Then I wrote The Perfect Creation. A futuristic tale about a woman Created by scientists who meets an undercover lawman and falls in love. The heroine has a family, and I thought I'd write about her siblings, a brother and sister.
Problem is, her brother turns out to be not-so-straight. And he doesn't even know it. Low and behold, Ryen has a thing for Drekk, the other hero in Creation's Control. This is the first story I wrote from the beginning knowing it would be m/m. This isn't to say both heroes don't also like women, but the primary romance is between them. And I don't hold back; they wouldn't let me.
Creation's Control was really interesting to write. Both Ryen and Drekk are alpha males. Both have dealt with captivity and torture. Whereas Drekk has moved past his problems, Ryen is just beginning to deal with them. He's angry about everything and has no idea what he needs. He's hurt but doesn't know how to stop his pain. Drekk can help him, but he'll have to push past Ryen's control to do so. In the process, Drekk confronts his own demons buried deep and learns what it truly means to love.
Writing this story allowed me to create two heroes who try to dominate one another. A "my dick is bigger than yours" attitude with a happy ending, allowing both men to dominate and both men to submit without losing who they are. It's a futuristic romance, so yeah, I make my own rules. But I've written several romances in the Vrail System, so I have to make sure I don't break the rules I've already made.
To read an excerpt of Creation's Control, click here.
If you haven't tried m/m romance, give it a shot. If I'd stuck to my misguided assumptions, I never would have read some of my favorite authors. Don't knock it 'til you try it.
Creation's Control, avail from TEB Sept 1st