I have a deep, dark secret.
I hate M/M romance.
Reading it, at least.
That's my own fault. I'm hypercritical. I expect too much "authenticity" from M/M romance.
I ask myself with the frequency of a heart beating, "Is that real?" or "Is it really done that way?" or "Would a man--a gay man--really react like that, let alone talk like that?" Sometimes I sidle up to a gay friend and demure, "Does it seem like that would...chafe?"
Often, in my head an image of the author forms, fantasizing how her favorite football player would have his way with her in bed--then she changes her name from Brenda to Brad, replacing her identity with "his" as the taps away at her laptop keyboard.
So, about six months ago, I decided to write my own M/M romance, with a twist: It would be a parody piece.
I took my cue from Washington's 14th Street bars, which teem with Gen Y "bros" who chug forties, compare triceps and cat call the stiletto-clad PR girls still wearing their gray office cardigans.
What if two of these "bros"--animelesque and questionably heterosexual mannerisms and all--somehow realized they were in love with one another...wanted to have sex with one another?
Hence, I wrote, with pen in hand and tongue in cheek.
I found my main characters talking like bros, behaving like bros, even calling each other "bro" ad nauseum. Punching shoulders and wearing boxers and chugging beers. I wasn't exploring the lives of two strictly gay males, but straight males who continue to act "straight" throughout the book. While writing, I imaged that most other M/M authors do the same thing--they just don't realize it.
Sorry Bro, my latest from Total E-Bound (debuting later this year), explores what happens when two manly men fall in love. And while my initial intent was to produce a parody piece, I found myself falling in love with M/M romance in the process. And the finished product is as far from parody as you can imagine.
Now, to all you M/M authors out there: What do you think?
Take a look:
Still aching from the mistakes and denials of his past, this ER nurse could heal anyone but himself…until now.
Handsome, athletic and intelligent, twenty-six-year-old Bryce should be living the high life.
But he’s far from it.
After shunning his best baseball buddy in high school, dropping out of medical school and fleeing New York to put down roots–if only shallow ones–in New Orleans, Bryce is uncertain about both his past and his future. Working long hours as a low-level nurse and confined by a sexless relationship with a questionably devoted girlfriend, Bryce can’t shake the feeling that things should be somehow better now he’s escaped the confusion and indecision of his former life.
Yet when the ghost of Bryce’s high school past, the handsome and charismatic Tim, shows up injured in the ER, Bryce’s already turbulent emotions engulf him in a vortex of confusion and regret. Haunted by his own insensitivity towards Tim eight years before, Bryce first finds comfort in the powerful arms of a resident surgeon he barely knows, then gives Tim the explosive, cataclysmic relief he had denied him in high school.
As Bryce comes to terms with his sexuality and recognises his undeniable attraction to both men, he must decide, once and for all, where his fidelity–and his desires–lie.