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UK Gay Romance: Time to spread the love

Two things happened to me (Sue Brown) in the last couple of months that made me realise my genre needs promoting in the UK. Firstly, the open-mouthed shock on the faces of a group of women when I told them what I did for a living, they had never heard of gay or MM romance, and secondly, a conversation with one of my publishers about the nature of UK market.

Twenty-four hours ukgayromance was born and on Facebook and Twitter. Still in its infancy, we have already had giveaways, interviews with Lisa Worrall and Garrett Leigh, celebrated readers' favourite gay romance books based in UK, Greg Hogben has discussed what the legalisation of same sex marriage means to him, and we have turned the spotlight on the Isle of Wight. Busy busy.

I'll be honest, I am conscious that the MM genre is a small genre, a drop in the
ocean that is romance. But it's growing year on year, and you only have to see the ever increasing titles to realise that the market is voracious for new, good quality stories. Up to now, America has dominated the market, but titles are being released in foreign languages and being eaten up. This year, Elisa Rolle from The Rainbow Awards and Elisa's reviews gave a talk at the UK GBLT Fiction Meet about discovering gay romance in Italy as a teenager and the lack of material in Italian for her to read.

Here in the UK, we have the language advantage. We have publishers and I love not having to explain colloquialisms and being able to use UK English. Gay romance deserves as much love and promotion as any other genre, and that is what I hope to do, exploring other media outlets to widen our exposure, and have fun along the way with authors, readers and publishers alike.

I would love to hear from readers about their favourite books, UK writers wherever you base your books and international authors who base their books in the UK, and publishers with British authors. Tell me what you want to see. This is very much a collaborative effort. My email is ukgayromance(at)

In the meantime, I'll keep writing myself, and talking about gay romance in the UK to everyone and anyone. We have a fabulous genre, and it's about time everyone knew it.


Sue's second book in The Arches series, Holding Together, is now available.
Darius is bored until his boyfriend, Luca, makes him work at The Arches. Then Luca is taken ill. Can Darius hold the gym and their relationship together
Darius barely sees his boyfriend. Luca is working all hours at The Arches gym, and Darius goes out clubbing most evenings to relieve the boredom. He’s really tempted to play with other bears at the club.
Then Luca makes Darius work at The Arches to give him something to do. Cleaning! Darius is not impressed, especially when some of the gym staff are hostile to him. He sticks it out, and to his surprise starts to enjoy the work. Luca loves having him around and makes sure he knows—in true Luca style.
Darius is not prepared when Luca is taken ill. Darius finds himself having to support his boyfriend and keep The Arches running. He gets more tired as time goes on, and it doesn’t help that his love-life is suffering. It seems the illness has had a greater effect on Luca than either of them anticipated.
Can Darius show his bear that nothing has changed—he is still the man Darius loves?


Barbara Elsborg said...

I don't have a single friend (outside my writing buddies) who doesn't go very quiet when I say I've written MM romances! On the other hand, I've converted a few of my MF readers onto MM with my first MM book. I don't see the issue really. They're all love stories, all about different types of people... orientation shouldn't matter.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sue!
Having a bit of time to read recently has been wonderful and I read S.A.Meade's 'Stolen Summer'. It's the first MM romance I've read ( I have read FMM ménage).
It was amazing, beautiful and had me in tears! I agree with Barbara. Love is love and it should be accepted and celebrated.
I look forward to reading many more MM / FF romances!
Molly xxx