So, I write romances. That doesn’t have the greatest reputation even among fellow writers. Funny because most of us have romance in our every day lives. We married or live with someone because we wanted to be with that person but some people shudder at the idea of reading a romance or even mock and scorn them. Nothing new as this has been going on for years.
I write would I like to read myself. I write interracial erotic romances because I love to read them. I write male/male erotic romances because I love to read them. I write historical romances because I love to read them.
I try to put a little bit of myself and those around me even in my male/male romances. For instance in my latest work, At Long Last, my character, Scotty, loves Morro Bay and hopes to live there some day. Just like me. In Wanting Sam, Sam dislikes French Toast, just like me. It’s no accident that most of my contemporaries happen in Southern Californian either. I guess it’s my version of “write what you know”.
I don’t write everything I love to read. I love a great horror novel written by King or Koontz. I’ve widely read both. I don’t feel even remotely qualified to scare someone. I would love to be able to with my writing, I just don’t have that kind of ability. Incidentally both King and Koontz have romances in their writing. It may not be the focus of the story, but there is often a romance connection in the stories.
Before Ed McBain’s death, I used to read every single 87th Precinct Book. Loved them. I couldn’t write a police procedural either.
Same with True Crime books. I read them voraciously. Couldn’t write non-fiction.
I turn to what I think I can write, at least with some success. I’ve had enough readers enjoy my works to believe I am not a complete talentless hack.
I know I have said this before but I think it bears repeating. I believe in order to be a successful writer of any fiction one needs to read widely not only in their genre of choice, but in other genres and also in non-fiction. It never ceases to astonish me when a writer proclaims with such staggering arrogance that they don’t read books in the genre they write. Is this something to be proud of? To aspire to? I don’t think so. If not to learn something, yes even established writers can learn from others, or to escape into someone else’s world for a time, then to support the endeavors of your fellow writers.