About Those Starred Books

I’ve finally gotten all the links up on my Bibliography page. If you click on the book images, you should be taken to the Amazon page for that title. (For Letters to Rob, you’ll be taken to the PDF.) I agonized about linking to Amazon, as I’d really prefer you to support indie bookstores, but based on pretty much all my sales info, most people are still buying from Amazon, and my job as author is to facilitate your purchases of my books. That said, please buy from indies whenever possible. You can ask them to order my paperbacks, easy peasy.

But this post is meant to be about the starred books on my Bibliography page. Titles with a star beside them have homosexual content. And the reason I chose to call them out that way is because I get really angry readers (and really bad reviews) when they aren’t “warned” that there are gay people in my books. Never mind that I usually categorize them in gay/LGBT metadata. I guess not everyone scrolls down that far? But to save from confusion and, hopefully, to forestall future frustration and ire, I’ve starred my gay books.

One supposes that if I always wrote gay books, readers would know to expect it. And if I would simply stick to hetero stories, no one would have reason to leave angry reviews. (Well, they might, but at least that one reason would not be valid.) Alas, I’m the kind of author who likes to write whatever she feels like writing at the time, meaning it’s a 50/50 chance there will be gay content.

Q: Why do you write gay characters?

Because I have many gay, lesbian, asexual, and even polyamorous friends. My best friend’s little sister is trans. I grew up with her, and I want all these wonderful people to populate my stories, too. Because they’re in the real world and therefore deserve to be reflected in the fictional world as well. And not as the focus of angst or voyeuristic lust, but as people. With jobs and relationships and all the stuff that comes with life in general. Sometimes there is angst, and sometimes there’s a bit of lust, but not always from their sexuality. Because sexuality is not what defines us. It’s only part of the whole.

I’m not saying that coming out stories or hot LGBTQIA+ erotica is bad. It’s just not my thing and not where I focus. Sadly, though, some readers still aren’t ready to have gay characters presented as “normal.” And when they read my books, they feel slapped in the face by that representation. SO. I’ve starred those titles as a fair warning to them.

Of course, if they come across my books elsewhere, they may not get that warning. Sigh. I like to think that if they’re given enough such media—that is, books and movies and television shows with gay characters presented in a normal, everyday context—they’ll get used to it and stop being so offended every time it crosses their paths. But some people cling to hate because that’s part of their identity. To let go leaves them feeling bereft of purpose. “If I don’t hate x, then who or what am I?”

I dunno. Human? Find a hobby. Preferably one that isn’t dedicated to hating whole groups of people.

Well, until that day, I will star the titles that have LGBTQIA+ content. As of this post, that only really includes gay, meaning I don’t have any lesbians or transgender characters, though I do say Richard in Faebourne is asexual. The second Changers book was meant to have a trans character, but I never did finish writing it. :/

I will try to do better.

This is an awfully long post for such a simple purpose, but I think the topic is, in itself, an important one. TL;DR: starred books on my Bibliography page have LGBTQIA+ content.