I’m probably the very last person who should tackle the subject of writing M/M Romance because writing gay romance wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part. I’ve always wanted to write in the romance genre, and m/m stories were simply the stories that spoke to my heart when I took on my kids’ playful challenge to write my first full-length novel.
From the very beginning, I felt I had a responsibility to eschew stereotypes and tell a realistic story within the confines of the romance genre. I have always seen romance as a form of fantasy. If romance novels were based on reality, there would be more characters waking up in pools of drool with bad bedhead. They’d have morning breath that could peel the paint off a car.
While romance is fantasy, the emotional lives of its characters must resonate for the reader as true. The best romances have high emotional stakes, good tension, and the breathless wonder of passionate love.
That’s what I was reading romance for, at any rate.
I went into my stories believing I should avoid relying on coming-out drama and homophobia as my main plot points—although these are facts of life for the LGBT community—because my goal was always to write a romance novel featuring a protagonist and a love interest who just happen to be gay, rather than to make the story about being gay.