I’d like to welcome Charley Descoteaux, mutli-published Gay Romance Author.
It’s my pleasure to host Charley. She was gracious enough to answer the question, “Why do you write Gay romance, in particular m/m romance?”
I think you’ll love her answer.
Without further delay…
Why Gay Romance?
Thanks, Renea, for having me!
I’ve been writing for a long time but tried a “new” genre for NaNoWriMo 2010 and haven’t looked back: Gay Romance. I’ve been enjoying it for a lot longer than three years but it took a while to talk myself into taking the plunge and trying to get my own stories published. Most women who write in this genre are asked why they chose it and there are as many reasons as there are authors. Some of us have a few!
Maybe the most obvious reason is that Romance is fun. I love reading and writing Romances, but whenever I tried to write an m/f pairing it always ended up something else—not always the same type of story, but not a Romance with an HEA. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but since I’m a ponderer, it made me ponder why that happened. I don’t know the answer but I do know that even though I still read the occasional m/f romance I’m hooked on m/m.
Another reason I love this genre, is once you have two men in the picture the burdens and expectations of societal gender roles are automatically off the table. Gay Romance still has to deal with double standards, but at least they’re not the same ones I’ve been living with for almost five decades. When I wrote my first stories with the goal of having them published (back in the mid-1990s) most of the Romance novels I found featured stereotypical alpha males and female leads needing to be saved from something or someone. That hasn’t floated my boat since I was in high school sneaking my mom’s Kathleen Woodiwiss novels—which was *cough* a year or two *cough* before the mid-90s! I loved The Flame and the Flower and The Wolf and the Dove but both of those books have already been written (and better than I ever could!).
Now, though, it’s very different! Now there’s a place in publishing for every color of the rainbow, characters from the wrong side of the tracks and stories set anywhere in the world. That’s exciting to an old gal like me and I plan to enjoy it! Right now that means a lot of man love, but who knows where it could lead?
What about you, lovely readers—what’s your favorite color of the rainbow? Have you tried any LGBT Romance? If so, what made you try it? If not, what kind of story would tempt you to the glittery side?
The characters in A Sunday Kind of Love aren’t particularly flamboyant, but I hope you’ll be entertained by them anyway.
Jake McKynnie, middle-aged jazz musician, has the chops to solo—in every sense of the word. He’s living a lonely life in LA, convinced that’s the best he can expect. DJ, the boy who calls him Dad, turns up the day after his high school graduation like a sucker punch from the past. Could their celebratory trip to the salon be the catalyst for Jake’s duet with the enigmatic stylist, Mason?
Excerpt (Rated PG):
Jake grinned. “This is my boy, Jacob. He needs a haircut befitting his new status in life.”
The proprietor frowned theatrically. Jake barely noticed, his mind occupied with what the boy must be thinking. He’d never met a man like Antonio in tiny Willston, Oregon. Nobody was that tall, dark and polished in pink leather pants and a pink silk snake-print button-down shirt.
“A little young…”
Jake made a strangled sound that would’ve had him cringing at its ethnic offensiveness if he wasn’t so mortified by his own choice of words.
“Antonio, that’s not what I meant.” Jake looked at the boy, who was almost completely covering that he had no idea what was going on. That, and the fact that he looked so much like his father, meant he may have a shot after all. “This is DJ. He just graduated from high school and came down for college.”
“You are kid-ding me! This is DJ?” Antonio turned to regard the boy with a hand on his hip and a thoughtful expression. A slow smile spread across his face and he fluffed DJ’s hair and then held it away from his face. “You did bring him for me. Come on, gorgeous, let’s get started.”
Antonio brought Jacob farther into the salon, an arm draped across his shoulders and Jake following close behind them. It always surprised Jake how many people could be in the salon—stylists, customers, and assorted friends of Antonio’s—and yet it rarely sounded as though the chairs were full even though they usually were. But that could’ve had something to do with the volume of the music which wasn’t overpowering but loud enough to conceal a multitude of sins.
Antonio sat Jacob down and put Jake in the next chair to watch while they discussed the merits of a few hairstyles. Jake felt an inordinate amount of pride as the boy warmed to the situation, as though he hadn’t spent every day he could remember in a rural Oregon town of 1,200, but in LA as originally planned. Both spent a quiet moment not quite looking at each other in the mirror when Antonio said father-son facials were on the house as a graduation present. Jake didn’t want to remind him of the honorary nature of his title, and it’d been too long since his last facial anyway. He pretended not to see Antonio’s look that said it’d been a long time since he’d indulged in a lot of things the salon had to offer.
After a fun couple of hours Jake and Jacob headed for the car. Jacob stopped just outside the door to admire himself in the window’s mirror-like surface.
“You should go on back and talk to that guy whose chair you were in. He was checking you out, Dad.”
Jake watched as the boy turned his head to see his new look from every possible angle.
“Looks good.” Jake resisted the urge to run his palm over the boy’s head, like he had when DJ was two they’d had to give him a buzz cut after he’d gotten into some paint. “Feel like yourself now?”
“You bet. I’ll take a little walk and check things out while you head back in for a few minutes.” Jacob winked and would’ve left Jake standing there if he hadn’t taken the boy’s arm to stop him.
“Don’t go feeling too cocky, now. Just because you’re in LA don’t think you can swish around anywhere you please and nothing can happen.”
“I’ll keep the swishing to a minimum.” He waggled his fingers at Jake and took off down the street.
Jake ducked back into the salon and almost ran into Antonio. “Thanks for taking care of him on such short notice. You’re the best.”
“You’re right about that.” Antonio kissed Jake’s cheek and leaned back to look at him. “And it was no notice, but who’s counting. You okay?”
Jake ran a shaky hand through his own short hair which, if he were completely honest, felt just that side of shaggy. “Will be. Didn’t expect to see him today.”
“If you need someone to talk to you just call me, honey.” Antonio hugged Jake hard for a short moment and then released him and gave him a significant look. “We’ll get coffee.”
“Hope I didn’t tick off your neighbor by monopolizing his chair.”
Antonio grinned so loudly Jake had to turn away.
“I’m sure Mase didn’t mind. You know he gets all drooly over hard-bodied men with tattoos.” He traced the Celtic braid encircling Jake’s left biceps. “And you have tattoos. Mase! Mason, come over here and tell Jake you don’t mind he grabbed your seat.”
Jake watched Mason stalk across the room and pass Antonio going the other way. Antonio must’ve winked or signaled him somehow because Mason’s step turned slinky as soon as he saw past him to Jake. Mason looked hot all in black, leather pants and a sleeveless shirt that wasn’t quite see-through. He could’ve lost the leather bands around his biceps as far as Jake was concerned, but that was the only fault he could find without more time.
Thanks for reading!
Buy A Sunday Kind of Love:
Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they let her sleep once in a while. She’s a firm believer that everyone deserves a beautiful love story even, or maybe especially, the ones who would usually be in the supporting cast. In Charley’s worlds you’ll find out-of-work teachers, motivational speakers, unknown jazz musicians, and maybe even an undercover colorist. Home is Portland, Oregon, where the weather is like your favorite hard-case writing buddy who won’t let you get away with taking too many days off, and in some places you can be as weird as you are without fear. As an out and proud bisexual and life-long weird-o, she thinks that last part is pretty cool.
Rattle Charley’s cages—she’d love to hear from you!