Some unique opportunities have come my way lately. I am about to, in the next few weeks, embark on a co-written project with Jeffrey Cook, but before I could get there, I ran smack into another co-writing project with Thomas Stone. So, as of yesterday, along with Thomas, I put about 5,000 words to the page for a new paranormal erotica.
I started chatting amicably with another writer friend of ours about it and she does cover art and was idly messing around with some covers she had in a stock folder that had been rejected but with some new font and colors for the title would work for us and she asked me, "What name is he going to be writing under?" and I told her, "Thomas Stone."
Let me tell you folks, you could hear the needle scraping across the vinyl clear as day followed by a weighted silence...
Now I love this bitch with all my black little heart, but what she said next really, and I do mean really pissed me off. (Easy to do, I know.) She says to me, that it will never work. That no one wants to read romance/erotica written by a dude and he needs to pick a female pen name. Her reasoning? She believed, and she's not wrong, that when readers saw dude's name on the cover they would skip the book completely with the preconceived notion that the sex scenes in it were going to be goofy or juvenile.
This made me, as she so often puts it, 'a little ragey' and the reason? For years, women were laughed at if they tried to write something like, oh, say, a thriller or mystery or something of that nature and women had to claw their way through these old traditional publishing houses to achieve any sort of recognition, let alone greatness. Never mind that when they did manage to achieve either of those things it was usually years after they'd freaking died. So why then, is it okay, for us women to apply the same backwards thinking to men when it comes to the genre of romance or erotica?
Not okay in my book, especially considering this: Since when has it ever been okay to judge a book by it's cover? Which is exactly what someone would be doing in this particular scenario. They would be looking at our cover, see Thomas' name on there and be like - "Written with a dude? Um, Nope!"
You guys know me. Do you honestly think I would pair up with someone, and go to print with them if their stuff was below my standards or shit?
So I love my writing BFF, but Thomas' name is his name, this story it kicking all kinds of ass, I'm writing the heroine he's writing the hero and I have to say, all kinds of magic is happening here and I really, really hope we can finish this bitch because it. is. awesome!
So when you see our work, tentatively entitled "I Am The Alpha" hit the Kindle store or Paperback, I really hope you'll fly in the face of convention and pick up a copy for yourself because it's turning out phenomenal, and you know the sex is going to be good, it's part of why you guys read me isn't it?
I say give male authors in this genre a chance, if you're reading along and aren't digging it or feeling it, there isn't anything that says you can't return the book, or just stop reading. You tried, you don't like it? Put it aside and move on. You can do that, you don't have to feel guilty about it either. You don't like something you don't like it. It's like broccoli, some people love it, some people hate it, you get it in your meal at a restaurant, you pick it out and set it aside. Same with books and authors, seriously.