Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sweet in Romance

I'm categorized as a "sweet" romance author, in case any of you didn't already know (or guess) this. It may surprise some of you that I am constantly told that my stories are too nice, they don't encompass the misery it is to be gay, and they are unrealistic. Make no mistake about it, I know I want my characters to have happy endings and I am fully aware (and intimately acquainted) with the fact this does not fully reflect real life.

But in the worlds I create and with people that only really exist in my head, I have a way to ensure that things do work out okay in the end. I like my characters to find love, no matter their orientation, race or species. I want them to end up happy. In the case of gay romance, I want them to not have to hide or cover for their sexuality or somehow feel less than the people they are.

Why? I think it's a reaction to the fact there seems to be so little happiness in the real world and so little acceptance of each others as just people. Maybe in my little way, I try to make the fact someone is gay not all that important in the vast scheme of things - because, to me, it just isn't that important!

I grew up in a very liberal household in a very culturally, sexually and otherwise diverse community with lots of exposure to many types of people from a very young age. I am constantly blessed by that. I strongly believe it's a large part of my outlook and acceptance/celebration of the differences of others.

But there is a lot of hatred and hurt in the world. You can read the news every day to hear about it and witness it on the street constantly. I don't find it something I like to write about most of the time, at least not in anything other than something one of my characters has endured and overcome.

There are some fabulous gay romance authors out there who write far grittier and much less "sweet" romance than I do and I do read and enjoy it on occasion. But many times I read for an escape from the world and I like that to be a pleasant escape that makes me smile and go "awwwww" at the end.

So if you ever wondered why I tend much more toward the sweet side of gay romance, now you know.


Tam said...

Sweet definitely has it's place as does gritty. Would be pretty boring to only have one type of story. I think your reasons for writing what you do are very valid. Sometimes you just want to shut out the ugly and live in a world that's a little bit better, even if it's only for a short while.

Maura Anderson said...

I agree. Sometimes I'm in the mood for the gritty and sometimes the sweet. I seem to like writing the sweet more, though.

One of the reasons I love reading is the vast array of different views and voices.

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