Other Than by J.R. Gray

Gender in Romance is a series of posts focusing on the various experiences and perspectives of some of the top voices in queer fiction.  Read more from this series here. I’ve always known I wasn’t Cis. It’s a feeling I’ve had since as early as I could remember. I was different, and different growing up in a fundamentalist Christian environment isn’t tolerated. Decades before I even had words for what I am, I realized I was at risk if I opened my mouth. If I spoke, or asked too many questions I…

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The Fear of Being Labeled Wrong by Anna Zabo

Gender in Romance is a series of posts focusing on the various experiences and perspectives of some of the top voices in queer fiction.  Read more from this series here.   Gender is such a strange thing. I’m non-binary, so I don’t fit into the man or the woman box neatly. I feel tied to both and excluded from both. Sometimes I feel utterly myself and whole, but sometimes I feel adrift and lost. I crushed on men and women growing up, but not just sexually. I can point out which people I…

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On Finding Myself (in Fiction) by Kris Ripper

Gender in Romance is a series of posts focusing on the various experiences and perspectives of some of the top voices in queer fiction.  Read more from this series here. When I was coming up in the world, there was no word for my gender. No descriptive terms. You were a boy, or a girl. You were becoming a woman, or a man. I tried really hard to be either. I always felt a little more like both, or neither. As a kid, it hardly mattered. I read a lot of books and…

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On Comparisons: Writing Trans Characters in Same-Gender Romance by Austin Chant

Gender in Romance is a series of posts focusing on the various experiences and perspectives of some of the top voices in queer fiction. Read more from the series here. Let me start with an understatement: when you’re trans, it’s hard not to compare yourself to cis people. I’m a queer man; I go through life every day as a dude who likes other dudes. I’m about as excited as a person can be for that Dream Daddy game. But I’ve never quite felt like a “real” queer man, whatever that…

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Lessons Learned from Co-Writing: Getting Started by Joanna Chambers

I’ve just released my first co-written book, Enemies Like You, with Annika Martin so I thought I’d talk a little bit today about about some of the lessons learned from the co-writing process.   Prior to Enemies, I’d had no particular desire to co-write with anyone. Quite the opposite actually. I know what I’m like. I’m opinionated and controlling and I knew it would not be an easy thing for me. If I’m doing a team task (e.g. in my RL job) and someone in the team isn’t doing a…

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“Real” life vs. “book” life by Daria Defore

Maintaining a balance between writing and socializing is one of those things that I find infinitely challenging. I’ve certainly been known to set aside a whole day for writing and then, because I have the whole day, after all, not start writing until night. Those of you who have done this know that those misspent hours are never productive. Most likely, you spent them experiencing varieties of guilt, browsing Twitter, and allowing yourself “just one episode” of That TV Show. Like many writers, I work a day job. But I…

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When Bad Things Happen to Good Characters by Annabeth Albert

There’s a trend right now towards low-angst stories where the greatest hurdle a couple faces is getting out of the way of their own feelings. And these stories are great—I have a number of them on my keeper shelf and sometimes it’s exactly what I’m in the mood to read.  It’s one of the cornerstones of what a romance should be—escapism and good feelings.  After all, real life, especially these days, is hard and uncertain and filled with tense emotions. And we all know all too well that sometimes horrible…

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Writing Your Way Out by Heidi Cullinan

Writers are often encouraged to write what they know, and this generally elicits passionate response, sometimes in defense of the maxim, sometimes against. I’ve always come down in the middle, writing from my experience most definitely, but always with a twist, because being direct too often results in something slightly misshapen, or dough too hot to touch. I’ll parse myself across seven or eight characters, giving one this memory, the other that odd tic, the next that professor from college. I always say the character most like me is a…

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