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 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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On Romance and Pre-Existing Conditions by Cat Sebastian

I know I’m not the only one watching in horror as millions of Americans stand to lose their healthcare. Pretty much everyone I know has some kind of pre-existing condition that could disqualify them from insurance coverage under the bill that recently passed the House. One of the unsettling aspects of this discussion is the term “pre-existing condition” because it presumes that there is such a thing as a human body that exists in a state of perpetual health, and that health care should only extend to those already-healthy bodies….

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For Bowie by Francesca Lia Block

“Mom, David Bowie died,” my daughter says. It’s seven in the morning on January 11, 2016 and she’s supposed to be getting ready for school, not on her phone, but I’m too tired to argue with her. I’d been up since six staring at the computer screen, trying to write bad erotic romance e-books to pay the bills until I can shake myself out of a year-long creative slump in an almost thirty year career as an author. The wing of black liner that she sweeps expertly above the deep…

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Heart Rippers, Tear Jerkers and Whatever Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger by Suki Fleet

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? —Kafka I’m not a masochist (well, not too much of one anyway), but sometimes I need to be broken by a book. Sometimes it’s only by being broken, then remade (I’m a romance reader after all), that life takes on new perspectives. So, yes, to what Kafka is saying. Even though if those were…

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When Inspiration Strikes…with Murder by Kris Ripper

This one time…I was thinking about writing a series of romance novels. I wanted to emphasize queer community, and set books in a close-knit group of folks. As I was making notes for each book, and mind mapping how they were going to tie together, I had this sudden idea. I always loved murder mysteries. Like really loved them. And in the space between lifting my pen from the paper and putting it down again my brain had slipped a murdery subplot over the plots for all five books. Let…

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Romance in Real Time by Liz Jacobs

The other weekend, while my wife was busy industriously re-arranging our entire attic library, I did something too: I got up off the couch. On the way from there to the bathroom, I grabbed my empty coffee mug, set it on the dining room table. Went to the bathroom. Came out, grabbed the mug, set it on the counter next to the kitchen sink, at which point I looked at it, sighed, rinsed it out and shoved it in the dishwasher. Now, several things could have happened during this scenario,…

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