“There comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear.”
~ David Mahoney
Today I did something that I haven’t done in years. I submitted a story!
In the nineties I had about a dozen stories published. Now these aren’t stories I could tell my mother about! She is far too religious and would have been shocked and appalled to find out I was writing, well, porn. I remember sitting around my apartment reading an issue of “First Hand” or “Advocate Men” or something like that and shouting, “These stories! Aarrgh! A twelfth grader could write better! I could write better!”
And my lover at the time, bless his soul, said, “Well, then do it.”
So I did!
And to my surprise, I sold it. A published author friend was impressed. “The competition is fierce, BG. For you to sell you first story that fast is great.”
So I wrote more. The problem was that for me to like a story, I wanted to believe the two (or more) men were actually interested in each other. Heavens! I didn’t want to start right in the middle of a fuck. I wanted them to meet and get interested in sex, even if it was only for a one-night-stand. I wanted the characters to sound like real people instead of just life-support systems for a mouth, cock and ass. I got more than a few letters back saying that if I would only cut out the first two pages…
Despite this, I sold about a dozen stories, but fighting with them over non-sexual content started to get to me. Then the Internet just SUDDENLY killed the magazines. There used to be tons of them and now only a few dozen. I don’t know why people would prefer to get a subscription to an Internet site for their photographs and stories, but they do. Besides this, life happen in a big way and writing got lost.
After my break up, I found a returning interest in writing. You know the story, right? Wanting to write the next great American novel? My problem was that for me to be vested, I wanted – needed – a gay hero. He didn’t need to be the only protagonist, but there had to be one in there and he had to be a major character. I would get so deep, writing and writing and writing and I would suddenly hit this wall. This wall that said, “there is no market for this! You aren’t going to have a great American novel when your hero is gay and makes love to other men right there on the page…”
Stupid, right? But what can I say?
I knew about fanfic, but there is no money in that. Not that that is my primary motivation for writing. I write because I love to write. But it would also be nice to make a living at it and stop working at the series of hellholes I’ve worked. To do what I really love to do. Besides, I really don’t enjoy writing other people’s characters, and I always know that any fanfic story I wrote wasn’t cannon. If I was going to write Star Trek, I wanted to write an episode of the show, not something a handful of friends would read. Is that bad?
But then I discovered something incredible!!!
There was a growing market for gay romances. Every kind of gay romance. Typical gay versions of Harlequins or other bodice-bursters. But also science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, horror, and more!
Over the last few years it has EXPLODED! People want the kinds of stories I was writing. They wanted stories where the hero is gay, fights monsters or “Klingons,” and they wanted the sex as well. They didn’t want a fade-to-sunset.
Did this mean I could make a living at it?
Maybe, maybe not.
What it did mean was that I could write what I wanted to write and there was a market for it. And most importantly, it was making me write again! And actually finish a story! And submit it!
And every single story one writes hones their skills.
And maybe I will write that great American novel! And maybe it will be gay. Maybe I will so hone my skills with these companies looking for what I am writing that I will write that novel and it will be one the breaks conventions and sells like hot cakes!
It’s happened before. Anne McCaffrey was the first science fiction author to get a novel on the New York Times bestseller list. Now it happens all the time.
Okay, so here’s the thing. The wonderful pointed me to the places that were looking and gave me great advise. She pointed out a blog that posts open submissions. I started reading it. And came across this posting:
- Short Story Anthologies
Submission Deadline:March 1, 2010
Dreamspinner Press Anthology of Love too Great for Two
Editor: Julianne Bentley
Just close your eyes and feel: soft, warm lips skimming from your shoulder to your ear, your skin prickling and tickling. Then add another set, echoing the first, layer upon layer of sensation as two sets of hands join the game, stroking, sliding, ratcheting up the heat. And when your lips part and the tip of your tongue darts out, it’s met by two more in a luscious, messy, three-way kiss. This is necking, pure and hot, sending shivers of arousal down your spine. In these stories, the men come in threes: triple the pleasure, triple the love.
Length: 2,500 – 10,000 words (manuscripts shorter or longer will be considered but will have to be extraordinary)
And I got an idea! And I wrote it in less than a week! And I loved it! And , and , wondrous persons that they are, all edited/betaed if for me and they did a FANTASTIC job!
I emailed it in. *heart pounds*
Wish me luck?