Thursday, November 26, 2009

GLBT Trap?

I have come across an interesting discussion, one that basically boils down to, why are GLBT books labelled as alternative? Surely in this day and age we can have them standing proud in their own right, not hiding behind or lumped with other genres. GLBT books should have their own category in their own right and be as mainstream as traditional romance. They sell well enough.

Yes, GLBT books have 'heat' levels, but really, that's not the same when they are lumped with other genre books. How can you compare them as a reader with a system like that? You can't. A 'hot' sci-fi tale is certainly different to a romance one.

Sure, GLBT falls under the general category of 'alternative romance' but really, reading a lot of GLBT books and being an author of them myself, a lot of them aren't all that alternative. I know I don't write porn or titilation for its own sake, in fact, someone mentioned in a review of one of my works, that the level of intensity was pretty mild when compared with some mainstream Harlequin romance novels they have read.

I don't want to write titilation stories either, but really that's what one would kind of expect when picking up a book with naked body parts all over the cover and the warning that it involes m/m romance. Why is m/m romance or f/f romance for that matter, considered to be...well, porn? How can a reader know what the book is really like when they all state: "warning, contains altrnative sex scenes that may offend some readers"? Really? Two men kissing is offensive? What if they are father and son? What if the book is about a son's battle with his sexuality and his struggle to come out to his father? Is that alternative? Should that have a warning on it, as most GLBT books do?

I like to write about characters, how they interact, and how they relate to the events happening around them. Sure, there are sex scenes, but my scenes are no more graphic or pornographic than any other romance novel. Why should my books be labelled 'alternative' just because they feature a non-traditioanl romance between the main characters. Love is love, isn't it?


Gracen Miller said...

I have nothing witty to say to this, Mark. I wish I did. I don't know why GLBT is labled as it is. It's a great question though. We need a publisher to weigh on this question.

Tierney O'Malley said...

Sorry, Mark. I can't think of an answer. I am still trying to find the answer to why I am suffering from a freaking vertigo. Let's have a chocolate feast!

Gracen Miller said...

Chocolate IS the answer to everything! *huggles Tierney* Sorry you're feeling poorly. I hope you get well soon!

Mark Alders said...

Yep, I agree. Let's all have chocolate :-)



Alisha Paige said...

It's ridiculous is what it is! Love is love no matter how you slice it. It's not ALTERNATIVE. The alternative would be novels about maiming or killing your lover or ex lover. Those are usually labeled as suspense or horror. I label those as DEPRESSIVE. I want to read about the good things in life, the love we share with a lover because life is too short to waste on the ALTERNATIVE..the negative. Maybe one day the publishers will wake up and realize this, but not before the rest of the world wakes up...I suspect that's why, Mark. Half the world is too ignorant to see that love is love. Romance is romance. Attraction is attraction. Your books showcase romance, love and passion. I think Mark's books should be labeled like this:


Mark Alders said...

OMG! Alisha, you got it all in one, girl! What a great post. Made my day!

~~~sending chocolate your way, baby!



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