Don’t you worry, we know exactly why m/m romance don’t listen to us.

 

joshua-stitt-502811-unsplash

 

So, I guess riptide – who got its chops busted for some pretty racist shit including having a website dedicated to a series of books where slaves are bought and sold – is nominated for the bisexual book awards.
Furthermore, another nominee wrote a blog about why Cisgendered men aren’t listened to by those who write m/m.

Look, you can talk all the shit you want. You can get mad when gay people voice their opinions about the books you write. You can run gay men through the mud and talk mad shit about us on a blog that you later on delete but here’s the thing.

You ready for it?

If you have to defend yourself that hard for the stuff that you write – if you have to come out swinging on blog posts and come at gay people (or people at all like that) then you know your shit is busted.

You’re not getting mad because gay men are trying to correct you – you’re painting a picture of gay men being bad because their complaints could potentially affect your bottom line.

You found a cash cow and you’re making money off of it.

It isn’t about you loving romance and finding sex hot – we know Y’all are some freakneaks. Welcome to Club ‘Mo. We don’t have a beef with that. Do your thing.

((And this isn’t really addressed to most writers. It’s addressed to the few and they know who they are.))

It’s about potentially losing some money because the shit you are writing isn’t really reflective of the lives gay men lead or the sex that they have. Sometimes, like Riptide, you get really offensive and downright derogatory but it sells. It sells well. And the worse it is, the better off you are.

You’re being oppressed.

That’s true.

But in this position, you’re sort of like the bakers who were sued by the lesbian couple and raised a bunch of money from your friends because a judge ordered you to pay restitution for discrimination.

That judge oppressed them, in a manner of speaking, by refusing to let them off the hook for being a bigot.

And that’s what you are – a bigot.

But the worst kind of bigot. A bigot that doesn’t like other bigots.

You released something sketchy, a gay person said something negative about it. You write a blog about how evil they are and that’s a marketing strategy. Sales go up. You win. The gay person is shut down.

If they’re a fellow writer – then they’re ostracized.

But that’s a hollow win, isn’t it? Don’t you feel empty at the end of the day knowing that you’ve done damage to someone?

If cisgendered gay men were all that bad – you wouldn’t be writing about them.

But there is money in them thar hills!

Gay men are oppressed to the extreme – but because they have a penis, and are male, they’re caught up in a negative feedback loop.

There really isn’t any remedy for them. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. One part of society doesn’t want them because of their sexuality and the other side dismisses them because they’re men.

There’s zero maneuvering room but to remain quiet and submissive less they received backlash for speaking up…ohmygod does that sound familiar or what?

We can’t sue you for being a shitty writer. We can’t sue you for ranty blogs, racist ass bullshit about people of color, bi-erasure,  or posts about how gay men should shut up (good luck with that). But we can say without reproach that the books you write aren’t gay at all.

And you are no ally.

You’re essentially exploiting a diamond mine with forced labor from the locals who weren’t strong enough to resist you taking their resources.

Congrats.

You’re the oppressor and this is exploitation.

And instead of stealing resources you’ve stolen someone’s dignity.

Human nature and capitalism for the win.

P.S. This doesn’t mean you win.  It doesn’t matter who began this book genre. Gay lives don’t belong solely to you. Period. That would be called slavery.

Beaten Track Radio Author Chat (Jamie Fessenden)

Hi there!

This past Saturday Jamie Fessenden Co-hosted with me on Author Chat Live on www.beatentrackradio.com

If you missed the show – where we discussed the difference between M/M Romance and Gay Fiction as well as Jamie’s books – click the link below and you can listen in.

Also, if you’re an author that would like to co-host with me live on the radio, send me a message via email or through here and let’s get you scheduled.

 

radioshow pic

 

Page Stuffing and Bonus Books on KU

lacie-slezak-128106

unsplash-logoLacie Slezak

You’re the reason why we can’t have nice stuff. Seriously.

Yesterday I watched a video by Heather’s Hangout on Youtube where she named and shamed authors by cheating the KU system.

You can watch her video here 

As you know Kindle Unlimited allows readers to read as many books as they want for a monthly fee of 9.99.

For readers that’s awesome – it’s like Netflix for books.

However, the agreement that each author enters into when they decided to go with Kindle Unlimted does a couple of things.

First off, it gives exclusive rights to Amazon to publish the book for the duration of the KU contract. So, while on the program authors cannot have their books listed with any other book distributor.

Secondly, once you sign up for the program authors are paid by pages read. The breakdown is like .00046 cents per page and that number fluctuates constantly.

Pages read also increases visibility on Amazon’s website. The more pages read, the higher the ranking of your book in the genre(s) it’s listed under.

That’s all great.

However, the system is far from perfect. For example, not only do authors have to deal with piracy of e-books, piracy of audiobooks, click farms in China that cheat the system, now other authors are gaming the system by stuffing their books with ‘bonus books’ and listing it all for 99 cents.

((I think listing a book for 99 cents is outrageous enough, as it devalues books and the work put into them. ))

As mentioned in the video above, this has caused some authors to jump over E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey) in the Amazon ranking.

Not because of the quality of their work. Not because of the popularity of their work. But simply because of mathematics. Think card counting at a Vegas Casino.

While it’s technically allowable under the current Amazon TOS – click here – in my opinion, the entire thing is completely unethical.

With as hard as it’s become to compete with all the shady aforementioned things listed above, to know that fellow authors are out there screwing over others, is really sort of disgusting.

If your talent alone can’t carry you into prominence, if you have to absolutely game the system to reap the benefits of a program designed to be egalitarian for both readers and writers, no matter how much money you make, no matter how popular you become, you’re work should be viewed for what it is.

A fucking sham job.

Furthermore, you’re working to totally delegitimize the ranking of Amazon completely and other bestsellers lists out there.

There are authors out there who dream of becoming best sellers. Authors who actually have the talent to do it on their own and you and your buddies are standing in their way – completely unfairly I might add – so that you can pad your pockets.

Way to be a buddy fucker.

 

The Irksome element in the M/M Book Genre

victor-rodvang-369791

Victor Rodvang

You know, I could never really put my finger on what it was about M/M romance that irks me so bad. This has nothing to do with writing.
But it has everything to do with the fighting.
I’ve thought about it. I’ve wandered around it. I’ve left it alone and let it slide. And then something else happens and suddenly there it is, once more.
Gay people have been around since Ancient Greece, Alexander, Rome, during the dark ages, the Renaissance – I mean, Michelangelo? Hello?! The reformation, the age of reason, the gilded age, industrialization, the great depression, the Civil War, Walt Whitman, WW1, WW2 – Alan Turing – the forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, AIDS – and despite it all – we’ve survived. Somehow.
We are a nebulous people.
We have no place to call home. No ethnicity. No physical characteristics that set us apart from another. We don’t come from some region of the world. We are everywhere. Alive. Thriving.
But we are a people and as a people we are as diverse in personality and philosophy, theology or lack thereof as everyone else.
We have created culture, we’ve destroyed civilizations, we’ve conquered the world, we’ve been conquered by it. We’ve been taken lovers by Kings (King James comes to mind), and have created the most exquisite art when commissioned by Popes, we’ve saved the world, and did you’re hair before your wedding. We’ve operated on you, taught you, flown you across the sky, and buried your body.
WE.ARE.
Nebulous we may be but we are as old as time itself.
And we do not need you to survive.
I think this genre has had good intentions but I think it’s colonized us – or has attempted to.
It uses paternalism, the same paternalism used against women and minorities going back forever – to shoe horn us, or to create this static border around us, and define what is in fact so nebulous about us.
Like you know better than we do about who we are. America, Western civilization, and the modern world is but a glimmer of the time in which we’ve existed.
It’s like you’re trying to save us. Not only from the world at large. But from ourselves.
And in that, you drag out of every single corner of society anything with the word ‘gay’ on it and prop it up for the entire world to see, and embrace, and to hell with you if you don’t.
I resent that.
How dare you?
I have within me, the same amount of majesty, the same artistic inclination, or warring battle cries as any and all races, classes, and groups of people my gender, or otherwise.

‘Homo sumhumani nihil a me alienum puto’  –  I am human,  nothing human can be alien to me.
Stop telling us we’re wrong.
Stop telling us, no.
Stop telling us to be quiet.
Stop arguing with us about things that concern us unless you’re arguing to protect an investment and if you really want to argue on that premise – then we’ve walked into slave owner mentality.
My brother James Baldwin said back in the day, I ain’t your negro.

James_Baldwin_37_Allan_Warren

Well, I ain’t your homo.
I am not, nor are my brothers, some poor pitiful homos that must be protectively pressed against your bosom.
Just like any healthy relationship out there, the dynamics of and definitions of need and want are important.
I want you in my life – as an equal.
But I don’t need you in my life to exist.
The statement of, “We want gay men to have happy endings.” is a kind and virtuous one.
But we’ve had endings. All of them.
And we will again.
You’ll give birth to us. We are your children. We will survive.

9 published works (poem)

jilbert-ebrahimi-33575

Jilbert Ebrahimi

walking on shattered glass
all that remained of my life..
I stood in the midst of my turmoil
storms had come
and all around me chaos 
reigned in fragments
of my sanctuary

I stood there
hands shoved in my pockets
afraid to take another step
for fear of cutting my feet
all that I was and would be
had exploded into unrecognizable
shards

I didn’t know what to do
I cried for a bit, called out for help
but no answer came
and as the wind swept the curtains
inside the hollowed out home
I’d never felt so lonely

I dried my eyes with my sleeve
cold from the wind and the rain
I found a red tape recorder
I’d been given for Christmas
laying at my feet

kneeling down I cleared a spot
until I had a place to sit
then, with recorder in my lap
I recounted the wolf like
screaming of the wind
and pounding of fists
of thunder and rain

there alone and in the dark
I told my story
nine times
Over and over
adding detail to some
removing names from others
but each time telling the truth

I fell asleep at some point
My head resting on my right arm
the left clutching the recorder
i curled up inside myself
with my truth pressed against my heart

When the dawn woke me
and voices calling out my name
jolted me from a fitful night
filled with nightmare images and ghosts
who’d leaned in to whisper
in my ears
stories children shouldn’t hear
but ones this one knew by heart
I yelled out for God

When I was swept up
I’d realized in horror
that my recorder had been handed
off
and someone had pressed play
in silence of those who’d come
I heard an old man
telling my nine truths back to me

It was motionless in the ruins
No one moved
I couldn’t even hear myself breathe
The world should hear this
The one who held me whispered softly
when the tape ended
I turned to my head to look my husband in the eyes

They did.
Where do you think the storm came from?
He gathered me to him
and in silent reverie
walked me out into the morning sun

Industry panic (Poem)

 

travis-yewell-273488

 

Since when did it become fashionable to impede on someone’s hustle?
What’s up with this?
Can’t you do do that thing on your own?
Can’t you go out and make that green on your own?
You’re like amber bottles lined up with skulls and crossbones

you look good but that shit is superficial – you know what they say…
you’re poison, ally my ass – Et tu Brute?
Ya’ll gotta stop this, it’s toxic
it’s narrow minded, quixotic,
if someone’s got their game on deck
why come along and knock it?
If someone’s got something to say
let them do that thing, why stop it? Myopic

you scared?
You worried someone might tell you
you don’t belong here?
That your words may be gay but ain’t none of it’s queer
And are you worried someone wants to know how you got here?
And are you worried that someone’s gonna wanna know
how y’all managed to get this industry on lock?
so now you gotta knock down someone you’re stressin’ some new cock on the block
worried that someone might come teach you a lesson
on talent -so frantic, you’re actions got you confessin’
who you been all along?
can’t take no heat when someone up and tells you that you might be wrong?

is your goals so lofty, so costly, the money you make – did you come by fraudulently – are you concerned you’re a fake?
Panicked new names are creepin’ in too fast
so now you make a mistake by kissing some ass
Didn’t you get the memo
celebrity is obscurity just waiting to happen
you could be great, you should be great, but you forgot your passion
Did you lose your ability because you were too concerned with fashion?
or is the pool too shallow, here- popularity’s gotta be rationed?

the hustle should be about getting your words out there
the standard used to be publishing, now y’all running scared
with so much static running in through the door
between the critics, the cynics, and the Z list attention whores
who found their fame shit talkin’ those who do
But your losing popularity So now you do, too?

Man, what a cliché this whole thing has turned out to be
Got voodoo queens hexing the whole famn damily
it’s a tragedy, of no less than Shakespearian proportions
you’re standing at the top of the well – tellin’ us what to do with the lotion
you say, it puts it in the basket lest it get the hose again,
How are you pointing out people’s flaws when you ain’t right within?
Come again?

 

Gay For You (GFY) Revisited

jorge-gonzalez-116859

(Photo by Jorge Gonzalez)

A gay friend of mine earlier posted a semi-rant over GFY and the main point he was trying to make was that sexuality – for a lot of people isn’t fluid.
The science is clear that homosexuality is built into the genes and epigenetics of human beings.
GFY does a disservice to people – not because of the trope but because of the easy explanation of so-called sexual fluidity.
Those who’ve taken umbrage to this subset of a subset of a subset of this genre do so because they’re so used to the world outside telling them that they can change or that who they are isn’t natural – that when they see this, this reinforces that mindset.

If sexuality is in fact FLUID – you can CHOOSE to be straight.  Or at the very least be in a straight relationship.
But there is a two-pronged problem here.
The first is the aforementioned.
The second, however, is telling people what they can write and telling readers what they can read.
We run into a constant problem here.
GFY – is high fantasy.
It isn’t real and anecdotal evidence to the contrary is just that. Anecdotal.
And then people – writers- get defensive over their work, readers get mad because they’re being ignored and the entire thing descends into a flame war.
It is irrefutable that a writer can write what he or she wants. That is crystal clear.
But there is often a distance between what one CAN do and what one OUGHT to do.
GFY – as a subset – isn’t going anywhere.

The market eats those books up like cookie monster eats cookies. And to be honest, it’s a cash cow that authors have found and it would be dumb to give it up.
Screaming about that does zilch – other than causing a bunch of stupid drama and then, unintentionally sells a bunch of books people were angry over.
But instead of slapping sexual fluidity in place of actual research and understanding of human sexuality may assuage some people’s feelings about the subset and make them less angry about feeling like not only do they have to watch out for the crazy preacher down the road who thinks they can change and the ignorant author who happens to agree with them in their work.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write about gay people – it simply means that you should fear your subject. And with that trepidation approach it with respect and the dignity they deserve like you would someone of a different race.

Sexuality is as ingrain as skin color, eye color, blood type….
I can guarantee you some straight person doesn’t wake up one day, no matter how much they may like another person of the same gender and think, “I want to have sex with him/her.” Or – if a gay man and a straight man have a very close emotional relationship – doesn’t mean that they’re going to have a sexual one.
Are there sexual fluid people? Yes.

But they are not gay. They have their own special set of circumstances that should be highly respected. As do bisexual people who’ve really been done a disservice by this subset.
None of these things should be flippantly brushed aside to get two hot guys into bed.
GFY – will remain a high fantasy, especially for gay men who fall in love with their best friend. But it’s a fantasy that should be broken. Because there is nothing but heartache and disappointment down that road – unless the gay guy can come to understand that his buddy’s heterosexualness is just as ingrained in him as gayness is ingrained in the gay guy.
After all – he was born that way.
Unconditional Postive Regard dictates that we love people for who they are no matter what. Gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual etc. etc. instead of fighting over the labels and over the words – maybe we should start listening to those who say, “This is my truth,” and accepting that and being compassionate about that when we reflect it in our work.

We can evolve this into something better than it is.