05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"I couldn't say that with a straight face."

You know you write in my genre when hearing comments like that doesn’t surprise you. You know you have been writing it a long, long time when these comments make you laugh out loud. Yes, I laughed out loud, much to the commenter’s surprise.

Yesterday I met with my bank’s office manger to arrange for deposits of foreign currency into my business account. The transfer of Euros to US dollars includes the verification of the foreign bank, account numbers, point of origin, and number of other international demands as well as local ones.

While I sat explaining that this would be a monthly occurrence not just a onetime event so the small pile of paperwork we were doing should take that into consideration so we didn’t have to redo it month after month. She asked how I came up with the name of my publishing house, ManLove Romance Press.

So I blithely elaborated about my work. I told her that I write ‘male/male erotic romances for women’ as it used to be known or ‘manlove’. She stopped writing, looked at me over the top edge of her glasses for several seconds and then quietly responded with “I couldn’t say that with a straight face”. Welcome to my life.
Someone thought what I wrote and published was laughable or maybe something I should be embarrassed by!

When I first started writing in the genre ten years ago I would have been genuinely puzzled by that response. I mean, I had been writing fanfiction slash for so long I didn’t think there were people out there who didn’t know about it. And as a trauma nurse for decades almost nothing about people’s relationships and sexual orientation surprised me anymore. Talk about living in a vacuum!

After I was more widely published I would have reacted with anger and outrage at that kind of response. For a while I did react that way whenever I was denied a review or an ad space or entry into a contest or a place to post excerpts from my work. It ticked me off and made me fight harder for a spot next to my peers. A spot that is now almost as common place as not to even notice it was ever missing.

Yes, time saw tide turn and now MANLOVE is one of the fastest growing subgenres of erotic romance. And now when nice banking ladies peer at me over their glasses and judge what I do for a living with humor, I just smile broadly and take comfort that I am laughing all the way to the bank. Literally. *BG*


Sarah Raplee said...

Laura, what a great post!

IMHO that bank employee needs a lesson in remedial manners and customer relations. She was rude!

And I'm smiling at you laughing all the way to the bank!

Judith Ashley said...

Wow, Laura. You've certainly had an interesting journey both in terms of your writing (domestic and international - really international if you are being paid in Euros, etc.) and your own journey (not that Canadian currency isn't international but our work doesn't have to be translated to be published/sold there).
I love it that you are so comfortable in your sub-genre that you no longer take exception to other people's issues with it. And I'm sure 'laughing all the way to the bank' helps.
Thanks for joining the Genre-istas.

Tam Linsey said...

I didn't know the M/M genre was called Manlove. Thanks for posting!

Sarah Raplee said...

I have a question about the ManLove subgenre, Laura. Am I correct in that most of your readers are not gay men, but women? Just as some men like to observe two women making love?

Paty Jager said...

You gave me a new perspective on this genre. I hadn't clue it was called Manlove.

B. A. Binns said...

I admit to liking this genre myself, after meeting Laura at the RWA national convention two years ago. After reading Mexican Heat I realized that love is just love. This got me into reading a number of LGBT books, the creation of Neill and Carl, whose kiss in Pull is still a topic among reviewers. Someday those two are going to get their own book, I swear.

The thing for me is a good, solid romance.

Vonnie Alto said...

"Man love." An interesting concept, as interesting but different than "man trap." I wonder if the two terms oppose each other...?