05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What I Love About Writing LGBT Romance by CJane Eliiott

Thank you for having me on the blog today to talk about LGBT romance. I’m often asked why I write LGBT romance and usually answer with something glib like, “Because I like to.” But in thinking about what I wanted to say to this blog of readers and writers across the spectrum of romance genres, I took a deeper cut at what has me love writing LGBT romance.

First, why romance?

I’ve always gravitated to relationship stories. When I’m introduced to a couple in real life, I plague them with questions. How did you meet? What had you fall in love? Were there any obstacles in the way of you being together? How did your families and friends feel about you becoming a couple? I find it all endlessly fascinating. So when I began to write fiction, relationship stories flowed out of my pen.

A quotation by psychologist C.G. Jung appears at the beginning of my first published romance novella:  “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”

In romance, the meeting of the two MCs acts as a catalyst: a bad boy reforms, a shy guy steps outside his comfort zone. Neither character reaches the end of the story being the same person they were when the story began. I’m a big believer in love as a force for growth and redemption. To me, the best romance stories are those in which people find the courage to go beyond their fears or grow in self-knowledge through falling in love.

Why LGBT romance?

I’ve always been committed to social justice: civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights. Although I’m straight, I’ve long been a stand for the right of LGBT people to live their lives as themselves and to love (and marry—thank you, Supreme Court!) who they choose. My bio states I’m particularly fond of “coming out” stories. It takes courage to come out as who you are in a world that says you’re wrong to be that way.

As Anne Tenino said in her post, it’s this extra layer of having to defy societal norms simply to be yourself, much less be in love, that adds the zing—and also the poignancy—to LGBT romance. At the Gay Romance Northwest conference in Seattle last September, the attendees wrote down what they loved about the genre. One of the main reasons for reading and writing LGBT romance was that people wanted to read stories with hope—stories in which love prevailed over hate and bigotry.

I love giving my LGBT characters their happy endings!

My latest release, Sand-Man’s Family, is available for preorder from Dreamspinner Press. Due out on May 4, Sand-Man’s Family is the third novella in the Wild and Precious series.


When Sandy Nixon's conservative Catholic parents discover he's had sex before marriage, they are furious. But when he blurts out he's bisexual, they go ballistic. After they threaten him with conversion therapy, Sandy does what many queer kids long to do—leaves his homophobic parents in the dust. He moves in with his Uncle Phineas and Phineas’s partner Cody in Portland, Oregon, and is finally safe to be himself. Sandy misses his siblings, though, and decides to visit his former home in Rockford for Thanksgiving. On the train, he runs into Jade Byrne.

As the only out gay kid in their Catholic high school, Jade had stared down homophobes while being fabulous in the school musicals. He’s crushed on Sandy for years. But he’s made sure never to show it, even after they had a one-time hookup, because Sandy’s the good Catholic kid, the altar boy, and the apparently straight athlete—all the things Jade isn’t. Traveling back to Rockford together sees the start of a month of adventures, a blossoming attraction, and a chance for Sandy to learn what it means to have a family that hurts and to choose a family that heals.

To order any of my stories, go to my Dreamspinner AuthorPage or to my Amazon Author Page.

AUTHOR BIO: After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.

In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.


Diana McCollum said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. Interesting post!

Sarah Raplee said...

Awesome post! Thank you for Guesting at RTG!

CJane Elliott said...

Thanks for inviting me to contribute. It was great to get back in touch with what has me love writing LBGT romance!

Judith Ashley said...

So glad you delved a bit deeper into why you write LGBTQ romance! I agree that when our characters have to overcome societal phobias, it adds depth to the story.

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Great post, CJane. Maybe if we keep writing stories of hope, our world will become a better place.