Hi everyone and thanks for joining me today on the Tabby’s Pride blog tour and giveaway. I want to thank Rainbow Gold Reviews for being my seventh stop on the tour and for supporting my books. Today is release day for Tabby so I thought I’d talk a little about my writing.
I started writing m/m romance for a purely selfish reason—I have an obsession with men loving and being in love with men. About five years ago, my reading habits turned to strictly gay romance, and a lot of slash fanfiction. I’d preferred gay films to any other for a while anyhow, but when I discovered books with gay characters, I immediately devoured them. The next step for me was writing fanfiction, and from there I wrote my first original story as a free read for a group on Goodreads.
One of my favorite m/m romance authors read my free story—Outfoxed—and told me I should submit something to her publisher “forreals”. I was flattered but a little horrified at the same time. I admit it took me a while to convince myself that I should actually do it, but I eventually did and it was accepted. That first book was a novella called Finally Home and it was published in December of 2011.
But the point of this post isn’t about being published—it’s about why I write m/m romance. As I said, I began writing in this genre because I loved the idea of men in love, but that changed over time—in a very good way. I always adored the idea of creating strong male characters with internal battles—men struggling with who they loved or who they were, fighting emotions that tore them one way or the other.
I started with rock stars and although they’re still one of my favorite sub-genres, I moved from big personalities to more subdued characters. My men have become gentler and less confident on the outside, stronger but still conflicted on the inside. They hold ordinary jobs, live quiet lives, and have father, mother or self-esteem issues. They suffer grief, anxiety and depression, have over-protective views of makeshift (misfit) families, and have secrets they’re afraid to share. Overall, they’re just ordinary men with ordinary lives and emotions, and I enjoy making them extraordinary in their own ways.
As my characters grew and changed so did my reason for writing. I still write because it makes me feel good and I love creating and emoting through my stories—it’s almost a compulsion really, something I need to do. But I never considered it as anything other than enjoyment for me, something that didn’t benefit anyone else.
My first dose of new reality came with sweet pieces of fan mail. I had several men email me to say reading about my OCD character (Scott the accountant in my Lazy series) was like looking inside their heads, and that in turn, made them feel less alone and more hopeful. They didn’t expect to meet a Devon of their own (and yes, he is a rock star) but they had renewed belief, validation, that the way they handled life and the feelings they had weren’t as unusual as they’d feared. They had a small glimpse of faith that they’d find someone to love them just the way they are.
I had the same type of fan mail about Brett in Unbreak My Heart. Brett was wracked with grief, depression, and he’d sunk so far into alcoholism he didn’t care if he ever pulled himself out. The fact he did, but also that it wasn’t an easy road, was a common theme in some of the fan mail I received. Someone even thanked me for writing Brett the way I did because despite the hope in his story, there was also a genuine struggle to pull himself back to the living.
Those letters and even reviews have given me a new definition for being an author or writer. I have taken on the new title of ally now and that’s something that makes my heart happy. I don’t have delusions of my writing changing the world or even altering the course of gay rights or homophobia, but if I can make one man feel better about himself, feel like he isn’t alone, feel like there’s hope in some of his dreams—well, then I’m making a difference.
As one of the original organizers of the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia, my purpose is that of an ally against these barbaric ways of treating and labeling others. I believe that it’s very important to promote and encourage people to understand sexual diversity, and in turn, abolish the discrimination and devastating effects of groups of people who have the same rights as anyone else.
That’s what the HAHAT is all about—the coming together of a diverse community of writers, bloggers, reviewers, artists and publishers who just want to make a difference in the fight against homophobia and transphobia. Again, it’s not changing the world but it’s a small step that I can take for myself, and those I love, admire and respect.
I believe baby steps count just as much in the stairway to acceptance as a method of moving forward in a cause that shouldn’t even be an issue in 2014. We can all make a difference—no matter how big or small.
So after you enter the giveaway for Tabby’s Pride or check out the buy link on the Amber website, have a look at the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. It’s going on right now and there are some fabulous posts that will make you laugh, cry, and think about what’s really important in life and how you can make a difference. Thanks again for joining me.
Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia
TABBY’S PRIDE – Lion’s Pride 1
Available: May 18 from Amber Quill Press
Genres: Gay / M/M / Romance / Paranormal / Shapeshifter / The Arts / Series
Heat Level: 3
Length: Extended Novella (34k words)
Buyer’s Link: Amber Quill Press
~~Levi is ready to do anything to make his rock star—and hopefully, personal—dreams come true.
Levi Tabberton has dreamed of being a rock star ever since his brother’s best friend, Alexander, showed him his guitar when he was young. But becoming a member of his boyhood crush’s band, Lion’s Pride, is even more important.
Growing up, Levi emulated Alexander Morrison and, years later, his feelings remain unchanged when he auditions for the band. Xan is laid-back, caring, gorgeous, and takes Levi under his wing—paw. But Levi’s guilt and insecurity hold him back from letting Xan see the real him.
Levi needs to prove himself worthy of the band and deserving of Xan’s attention, but the lengths he’s gone to have left him reeling with anxiety and exhaustion. Levi’s not sure how much longer he can pull off the charade he’s been acting out to reach his goals and to keep Xan’s affections.
Has he made the right choice or will his dreams fade in a catastrophe of lies and uncertainty?~~
Check out my review for Tabby’s Pride here:
The Tabby’s Pride blog tour runs from May 12-20 and there are three prizes up for grabs—2 ebook copies of Tabby and a $10.00 gift card from Amazon. You can enter by clicking the Rafflecopter and also earn extra entries by commenting on this post. Thanks for stopping by.
K-lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids, and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember. Her days consist of fighting off an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small, bouncing off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.
Among her favorite sub-genres to read and write are rock stars, cowboys, shifters, and opposites-attract relationships. But to be honest, she’s open to almost anything if it involves messing around in the heads of her characters. She’s also big on series—because she has a hard time letting her characters go—and is usually working on a handful of stories in various stages of completion all at the same time.
You can find her books on her website:
Link to Tabby’s Pride blog tour main post: