Have you ever wondered whether fate is a real thing? I was never much of a believer, choosing to follow the school of thought that says we design our own fate.
That said, there are things that reek of fate or something like it. Take the fact that I write (among many other things as you, my one faithful follower know well) gay romance. For a long time I was convinced Lavender Fields had been my first foray into the sub-genre. I pontificated on how I wrote it in part to give my son representation in the romance genre. And then it hit me: no, that wasn’t it! I had done it before.
Okay, so maybe Lavender Fields is my first published gay romance, but the truth is I had written others way before I even thought of having children. In truth, my very first gay romance was inspired by Duran Duran, believe it or not. For those who are not as old as me, Duran Duran was a very popular boy band in the 80s.
Sidenote: have you noticed how the pretty boys bands of the 80s look a lot like the pretty boys K-Pop bands of today? Just an observation.
I had been gifted by my dad with a trip to Belgium after I graduated from college. The whole family went (no, we couldn’t afford it. My dad was an airline worker so we got free tickets and a friend of his let us stay at his apartment and use his car in Brussels) and it was the trip of a lifetime. The art, the medieval towns, the flowers, the waffles (gauffres) and the Godiva chocolate will always shine in my memory bank. But one of the ah-ah moments I got on that trip was when one day, I was walking around La Grand-Place in Brussels and I spotted a couple just a few steps ahead of me, holding hands and stealing kisses from each other. No big deal. Common fare in Europe even back then. However, this couple was a gay couple. Two men in love and not afraid to show it in public.
I hadn’t thought much about homosexuality until that moment, other than getting upset over comments made about our suburban town mailman who was very open about his sexuality (how brave was that at a time when prejudice against homosexuals ran wild?). But that moment made me wonder what would it be like if the world could accept love for what it is. Simple, plain love. After all isn’t love the most amazing, most powerful feeling in the world? Then why try to stick it into small, limiting boxes? Why can’t we just let love be love?
Anyway, I got inspired by that moment and wrote a love story between two men who looked a lot like the guys from Duran Duran. Don’t judge me. It was the eighties and I wasn’t fully immune to its vibes. I never finished it and God only knows where the notebook I wrote it on is right now. Hopefully lost forever because the writing was horrendous, lol.
A few years later, I wrote another one. This time inspired by the song “Sail Away” by the Styx, a band I was totally enamored with at the time. I can’t explain it why I did it or what made me even think about it, but I wrote a gay romance between two of the then band members (I won’t mention which ones). Now that I think about it, I was apparently writing fanfic way before it became a thing.
If I still have your attention after all this rambling, I will now go back to the original idea: fate or something like it. I don’t know what made me write gay stories, but I like to think it was the Universe (fate–whatever) steering me into the kind of writer (and person) I became later.
I have a gay son and I write gay characters in my stories. I don’t exclusively write about MM romance though. That would be like reneging on my belief that love is love no matter who the parties involved are. So I write romance. Period. Sometimes the couple are from opposite sexes, sometimes not. I write what fate has honed me into writing: stories about the magic and beauty of love.
P.S.- Seriously, haven’t you noticed the resemblance between those pretty K-Pop boys and the bands of the 80s? No? It’s just me???
Check out one of Duran Duran’s hits. Great outfits. Click here