Evernight has a number of lesbian romance books in its catalogue and we asked our authors to tell us why they like writing in this genre….
Sonia Hightower (Author of The Submission and The Publisher’s Proposal)
Why I like writing F/F…
1. One can indulge in fantasies on paper that they may not have the opportunity to indulge in in real life.
2. There are no cocks! Nor is there trying to come up with substitutes for the word cock!
3. Even though this is 2013, thousands of self-righteous people still believe loving who you naturally love is wrong, that there should be a set of rules for LOVE to follow. I, personally, LOVE breaking these rules, sticking it to society.
4. Love doesn’t discriminate and writing f/f helps me scream that.
5. Hey, who better to pleasure another woman than a woman? Women know how to get the job done! *winks*
Erin M. Leaf (Author of Lover Unexpected: Sappho Edition)
M/M … F/F what's not to like? As a writer, I don't discriminate when it comes to love, because it's truly a universal emotion. We all feel it. Writing same-sex pairings isn't really a stretch for me because the essential elements are there: the meet up, the falling in love, the unresolved sexual tension. I simply adore romance, regardless of flavor. That said, there are a few things that make writing M/M or F/F more fun (and sometimes challenging) than the usual M/F romance.
When I write a story, I generally begin with the characters and build the plot and tension out of their personalities. I put my characters in a situation and watch how they interact and react to each other. Same sex pairings add a bit of zing to the process because the sense of the forbidden is inherent in the story. Sure, some of the characters may be completely comfortable with who and what they are (gay, bi, etc.), but society continues to struggle with sexual identity. That sense of displacement will always add a bit of conflict and drama to any same-sex romance. If one or more of the characters isn't comfortable with a same-sex attraction, that adds tension to the story, and I get to populate the characters' emotional landscape with a journey into something new.
Another reason I like to write alternative romance is because I feel it's important to speak up. I write romance, the kind of novels readers pick up for an afternoon's escape, but that doesn't preclude having something truthful to say about life. I've always been a strong supporter of equality, and writing same-sex pairings is simply another way for me to speak up about something I feel very strongly about: we are all simply human in our skin. It doesn't matter what color you are, what age, what sex, what sexual orientation one may have: we are all human and deserving of equality and respect. In a way, writing alternative love stories is my small contribution to the world.
Finally, writing M/M and F/F pairings is fun and HOT. My absolute favorite part of reading a romance novel is the very beginning: the part where two (or more—I write MMF menage as well) people begin to fall in love. The unresolved tension is the best part, like the scent of a slice of chocolate cake just before you pop it in your mouth. When a romance involves a non-traditional pairing, it makes the tension that much more exquisite. It's like expecting a chocolate cake and finding out there are cherries hidden inside. You get all the yumminess of chocolate and all the decadence of cherries, in one delicious bite!
To me a story is just a story regardless of who it involves. My first foray into Alternative Romance was a free read as part of a blog. The story itself did not start out as FF but it centered on a woman who wanted to go beyond the boundaries after a divorce. Once I had that in mind the story flowed and became an Alternative FF Romance. The appeal for me comes from that story - pushing beyond the boundaries. That is why Alternative Romance appeals to me. I like stories that are about two people overcoming their past or present, family or community pressure, past hurts etc and coming to a place where they find love. At present if a story becomes a same sex romance it is usually F/F. I suppose that is because I feel I can get into the thinking of a woman's emotional state, thoughts and viewpoints. That is not to say a female author cannot do this successfully for a male character – it is just at the moment I am happy to explore F/F relationships if that is where the story goes.
Doris O'Connor (Author of Lover Unexpected: Sappho Ediiton)
I don't really see it as writing alternative romance, though I appreciate that labels are needed for marketing purposes. Romance to me is romance, and the gender of the people involved is really secondary. Love is love after all.
Having said that my f/f stories do have a different feel to them than my m/f stories and I really enjoy the gentler dynamics involved. The struggle to fall in love is very much the same. We all have the same insecurities to deal with, regardless of gender. Of course, even in today's society same sex relationships still face obstacles that hetero relationships don't, so portraying that is a challenge as well as a privilege.
But mostly, I just write the stories on my heart, the stories my characters want me to tell. If those characters happen to be two ladies, then so be it.