Saturday, May 16, 2015

Why It's Important to Feature LGBT Characters in All Genres of Fiction



As an indie author who writes LGBT friendly historical family saga/drama and psychological thriller/drama under my name (Caddy Rowland) and gay m/m romance under the pan name Sibley Jacskon, I'm proud to once again be a part of the International Day Against Homophobia,Transphobia, and Biphobia. To find out more information about this national event, (May 17th) visit:http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/ Please also visit the main page for this bloghop at http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com/

I do have a couple of different prizes to give away. You will find information about them following my post.

While I know there is a lot of gay romance, m/m romance, gay erotica, and LGBT fiction where the focus is on the issues and problems characters face because of being LGBT, I find it sad and disturbing that more books don't feature LGBT characters where their "gayness" isn't the center of the plot. I have felt for awhile that readers are ready and willing to except characters of all gender preferences, but as long as we continue to keep LGBT characters in their separate worlds, LGBT characters will never truly evolve into mainstream fiction.

And that's not only too bad, to me it's unacceptable. I've blogged before about writing LGBT side or main characters and not lumping those books in the category LGBT. There's nothing wrong with the category if their gender preference is the crux of the story. But what if it's a thriller, mystery, fantasy, etc where the character happens to by LGBT but it isn't the main focus of the plot? Why should a book like that be lumped into LGBT? There isn't a "Straight Fiction" category all books with straight main characters have to lump into.

And so I decided not to use the LGBT or gay categories for my books unless it WAS the main thrust of my story. I do talk about my gay characters in some blurbs. I did use keywords so that people looking for books with gay characters would find my books. But, I put my books where they should be. For example, There Was House saga has all four books in various thriller categories and drama. However, a gay teenage boy shares main character status with a straight girl. They're victims of sex trafficking. This plot isn't about him being gay (although he does play up his campiness, and I don't shy away from showing how he is abused.). It's about the horrors of being trafficked and their plot for revenge.

Then I got to test and see if there would be any push-back from readers by my not having listed it as LGBT. It was the ultimate test. A Bookbub ad. I didn't choose "LGBT". I chose Thriller. I wanted my book sent to 2 million subscribers, not a hundred and fifty thousand. I got accepted on the third try. I knew from their stats I should expect between 11,500 to 38,900 downloads. The books was also free. I would have to count on buy through of the other 3 in the series to make profit.

 And guess what? I got 60,000 downloads for House of Pleasure, the first of There Was a House . That's almost twice the high end of their average for downloads. Better yet, I made royalties any writer would be proud of that same month from buy-through on the other 3. Royalties which made us happy indeed here at the Rowland home. And the gay boy was introduced in the first book. He was very over the top, in your face gay.

The best part? I've gotten my share of one-stars (it is one story told over 4 books, clearly marked, but some don't seem to read the description), along with my share of 4's and 5's, but not one of the readers complained about the book having a gay main character or his actions, or the scenes. Not one. He isn't even mentioned in the reviews at all. I need no other proof to show me mainstream readers are very ready to accept LGBT characters in all genres without a "special category".

I hope the future brings out more books in all genres with LGBT characters. I hope more writers who write LGBT characters branch out from romance and erotica. I have nothing against romance or erotica. I write it. But people (straight and LGBT) are so much more than their sex lives. We suffer from a lack of LGBT characters in books that aren't romance or erotica or dark stories of gay struggle. (And I love me some good gay fiction filled with struggle.). But we need stories where their gender preference and the ramifications of it aren't the subject matter or the storyline.

That would be true equality in fiction. It's only right.

Most of all, it's time.

To celebrate this event, I will be giving away all six short stories of The Performance Series by Sibley Jackson to one winner, and all six short stories of Where There's Smoke Series by Sibley Jackson to one other winner. These are only available as .mobi or pdf. 

I will also give away the first two books of The Gastien Series by Caddy Rowland (historical family saga/drama) to one winner and the first two books of There Was a House Saga by Caddy Rowland (psychological thriller/drama) to one other winner. These can be given in .mobi, pdf or epub. You can click on the books here on my blog to read their descriptions.

IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ONE OF THE PRIZES YOU MUST:

-LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT WHY LGBT RIGHTS ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU IN THE COMMENT SECTION OF THIS POST
-LEAVE YOUR FIRST NAME, AN EMAIL WHERE I CAN SEND YOUR PRIZE IF SELECTED, THE FORMAT YOU PREFER, AND WHICH PRIZE YOU ARE INTERESTED IN WITH THAT COMMENT
-IF IT DOESN'T MATTER WHICH BOOKS YOU WIN, SAY "ANY"

THE CONTEST ENDS LATE MAY 24th. I WILL PICK WINNERS WITHIN 3 DAYS AFTER THAT DATE. IF YOU DIDN"T LEAVE AN EMAIL AND THE INFO I REQUESTED, I'LL MOVE ON, PICKING SOMEONE WHO DID. :)

Good Luck! Please make sure to visit the other participating blogs to have a chance at more prizes. 



Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims


22 comments:

  1. that's really interesting. I generally don't use the LGBT to label my books other then in the category of publisher, mostly because that is what the books ARE about.

    i think it's important for growth, I don't want to live in the past but more so why the hell shouldn't it be a big thing, why should it be a thing at all.

    beeheeley(@)gmail(.com)

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    Replies
    1. So true, Bronwyn. It shouldn't matter at all. You're bright and early to the hop! Welcome and thanks fir visiting my blog. :)

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  2. My daughter is gay and thought we would reject her. Broke my heart. We would never reject our daughter.
    DEbby
    debby236 at gmail dot com
    PDF or EPUB
    any

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's sad even those with accepting parents as scared to death they might not be. Now she knows she has your unconditional love, the only real love. Thanks for visiting.

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  3. You make an excellent point! It's important not to reduce people to just their sexuality, be it LGBT or not.

    Performance series, mobi

    Trix, vitajex(At)aol(Dot)com

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  4. THank you for your thoughts and for visiting my blog! Enjoy the hop.

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  5. We need stories where their gender preference and the ramifications of it aren't the subject matter or the storyline

    That, I think, is the crux of the matter.

    Very powerful post, Caddy.

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    1. THanks for visiting, Andrew. You are one of the few writers with gay characters not writing pur romance, ,erotica, or gay fiction about the struggle of being gay. Your fantasy novels are epic examples of what I'm talking about.

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  6. LGBT rights are important to me because no one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love.

    Kimberly
    kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com
    mobi
    ANY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen! :) Thanks for visiting my blog and have fun at the hop.

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  7. All rights are important because everyone should be treated equal.
    Tristan mobi
    cvsimpkins@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true. Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the other bloggers posts. :)

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  8. I've always believed that everyone has a right to be who they are and that we (people) were created equal so there should be no reason for others to judge another individual just because they don't act the same as they do or want them to.

    Where There's Smoke Series PDF
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've always believed that everyone has a right to be who they are and that we (people) were created equal so there should be no reason for others to judge another individual just because they don't act the same as they do or want them to.

    Where There's Smoke Series PDF
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  10. the only answer to why I support LGBT rights is LOVE is LOVE and everyone should have the right to be who they are

    leetee2007(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. You are so right. THanks for visiting my blog. If you see this, could you let me know which of my prizes you hope to win? Thanks.

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    2. Hi Caddy, I will let Lee know <£

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    3. Any ...mobi format thanks

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    4. Great. THanks for letting me know.

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  11. Thank you for your thought provoking post regarding LGBT characters in mainstream books. I enjoy reading most genre and I prefer to find books or films where the balance of characters is true to life and LGBT people are part of the storyline, although some are stereotypical in films and do not seem to be allowed to be happy or in a loving relationship.

    If I am lucky to be chosen as one of your winners that I would be happy to receive any of the book prize packages, but the Gastien series first choice (mobi format). :D slholland22 {at} hotmail {dot} com Thank you

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    Replies
    1. THankis for letting Lee know, and thanks for your comments! I'm glad you stopped by. Good luck!

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