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.
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 Fanpage: www.facebok.com/authorcaddyrowland
Author Blog: www.caddyrowlandblog.blogspot.com
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @caddyorpims