Not for the first time I saw a m/m writer on my FB list asked by a fan to write m/f. I was actually asked to do the same by one of my editors.
I did it and I’m fairly pleased with how it came out, but it circles back to the question of why would people ask m/m writers to write m/f?
Obviously I can’t answer that for everyone. The answers are as diverse as why authors write m/m. There are some who do it for the money. Some who just think it’s hot. I myself enjoy the availability of nuanced personal roles vs gender roles. I suppose I could write lesbians, but I think at the root of it, men can define their own roles to an extent.
Drag queens? Everywhere. Drag kings? Hello? Kings? Where are you?
Not saying that men who cross the gender divide have it easy, exactly. Just saying that there is a social framework that provides better context for a feminine acting man than a masculine acting woman. At least, that’s been my experience.
I could go on about “oh the troubles I’ve seen,” but that’s not today’s question. Today’s question is: Is it possible that m/m writers get propositioned to write m/f not because of connecting bits, but because there’s a real hunger out there for more role-balanced relationship fiction?
I think chicklit was supposed to quench that thirst, but those I’d seen had a Mary Sue character shitting all over men up until the very end where the stories reverted back to bodice ripperland. I’d start stories and think, “Jesus Christ, what a raging bitch. Why the hell would anyone want a piece of that?”
I see a lot of “she won’t take any crap from anyone” and it doesn’t make me think girlpower. It makes me think “jerk.”
One of the things I liked about the “Buffy” series was when she did have boyfriends and there were some role conflicts because she really was a very powerful woman. And she couldn’t just not be a slayer. It’s a really hard balance to strike and probably why I don’t write it very often.
In “A Model Boyfriend,” I tried to have the m/f protagonists come together as equals. They’re both sort of trapped in relationships with very defined roles (this is all subtext, I don’t make a huge deal of it) and find each other and how they can fit in a more balanced way. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
I don’t have any current plans for more m/f. Writing it was a little outside of my comfort zone. But if I do, it’s likely these are the themes and issues I’ll be exploring.