One of the worst things a writer can do, in my opinion, is write for their audience. Ultimately a writer needs the approval and acceptance of their audience, but to write for anyone other than yourself or for sales potential is a recipe for disaster. Because I feel like way I’m the worst kind of person it comes to prompts or requests. I have to write what’s in my head at that moment which has, for those who know my writing, made for a rather eclectic backlist.
However, as much as I need to do my own thing, I still love hearing what readers think about things: what they hate, love, and everything in between. We’re all such diverse readers around here, aren’t we? The LGTBQ+ romance genre has so many branches that at times it’s hard to believe it all blooms from the same tree. And that is crazy cool as far as I’m concerned.
The thing is, it isn’t like that in most mainstream genres. Many of them are even quite formulaic. Early pulp magazines were a huge trove of formula fiction, to the point that most of the stories were stereotypical. Publishers took note of the fact that mainstreams readers not only enjoyed, but wanted, stories that were predictable, and to this day stories that subvert expectations rarely pass beyond the initial critical eye of the gate-keeper. Tropes exist for a reason. They sell books.
The concept of formulaic writing has gotten to the point that there are posts and how-to books everywhere that tell the up-and-coming writer what the perfect recipe is for the best mainstream romance (sci-fi, coming-of-age, high fantasy) novel. A recipe even, if you can imagine: take one MC who doesn’t fit in with everybody else, put them in “this kind” of setting, set them on “this kind” of journey, add “this kind” of person along the way… Uh, no thanks.
How cool is it that we get to enjoy this genre — a genre that tends to be without borders and expectations? With every colour of the rainbow being represented in every skin tone and every situation, as writers and readers we can enjoy a smorgasbord of love, life, and laughter.
But back to you and your opinions, because all the gods know that even I am getting tired of reading mine.
I’d like to toss out a quick poll via the comment section below. And to thank everyone that responds, I’m going to run a giveaway: a signed, print copy of either Wolf in League (the third book of my Wolf series) or We Three Kings, my newest release. All you need to is comment on the poll, and the winner will be selected by random-number generator, on March 25th, with the winner posted right here. So please check back. You’ll have three days after the announcement to claim your book. 😊
And the poll I’d like you to answer/comment on is…
WHAT SUB-GENRE IN LGBTQ ROMANCE IS YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE?
Are you into fantasy? Science fiction? Shifters? Contemporary? Historical? Dystopian? Hurt-comfort cowboy stories that feature mpreg and aliens?
Again, I’d love to hear from you so please don’t be shy. Thanks muchly to everyone who plays along and good luck with the giveaway!
All my love, AF Henley <3
About the Author
Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.
A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.
Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.
For more information and a list of Henley’s releases, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.