I wrote this post on my Facebook wall a while ago and realized quickly it was 1. too long for a post on Facebook and 2. really needed to be expanded on. So here you are…my rant on why I write broken taboos and then a calmer discussion toward the bottom.
What? I write things that are taboo? Things people don’t talk about? What? No…. =P
Religion and lesbians?
Tentacles and sex?
Again! Religion and lesbians? Because we all know you can’t be a Christian and a lesbian…ummm…what?
Sex used to be a taboo subject too. Erotica, things with eroticism. Now it’s just another book. It’s hard to find books without sex in them.
There are religious elements in every book in the James Matthews series. There’s also no sex. There’s also other taboo subjects. Mental illness. Foster care.
There are definitely overpowering religious elements in every book in the Spirit of Grace series. I mean, come one, one is a Chaplain and then you have Peter. OMG I love Peter.
Yes there is tentacles and erotica in Loneliness Ebbs Deep. It was a fun exploration of how to write hentai in a consensual and sensual way. Not to mention an exploration of how masturbation is a GOOD thing.
Yes in Quarter Life: Energy Feed there is twincest. It just kinda happened and it worked. They’re not human, so who knows what rules or social parameters they have. Also they don’t actually touch each other. There are rules, and they follow those rules.
Yes in Quarter Life the rest of the series there are witches, vampires, bigfoot, and a whole slew of other creatures that used to be taboo. There’s bisexualism in a realistic manner that isn’t all about let’s have sex with whoever because we’re bisexual and can use it as an excuse.
In Memoir in the Making there is the taboo of an age difference, quite a big one, there is the taboo of student/teacher relations NOT just being about sex but actually being about love.
So…I guess what this rant is for, which I’ve been shunting down for awhile, is to say to you…if you don’t like reading taboo things and exploring them further, then I am not the author for you. If you do like exploring taboos in the safe environment of reading a book, then HELLOOOoooo! Welcome to my world!
There is a reason why I write taboos, things that are NOT talked about. It’s nothing I can particularly say I went in expecting to write when I started the whole publishing thing, but I do have to say I love it. It’s a challenge to me. Not only does it make me think of how can I pull something like this off without being disrespectful, with making it more acceptable in society, but to actually have a point and a reason behind it.
The first taboo I deal with is writing lesbian fiction. It’s not even just the fact that people don’t really talk about lesbians, it’s the fact that lesbian fiction is the taboo in the LGBT fiction world. Gay fiction is readily accepted. People read it all the time. Straight people even. Same with bisexual and menage/poly. It’s just readily accepted.
But I find that lesbian fiction isn’t really read much beyond the lesbian or bisexual female realm. It’s a much smaller audience, and surprisingly, not a lot of people are willing to take a risk and try it. It’s as if something about two women being together and being realistic isn’t attractive to them.
Not only to I write lesbian fiction, but I write lesbian fiction as a bisexual/omnisexual woman. There we go, another taboo right off the bat. I don’t know if you know this, but lesbian fiction is not readily accepted by lesbians unless you, the author, are a lesbian yourself. I do have an advantage and disadvantage here.
1. I’m a woman (don’t even get me started on men who write lesbian fiction and are put down because of it)
2. I’m bisexual/omnisexual (meaning I get what’s it’s like to love a woman even though I married a man)
Being a woman gives me an instant in. Some readers see that I’m a woman who writes lesbian fiction and automatically assume I’m a lesbian. Which is fine, it really doesn’t matter to me. A reader is a reader. But it’s people who flat out refuse to pick up my books because I write something they don’t think I have any understanding on. It’s interesting to me because I mostly write urban fantasy…like I understand what it’s like to be a pyrokinetic or telepathic or a witch or a vampire. I don’t. Those things don’t exist in the real world. So why is it acceptable for me to write those but to lesbians?
It’s not something I claim to understand, but it is a definite belief. It’s something I want to explore, something I want to understand. But I’m not sure I ever will. And the interesting thing is…I do with with bisexual books. There aren’t a lot out there, but the ones that are tend to be ploy/menage. It’s not something I see as a common form of bisexualism. It doesn’t mean I won’t read the books, but it does mean I don’t consider those books bisexual. It’s different. I find that people rarely want to write bisexual or other colors under the rainbow (lesbian and gay aside) unless they actually fall into that category themselves. It’s as if people are afraid to test and try out and expand their creativity.
And I don’t blame them. If you’re constantly being labeled as “not this so I won’t read” then why even try to write it? This is where being bisexual/omnisexual comes in handy. I have been in relationships with women. Hell, I almost married one. So I do have experience, and the label of bisexuality comes along with the assumption of experience. So there are some readers, who with that label, will pick up my books.
But the point of this whole long post is that I break the taboos. I’m not someone who follows a binary (ha! Bisexual and binary!? Not likely). I’m someone who likes to explore what we consider societal norms and try to figure out why the hell they’re there and if they really work.
So this post begins a new post series that will go on for I don’t know how long. I’ll talk about some of the taboos I write, and I’ll talk about how I break them, or rather, why I wanted to write them.