Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Love is Mainstream?


So there was this recent lashing out in the publishing industry when a writer started yakking about an agent/editor/someone important I don't remember who and this isn't the Wall Street Journal, it's my blog so go find out the concrete details yourself that said his novel would work better if he "straightened" out his characters as in make the homosexual relationship heterosexual.


Well, this caused a bit of a riff-raff. Twitter started the #yesgayya tag and agents took to blogs to give their two cents and gays took to their blogs and readers took to their blogs and sometimes some or all of the above were the same thing and they took to their blogs. I'm just taking to my blog now, because I had to plot a 15 page literary analysis on Blood Meridian and Go Down, Moses. I HIGHLY recommend Blood Meridian although I do warn that it will make more violent than you may have thought yourself capable.

This news story sucks if it is true, but what sucks even more is that we might not be able to blame the agent/editor/don't get me rambling again that stated it. It must be understood that the book market is not an art gallery. It's a business. Sorry if I offended art galleries, but I just finished plotting a 15 page literary analysis  so my metaphors are wavering. Books need to make money. Gay doesn't equate money. I can think of very few books surrounding gay culture that made a big impression on the market. At Swim, Two Boys comes to mind, but  that was a colossal endeavor into the literary novel more so than a YA love story. Don't get me wrong, the genre has seen success with The Vast Fields of Ordinary, Boy Meets Boy, Will Greyson Will Greyson, but in comparison to all the heaping mounds of heterosexual YA love stories...

I think this is sad that I have to admit to a niche. That's what gay fiction is, especially YA gay fiction. It resonates with a certain audience and there are places for it, but unfortunately they're usually places more indie and small. Not that there's a problem with that. I'd disintegrate if an indie press was like LET'S PUBLISH YOUR MANUSCRIPT, but I do wish all love stories could appeal to the mainstream.

So how do you guys feel about all this? Let me know in the comments and let me know about any good gay titles you've read. My favorite is Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim, as most of you probably already know.

Thanks for reading,