I want to thank The Novel Approach for letting us stop by on our Transgender* Romance Writers Blog Hop.
I know many readers in this community have never read a transgender* romance. Remember that dark time long ago when you didn’t read m/m romance? (Hugs. I know you’d rather forget about it.) The same way you fell in love with gay characters and now fight intolerance & promote equality, we want you to adore our transgender* characters. We want you to witness their strengths, their struggles, their flaws and root for their victories in love because in doing so, you’re going to understand a little bit more about their lives. And we hope you will fight transphobia just as hard as you fight homophobia.
Transgender romance has a unique energy and a different flavor than the traditional romances you’ve shied away from… To quote a reviewer referring to a transgender* romance: “This is unlike anything that I have read or reviewed before… I read MM romance exclusively, so if you are like me on that point, don’t let that put you off picking this up. There are no weak and whiny females in this book that need rescuing.” Prism Alliance Book Reviews By Caroline.
Why did you write a trans* romance?
Ethan Stone>>> Simple question. It’s needed. There should be more trans* romance out there. Not just for trans* men and women but also so everyone can see people are people regardless.
Vicktor Alexander>>> Well, I’m transgender and when I first started reading M/M romance there wasn’t much trans* romance out there. There still isn’t. I can remember reading Hawk’s Landing by Carol Lynne and Static by L.A. Witt. Both books had me in such an emotional state because I could identify with the characters, but I knew we needed more books out there. Not just for other trans* people like myself but to help make it to where it wasn’t such an issue with non-trans* people. I wanted young trans* adults to feel represented when they started reading the genre in a way I didn’t at the time and a way I still don’t.
Theo Fenraven>>> I started this story a few years ago and put it aside. Looking at old pieces of writing one day, I came across it and decided it would make an interesting book.
Sara York>>> Ethan and I wanted to write a book together and though we discussed other ideas, we both had been thinking about writing a transgender character. Writing the unknown didn’t seem so scary since we were doing it together.
Kimberly Gardner>>> I didn’t sit down at my laptop one day and say, “Hmm, I haven’t written a trans* character yet so …” Nothing like that. All my stories originate with the characters and their journey, whatever that entail.
CorvusAlyse>>> I didn’t actually start out to write a story about a trans* relationship. My muse is a strange creature and sometimes wakes me up at night and strong-arms me to the computer. The Day-After readings can be, well, interesting. I don’t think I started out to write a trans* romance. I started out to write an epic tale that included a love story. I’m genderqueer/genderfluid, so there is very obvious transference happening.
Z. Allora>>> Three reasons: 1) The performers and the people I met in Bangkok deserve happily ever afters… even if it were only in a book. My hope is I did them justice. 2) People who are transgender* need characters to identity with… It’s burned into my mind the trans* kid at PFLAG who was thrilled that there were books about “people like him” with happy endings. How can I not add to genre? 3) I want people to understand what it means to be transgender*. Understanding is the first step to acceptance and passing that tolerance on to others.
Blurb – Illusions & Dreams by Z. Allora: Randy Camster failed at being married. His life now centers around work, TV sports, and listening to his friend Jake complain about how Randy’s lack of a sex life will be the downfall of mankind. Not true! Well, not totally. He’s just never understood the fascination with sex until… ladyboy performer Lalana Dulyarat shimmies into his world via an Internet ad for Thailand tourism.
Jake O’Neil’s open pansexuality yields him interesting bedmates, but he’s never chased after the mythical illusion of love. He focuses on others, like his best friend Randy, who needs a Bang-Cock vacation. Finding an adorable little imp named Boon-nam wasn’t on the itinerary. Gay, straight, and undecided, Jake has had ‘em all, but never a virgin aching to take a walk on the kinky side after having her affirmation surgery. Talk about pressure. And what’s with everyone warning him not to break her heart? His is the one in danger.
Available from the following e-tailers: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks
Excerpt: Chapter One
A HIGH-PITCHED shriek of pure frustration hurt Randy’s ears.
“I know you dress up to play a girl on stage! But I dress as a woman because that’s who I am!”
The scream ripped through the nearly empty club. Service staff scattered, leaving Randy and Jake standing alone at the entrance to the empty Illusions & Dreams club.
Randy peeked farther into the hallway. The air conditioning cooled his face while the heat of Bangkok still heated his back. Jake glanced over at him with a questioning look. Maybe this wasn’t a first-rate idea.
Jake opened his mouth and shut it before any words came out. The red curtains covering one of the doorframes fluttered open.
A man dressed in a colorful skirt swirled around the bar area. His muscular chest was bare except for a coconut bikini top he was tying with a pink ribbon.
He froze when he saw them in the doorway and adjusted the two coconut halves into the proper location on his chest. “Oh, my.”
The guy in front of them appeared to be in his late twenties or early thirties. His age was difficult to tell. Like most Thai men they’d met thus far, he was quite attractive and ageless. His large brown eyes were made up and his silky black hair twisted up with flowers. He had to be part of the show.
He turned toward where the shouting had come from and frowned. Sighing, he pasted on a forced smile and seemed to pretend nothing was wrong. “Hello, my dears.”
Randy and Jake were early, but Randy hoped the guy would let them wait until the restaurant opened. He promised himself it was the last time he’d let Jake talk him into a cheaper fare. Changing planes once sucked, but three times over the last two days had left him dazed and confused.
After they’d finally landed in Bangkok, when Jake suggested a quick shower before heading straight to Illusions & Dreams for a show, he didn’t argue. He wasn’t in the mood to fight the traffic in a cab or climb the stairs to the Sky Train just to go back to their hotel to wait for the show, so he hoped the guy would have mercy on them.
Jake greeted the flowered man as they stepped fully into the cooled room. “Hey. Everything all right in here?”
The man appeared out of sorts. He glanced behind him at the curtain again, his false smile fading. He must have realized they’d heard at least part of the argument.
“So sorry you had to hear that.” He gave them a shrug and a sad smile. “Finding one’s soul mate is no guarantee of life and love being easy.”
We want to encourage your participation in this hop so please comment or ask us questions for a chance to win:
1 of 2 $20 Amazon gift cards
1 of 1 $20 online retailers B&N, ARE, or Amazon
1 of 1 $15 gift card
1 e-book copy of Groom of Convenience
1 e-book copy of Illusions & Dreams
1 e-book copy of Transgression
The winners will be picked after our last stop March 5th. We will notify you by e-mail.