Monday, November 7, 2011

Why I’m Writing M/M by Silvia Violet

I’ve been reading m/m romance for years. One of my first publications was an m/m/f where the initial relationship was between the two men. I’ve written plenty of m/m/f since, but until this spring I’d never written an m/m book. So why the change?

I’ve been reading a lot more m/m in the last few years so that may have influenced my muse. I also tried my hand at first person in an m/f story and realized how much I love being in deep male POV. I had so much fun getting into the thoughts of my male character that I decided to write another book in this series. I started outlining, and my hero laughed at me as I tried pair him with a female vampire. He couldn’t believe I hadn’t figured out that he was gay. And thus my first m/m, Sex on the Hoof was born. I’ve since published three more m/m stories and have three more under contract and many more in various stages of writing.

Along with enjoying writing from the male perspective, I think my muse is heading in a new direction because I love to be challenged by what I’m writing. Love it or not, writing solely from a male POV is challenging. I have to remember that in general men use different speech patterns from women and a man would likely approach a budding relationship differently than I would. Then there’s the challenge of thinking like a man without falling into male stereotypes. My recent writing has forced me to consider issues about gender and sexuality from new vantage points. I’m being challenged creatively and intellectually.

For several of my stories, I’ve created sci fi or paranormal settings in which sexual orientation is not an issue. I love making up worlds in which the relationship is a challenge in itself without the burden of prejudice or the need to hide. Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in such a place? Writing m/m lets me live in this pleasant fantasy world for awhile.

My most recent m/m release is Paws on Me, I fell in love with my hardass cop, Seth, and Brandon, the fun-loving bear shifter who captures his heart. I hope you will love them too.

Protect and Serve: Paws on Me by Silvia Violet
Lieutenant Seth Morrison loves being a cop, but with budget cuts and crime both on the rise, he’s stopped making time for anything but his job.
On the outside, Brandon Lord is an easy-going, flirtatious club owner. On the inside he’s a man trying to overcome a difficult past.
When a murder investigation brings the two men together, passion roars to life. They’re both willing to break the rules to be together. Because as mismatched as they might seem, each man is exactly what the other needs.
I’m Seth Morrison. I’m a cop, a police lieutenant to be precise. I’ve been on the force more years than I want to think about. I’ve seen good men get killed, turn dirty, lose themselves in the bottle, lose their fucking minds, but I’m still here doing what I do. I don’t know any other life. People tell me I need a break, a vacation, to relax. I don’t want to fucking relax. I just want to do my job and keep this city from falling apart.
I park my car, grab my coffee from the cup holder, and charge up the front steps of the station. I could take the side door, it’s closer to my office, but I love the chaos of the bullpen. When I open the door, I breathe deeply, enjoying the variety of smells: coffee that’s been on the warmer far too long, the sickeningly sweet smell of candy and doughnuts, pine-scented cleaner from the scrubbing the janitors gave the floors last night, and something unnamable that simply smells like cops and hard work. I shake my head as I try to imagine not being here nearly 24/7. This is where I belong.
My stomach rumbles. I should’ve had dinner, but after pretending an afternoon nap was a night’s sleep, I’m running late. I’ll grab something from the vending machine while I dream about a juicy burger and thick home fries. It sure would be nice to have someone cook for me. I don’t seem to get along with stoves. Years ago, I tried being married. That worked for about 30 seconds. My wife wanted me to work shorter hours. I wanted her to talk less, or maybe never.
Friends tell me I should make an effort to date, but I’m more comfortable at a gruesome homicide scene than making small talk at dinner with a woman or a man. Yeah, I like both. I stopped going out with men when I entered the academy. I just couldn’t deal with the shit the guys would give me. Now, I don’t advertise what I like, but I pick up a guy now and then. I’m discreet, but if somebody finds out, I’ll deal.
One-night stands I can handle, but relationships are beyond me. People think police work is draining, but I’d rather spend all day in the field and all night at my desk filling out fucking paperwork — and often I do — than try to decode relationship signals. I inevitably screw things up and never understand why.
Sex I need. Romance I don’t.
My phone rings. I pull it out of my pocket hoping the call will save me from the mountain of paperwork on my desk. It’s Drew Danvers, detective and vampire. That’s right, a vampire who works for the good guys. We’ve got a werewolf in homicide too. And he’s a damn fine cop.
I remember when the shifters came out of the closet, scaring the hell out of us humans. One by one other monsters made themselves known. Most people assumed they were all assholes who wanted to eat us, but I quickly learned not to judge a man because he sucked blood or turned into a wolf. I judge men based on how they treat others.
I answer the call. “What’s up, Detective?”
“Two dead werewolves found in a closet at Shift. Hacked up pretty bad. The scene’s a circus. Jenkins called in sick. I’m on my own, and –”
“I’ll be there in ten.”
“Thanks, sir.”
“No problem. Murder scene or paperwork, which would you choose?”
* * *
I step inside the club. A crime lab team is there and several uniformed officers are talking with employees. I spot Drew in the entryway of an office. He’s frowning as he questions a tall hairy hunk of a man. I’ve seen this man around the area several times, and just like every other time, he makes my cock sit up and take notice.
Our most recent encounter was a week ago. When I want to grab a beer and be left the fuck alone, I go to Mitch’s, a dive just down the street from Shift. Last time I spent the evening there, he sat next to me at the bar and came on strong. I was in a shitty mood. I wanted him, and it pissed me off. He’s not my type. He’s young, hip, and outrageously flirtatious. I walked away, but I regretted it later that night when I couldn’t stop fantasizing about him.
The man looks my way and catches me staring. His grin says he knows the direction my thoughts are going. Fucking bastard winks at me. Drew scowls.
I turn to face him. He grins down at me, that same cocky-as-fuck little smile he’d given me earlier, making me even more aware of how close we are and how big he is. At 6’2, I’m hardly small, but he’s got several inches on me. And while I’ve got a rather thick pelt, the fur visible above the vee of his t-shirt is astounding.
He smiles mischievously. “You gonna cuff me if you take me in?”
“Impeding a murder investigation will get you thrown in jail.”
He rolls his eyes. “I found two dead guys in my closet when I came to work tonight. My business is shut down, and I’ll be losing money every minute that you’re here. But at least I have a sense of humor.”
“Well, I don’t.”
He shakes his head. “Are you taken too?”
I take another step back. “You’re making a lot of assumptions.”
I look over at Drew and realize he and Jason are grinning like loons. Fuck. All I need is the two of them ragging me.
I glare at Drew. “Detective, do you think you can question this man without killing him?”
“Fine. Fleetfoot, head back to the lab. Take my car. I’ll get a ride with Danvers.” I throw him my keys, and he snatches them out of the air as he gives Drew’s hand a final squeeze. Jason is better in the lab than any tech we have. We only send him into the field when we’re desperately short-handed. I run a hand through my hair, wishing I knew how I’m going to hold the homicide division together if we don’t get more funds.
He holds out his hand. “I’m Brandon Lord. I own Shift.”
“Lieutenant Morrison.” I shake his hand. His skin is surprisingly smooth, his grip tight and warm. I want to feel those big hands running over me. I want to rub his furry body with my own. Fuck! I should assign someone else to this case right now and get the hell away from him. But some crazy restlessness he’s dredged up in me makes me fight my instincts.
“Nice to meet you, Lieutenant.” His voice is low and rich. And his grin lets me know he’s well aware of my body’s reaction to him.
I need to get away. His smell alone is making me hard. “I’m not here to play games. Drop the act and treat this case seriously, or I’ll find an excuse to throw your ass in jail.”
He grins. Fuck, he knows he’s got me rattled. “I’d never kill anyone, Lieutenant. I’m just a cuddly teddy bear.”
The bear shifter and the bear. Ridiculous. I need to leave now. This man is no cuddly toy. I don’t think he’s our murderer, but he’s far smarter than he wants me to believe and likely far more dangerous. “I know what cuddling leads to.”
Brandon laughs, a deep, infectious sound. I can’t help but respond. Now I want him more than ever. Taking this case was a supremely stupid idea, staying on it now is unprofessional.
But I won’t walk away.
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by Silvia Violet 


  1. Hello Silvia:

    I love what you say about: I have to remember that in general men use different speech patterns from women and a man would likely approach a budding relationship differently than I would. Then there’s the challenge of thinking like a man without falling into male stereotypes. My recent writing has forced me to consider issues about gender and sexuality from new vantage points.

    This is so true! I've read some m/m stories and couldn't get into them because the character didn't ring true for me. In fact, I had this discussion with another woman who is an avid reader in general, not just of the m/m genre.

    As writers, I think it's wonderful to be able to explore these things, however. It not only gives us a better understanding of other people but ourselves. And the best thing of all? Hopefully we've written something the reader will enjoy but will also make THEM see gender and sexuality a bit differently as well, rather than stereotyping.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post, Johnny!! I actually feel like I appreciate men more now as an m/m writer. I hear a lot of griping about men and their stereotypical characteristics from my het women friends and it's easy to just go along with those notions but exploring male voices makes me see a whole other side of being male and I definitely hope that readers rethink notions of gender and sexuality when they read my stories.

  3. Great post, Sylvia! I love reading other writers' perspectives on this. I also love writing m/m romance, for a number of reasons. And, you're right, men do speak and act differently than women, and it's important to get this right in our stories. I think, in a lot of ways, my own behaviour is not typically female (I don't like to talk about my feelings, I swear alot, I'm rude and lude alot of the time, I don't give a fuck about housework and cooking) but I still have to pay attention to how my characters are acting, talking and thinking to try to make them realistically male. It is a challenge and a welcome one :)

  4. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Elizabeth! I have plenty of characteristics that aren't considered stereotyipically feminine either - I watch porn, I don't like to shop, and plenty that are, working with little kids, I'm very happy when I'm in the kitchen, etc. I love developing characters that are an eclectic mix and break the mold of people's expecations.

  5. Great post Silvia. Sex on the Hoof was one of my faves and I know I'll love this one.

    Continued success!