As you heard me say recently, October is Queer Romance Month! Along with other themed posts I’ll be bringing to you, my readers, I have a special one today. KJ Charles, one of QRM’s organizers, was kind enough to answer a few questions about queer romance with you all today. Hope you enjoy and I hope you’re enjoying the month of celebration!
This mini-interview with one of our contributors is brought to you in support of Queer Romance Month.
QRM runs throughout October, celebrating love stories in all shades of the rainbow in all shades of romance. Join us, and over a hundred LGBTQ+ authors and allies, for essays, flash-fiction and much, much more.
Q&A with KJ Charles
- A queer romance you’d recommend to a newcomer
I’ve been reccing Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon a lot. It’s a lovely f/f story that’s about class and family and finding someone who appreciates you for who you are, and very sexy with it. I very rarely read NA, it’s not my thing, but this was one of the few (along with Amy Jo Cousins‘ Off Campus) that makes me see what people love about it.
- Recommend a book you love, but feel is under appreciated
I read a kind of threesome (not that kind) last year. The Devil Lancer by Astrid Amara is an amazing Crimean War-set historical paranormal. Tournament of Shadows by SA Meade is also Crimean-set, not paranormal, and focusing on the espionage of the war (I would pay good money for more Great Game romances. In the Presence of Mine Enemy by Helena Maeve brings us up to modern spy times. All marvellously atmospheric m/m romances, compellingly readable and convincingly grounded, that deserved a lot more attention.
- Favourite queer romance hero
I’m a sucker for flawed protagonists in any form of romance. Milord in Alexis Hall‘s Prosperity (who has his own story in Shackles) is an unrepentantly bad, bad man. Adore. Elijah in The Possession of Lawrence Eugene Davis by EE Ottoman is cheerfully inhuman (literally). The Duke of Darlington in Untamed by Anna Cowan is a bi cross-dressing psychological wreck with a foul temper. They all make me very happy.
- What do you think is the future of queer romance?
Very firmly, that it’s romance. I think that as more and more of the big publishers see that there’s a hungry readership out there, as more big-name authors and opinion formers read and write queer romance and bring queer stories into het series and so on, and most of all as more readers discover the terrific stories being told, it will become harder for anyone to justify treating queer romance as something to be sold separately or corralled off into a corner. I love this when I see it happening: people saying ‘I’m in the mood for an unusual historical’ or ‘massive UST’ or whatever, and the answers reccing books regardless of the identities of the protagonists. Because that’s not the defining factor people are looking at
What I mean is: I’d recommend Treasure, to give my first example, as a lesbian romance, or as a romance featuring POC main characters, or as an NA, or as a class-divide story, or as a contemporary romance, because it is all of those things, not just the first. I think it’s slowly dawning on publishers and booksellers that you sell more copies if you don’t type a book as just one thing, or hide it in just one channel. And selling more copies is, of course, the great motor of publishing change.
If you’re new to KJ Charles’ work, here’s a little bit about her latest release…
About the Author:
KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.
KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.
She is represented by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency, and published by Samhain and Loveswept.
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