This morning, I woke up with one decision crystal clear in my head. I've been spending the last three days with my friend R., who was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. We spent the last days talking through some heavy shit at times, about life, how we spend it, and what makes us ill, what keeps us going. What do we live for? We also laughed a lot, which is always a plus.
But this morning I woke up - and I'm quitting. That's the decision. In the last weeks, certain parts of the romance community have taken it upon themselves to harass and bully every trans writer in the m/m genre. People - my friends - have cried bitter tears, others have thrown away half-written or half-outlined stories. Others were so distressed that they have considered suicide.
Basically, I loved that community because it was so "tolerant" and "enlightened". I said that in all the interviews. That I love that sense of community. Never before as a writer have I had such close interactions with readers or bloggers. My interactions were limited to Amazon reviews and a rare email here and there before I became part of the m/m community. Wow, it's been fun. As writing is only a financial side gig for me (it's great when it covers the books I'm buying for research), that sense of community was the main thing I got out of it - something I've only recently realised.
Now that that same community has turned into a bullying, torch and pitchfork wielding mob that harasses my friends to tears, tramples on stories that haven't even been written yet, and drives artists to consider suicide, this is where I draw the line.
The very same community that cried crocodile tears over the "It Gets Better" campaign has now turned into the most vicious lynch mob I've seen in twenty years. Every transphobic asshole out there is having a field day. We'll soon have an Underwear Gestapo, taking monthly blood samples to monitor testosterone levels.
All trans writers I know in the genre are exceedingly distressed over this. My friends ask for their books to be delayed, are considering killing off their fiction writing altogether, because there's a baying mob screaming for blood.
It comes down to this: I don't want to write for bullies, for people driving my friends into considering self-harm. I'm not some monkey that dances when it sees a banana.
Now, I'm afflicted in that I have to write, but I have decided and resolved to put all m/m and gay romances indefinitely on hold.
There. Monkey has stopped dancing.
I will instead return to my roots, writing mainstream fantasy and thrillers and historical novels under a different pseudonym, which is still to be decided, but will not be released to anybody but my closest friends.
What does this mean?
Basically, that's it. As I've started "Dark Soul" and don't want to leave people hanging on the cliffhanger, I'm going to finish the mini-series (another 30-40k words), even though, it must be said, I'm reluctant as all hell about that.
I'm also going to finish a co-written project that my co-writer has committed herself to (because I can't leave *her* hanging), but after that, I'm throwing myself on the tender mercies of the mainstream.
After that, I'm done.
That means no more books in the m/m romance genre. Me and that genre are done, thanks to the nasties, the bullies, the mean assholes, thanks to the torch wielding mob of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group; and people like A.S., the old bitter troll that substitutes hatred and envy for talent and real passion; thanks to everybody who has sent a trans* writer an email demanding a geographic breakdown of their sexual organs because they are entitled to it somehow; thanks to everybody who has cornered and forced ANY writer out there into "admitting" and "telling the truth" and "coming clean".
I can't wait to share my stories with my new readers.
To my readers - I'm sorry, guys. I hope you'll enjoy those stories I'm leaving you. There's plenty talent out there, and I'm sure Riptide will help find you more great talent. I've heard they are good at that. :)