Back from France.
And finally (nearly) caught up on my 300 odd emails, my unpacking, washing and putting everything away, and my two days of being poleaxed by diet induced migraine, which still hasn’t entirely gone away. (Have started the Harcombe diet, as after 3 weeks of calorie counting I was utterly fed up of being hungry. But I’ve paid for it with three days of sugar withdrawal headache.)
I had a great time in France, despite the fact that yes, half of the week was practically underwater. We trekked to Mont St.Michel via the ‘park two kilometers away and take a short cut’ route across the salt marshes, and ended up having to approach like medieval pilgrims, barefoot, wading across numerous small streams. Next time we’re driving to the car park!
I’m pleased to report that St.Malo is every bit as charming as I wrote it, and I really did find a shop that sold hundreds of different weird flavoured ice-creams. They didn’t have the rice ice-cream that Darren tried in Shining in the Sun, but they did have cactus flavour. I should have tried it, but I chickened out and had nutella instead.
I see that the Out magazine article has turned into another great debate while I was gone, but I don’t feel inclined to get involved in it. I bared my soul enough in the interview. Besides, I did a lot of reading, thinking and self examination the last time the question of straight women writing m/m romance came up (and the time before that, and the time before that too) and I feel like I’ve been through the debate so often before that there’s nothing left to say.
The bottom line is, I do not believe that I am being exploitative. Even the loudest voices in the anti-mm camp insist that they are not saying that straight women shouldn’t write m/m romance. They are saying that we should do it in such a way as not to cause any more pain to the very people we’re writing about. I’m all for that. I have no desire to cause pain or insult to anyone, and I already do my best to write characters who are real people and not stereotypes. Besides, why would I want to insult my own readers? Despite what numerous magazine articles inaccurately say, I have never just written for women. What a stupid idea that is! I write for anyone who wants to read my books, regardless of gender or orientation. I am proud of the fact that a lot of gay men like my books. (I know because they’ve told me.) If they didn’t, then I would know there was a problem.