Friday, June 22, 2012

Wowie Yaoi - Manga and Romance Blog Hop

Manga - It's Not Just for Comic Nerds

If I hadn’t started reading yaoi manga a few years ago I wouldn’t be writing m/m romance stories today.

For those that may not know, yaoi manga are Japanese comics depicting stories about men falling in love with other men. Like m/m romance stories, some yaoi is sweet with very little sex and some is much more sexually explicit. Many of the tropes, such as friends to lovers, opposites attract, unrequited love and enemies to lovers are common to both yaoi and m/m romance novels. 

People discover m/m romance in various ways. I’ve seen readers comment that they came across their first m/m book while browsing Amazon, or through fan fiction or after seeing Broke Back Mountain. For me it was yaoi. 

Finder Series

I’ve always been a fan of comic and graphic novels. I read the original Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles comics long before they became caricatures of themselves on a kids’ TV show.

So when I tried manga and stumbled across the Gravitation series by Maki Murakami I was hooked. Once I’d found Gravitation, I was amazed to discover so many other yaoi stories about men in love. Some of my favorites are Junjou Romantica,  Loveless, Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness) and Only the Ring Finger Knows.

Junjou Romantica

Through yaoi I discovered fan fiction. I never participated in any of the TV show fandoms. All my fandoms were for manga and often the fan fiction was slashed (m/m pairings of hetero characters) for manga like Bleach and Vampire Knight.

I’d always been an avid reader and I loved to write but I was too pragmatic to believe I could support myself as a writer. When I left high school, the chances of an unknown writer from small town Canada getting anything published by the big six were pretty much non-existent. So I set aside my dreams and channeled my need to write into my job.

But I met some great people in those fandoms and they introduced me to original m/m romance. I'd found my passion and I started to write again. 

Happily for me, this coincided with huge changes in the publishing industry. With the rise of electronic publishing and ebooks, smaller publishing companies are able to give unknown writers a chance. Writers like me. 

Yaoi filled a void in my life. I met new friends, learned about the Japanese culture and language. I even visited Japan. And most important of all, yaoi gave me back my passion for writing.

Do you read yaoi? What’s your favorite series?  If you don't read yaoi, now that you've toured the yaoi manga blog hop, will you?

Leave a comment below for a chance to win the blog hop grand prize. Make sure to leave your email address so you can be contacted if you win.

And since my story, Wishful Thinking features two university students (a common yaoi trope) I’ll be giving away a PDF copy to one lucky commenter on this blog.

Good luck and happy reading whether it's yaoi or m/m romance.

Manga and Romance Blog Hop Participants.

The blog hop and contest has ended.
Out of 391 entries in total, collected and numbered, picked #328 so amilyn is the grand prize winner.
Here on my blog picked #12 so the winner of a copy of Wishful Thinking was Emily!
Congratulations to both of you! Thanks to everyone who participated and commented. It was a lot of fun.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rainy Days and Summer Reads

I haven't blogged much lately. I've been concentrating on Stage Fright, my Vegas story. But after months of hard work it's finally finished and boy does that feel good.

I figured after all that wordsmithing I deserve a bit of a break. I planned on taking some time to relax. Maybe spend a couple of lazy weekends lounging on my deck sipping iced coffee, catching up on my reading and snoozing in the sun. Or maybe do a bit of gardening if I feel guilty for lying around. My backyard needs some work and those flowers don't grow by themselves. Well…actually they do so back to the lounging plan.

In preparation for all this lying about I hauled out my deck furniture and cleaned the winter crud off my deck. I even bought a new cushion for my lounger.

It seems I jumped the gun. It's already a third of the way through June and in the Okanagan Valley we still haven't seen the sun. In fact, it's rained for six days straight and the forecast is for more of the same.

The sunny Okanagan

Instead of sitting on my deck, worrying about sunburn, I'm huddled on the couch under a blanket with the heat turned up. I'm drinking hot chocolate instead of iced coffee and watching raindrops chase each other down the window pane. 

But it's not all bad. Rainy days means no gardening so I'm working on diminishing my TBR pile and enjoying every minute.

I hope you get time to do the same. So whether you're lying on a beach towel or cuddled up under a couch throw, happy summer reading everyone.