One of the suggested topics for this blog tour was Top Ten Literary Influences, and as I tried to think about the topic, tried to sort out what I’ve read and what impact it’s had on what I write, I realized that, until I started actually writing romances, I didn’t read many of them. Of course, that doesn’t mean there were no romantic elements to the novels I devoured. But the romances were often hidden.
A Separate Peace? The doomed friendship that created such angsty yearnings in my pre-teen breast made a lot more sense when I got older and read the story through a homoerotic lense. Was Gene gay, or bi-, or in any way sexually attracted to Phineas? I don’t think that’s a reading supported by the text (although my imagination can offer some compelling arguments). But was Gene in love with Phineas? Hell, yeah. Was his horrible moment of destructiveness simply driven by jealousy, or was there an added element coming from Gene’s confusion over his feelings? I know what reading makes most sense to me, and I know that I’d love to be able to capture something so complex and so true in my own writing.
And The Outsiders, another favourite of my early years? SE Hinton can say what she wants, but my reading of that book definitely has a romantic element to it. Dallas being so protective of Johnny and falling apart when he dies? Ponyboy drawing pictures of Dallas that capture his essence in only a few lines? All of them being so jammed in together, living so much in each others’ pockets, with no romantic/sexual feelings? Nope, not my Outsiders. (As I write this I realize how much my characters in the Shelter series have in common with the Outsiders boys - but my guys are a bit more open about things!)
How about The Great Gatsby? (Damn, was there a book I read in high school that didn’t have a homoerotic subtext?) Poor Nick, having to stand by and watch as Gatsby chased after a woman…
And I, like so many others, started writing m/m romances through the fanfiction gateway—I think I watched the first couple seasons of Supernatural and was never all that engaged with the show itself, but some of the gorgeous fics that came out of that series were enough to convince me that works of fiction can be turned into something much, much more than the creators originally intended.
So whether my “hidden” romances were consciously intended by the authors or not, they were definitely romances to me. Do you guys have any examples from your own reading or viewing? What works are more meaningful to you when you read them with romance-coloured glasses?
About Long Shadows
LA cop Jericho Crewe got the hell out of Mosely, Montana, when he was seventeen. Fifteen years later, he’s back, and everything is just as messed up as when he left. He planned a quick visit to deal with his injured father, but of course things are never that simple. Family complications, police complications, social complications—and, as always, Wade Granger complications.
Jericho and Wade had been so close, once upon a time. First friends, then more than friends—and then, after Jericho’s escape, nothing. Wade’s magnetism hasn’t been lessened by a decade and a half apart; even when Jericho learns that Wade is the prime suspect in the death of Jericho’s father, the old connection still sparks.
When Jericho’s newly discovered half siblings are kidnapped, he needs to trust someone to help him find them. Wade’s a terrible choice, but Jericho’s never been known for his good judgment. Anyway, he’d rather make a bad decision with Wade than a good one with anybody else.
Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/long-shadows
About Kate Sherwood
Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!
Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”--other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!
Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy--the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?
Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.
After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.
To celebrate the release of all four books in the Common Law series, we’re giving away one four-tour-wide GRAND PRIZE of $100 in Riptide credit! Enter at each stop on each tour (once they go live) to maximize your chances to win! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Long Shadows tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!