Thursday, November 8, 2012
Leather and Love: How Romance Helps Stamp Out Hate
Those of us who wrote short stories for Torquere's Charity Sip Blitz to benefit NOH8 have been asked to write a few words on how romance can help stamp out hate.
To me, that's pretty simple. Where there's love, there can't be hate. And romance is all about love.
One of my favorite authors, Katherine Kurtz, was known for writing that humans fear that which they don't understand. She was talking about the way "normal" humans feared the magically gifted Deryni, who lived, often in hiding, among them. I always thought there was a huge parallel between how Deryni were treated in her world and how homosexuals are treated in ours. Whether she intended this or not, I don't know, but as a kid who didn't fit in, I drew a lot of strength from her characters, who endured terrible prosecution before they finally began to find some degree of tolerance, acceptance, and finally, love from the humans around them.
I think that a lot of people in our world don't understand homosexuality, and so they fear it because it represents something different from what they've always understood. And fear easily turns to hatred, which leads to violence and even more hatred. To me, one way to break this cycle is to help people understand that which confuses them. What better way to understand something than to get inside the heads of people who practice it? And where better to read about love than in romance stories?
And hence, romance can help stamp out hate.
The theme for this year's Charity Sips was leather, to celebrate the ninth anniversary of the press. We Torquere authors ran with that theme in all directions.
I took it literally and wrote a BDSM tale about a king who risks everything to spend the night in the caves above his castle, where he can be himself for the first time in his life. It's called Slow Awakening, and it can be purchased by clicking HERE. It's a topic that I wanted to think a bit more about. If readers get into my character's head and realize there's nothing so really different about people who practice BDSM, I feel like my story is a success. I'm thrilled by the reviews and responses that it has been getting. (See some of the review links to the right.)
Anyone who leaves me a comment will be entered into a drawing on November 12 for a free copy of your choice of one of my published works, except for my Charity Sip. You can see a list of them to your right, as well. Stop back here on November 12, when I will announce the winner. Then if you send me an email, I will send you a book.
Thanks for reading!