When I was a young girl, probably about ten or eleven, I was on a train going through the rainforest to Kuranda, in tropical North Queensland. The journey was wonderful and magical, and I was spellbound.
There were two young men in the same carriage. I was eleven -- young enough to imagine they were fairytale princes, and old enough to feel awkwardly shy because they were so good looking and I had braces and puppy fat. And then -- I remember it just as the train passed the waterfall -- those two young men kissed. One of the other passengers swore and left the carriage.
I asked my mother later what was wrong with what those boys had done.
"Nothing," she told me. "Loving someone else isn't wrong."
And how could it be? We were in an enchanted forest, they were handsome fairytale princes, and I was the plain little girl who had glimpsed something magical.
If I grew up to write m/m erotica, maybe I can trace it all back to those boys on the train. When I was eleven they were beautiful. Now they would be hot. But underneath all of that there has to be a love story. There always is, otherwise it isn't magic.
And what I saw was magic.