Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's on your m/m wishlist for 2013?

So here's a sort of a wishlist for 2013, things I'd like to see more of in m/m, and things I'd like to see a lot less of as well. 

Dub-con. I do love me some dub-con. Blackmail stories are really doing it for me at the moment. I love the power games at play there, but I've yet to find one I really love-love. Any recommendations are welcome! 

Puppy play. Hot, cute, and at the same time weirdly humiliating...or so I thought. So often puppy play involves the big nasty Dom getting his rocks off by humiliating his sub, the the puppy play becomes -- and this may be the point, I guess -- dehumanising. The problem with dehumanising a character though, is that pretty soon I stop giving a damn about him. M/m needs more sweet puppy play...but J.A. Rock and I have got some of that covered... :) 

Humiliation. No apologies, I love it. But, like with the puppy play, it's a fine line. Cross it into dehumanisation, and you've lost me. 

Age play. Sometimes creepy, sometimes awesome. I want to read more of the awesome, please. 

More drag queens! But only if we also get to see what happens once the make-up comes off. 

Frat boys. Because they're young, cute, and a completely foreign species to me. We don't have frats in Australia, so all my working knowledges comes from movies and TV. So I basically know nothing. 

ANGST! MORE ANGST! I do love a book that puts me through emotional hell. As a writer, I'm a sadist. As a reader, I'm a total masochist. But it's totally subjective. A book that makes you cry might just make me roll my eyes and wish every character hurried up and died. And vice versa. Everyone's taste is different, which is what makes comparing opinions so much fun. 

And now for the things I'd like to see less of. 

I'd like to see less insta-love, but that's always been a pet peeve of mine. 

I'd also like to see less of what's become a staple in m/m -- the solo shower jerk-off. Now admittedly I have one of these in one of my WIPs, but ever since it was brought to my attention how common it is (thanks, Ami!) it's going to go. 

And while we're on cliches, why are so many Doms multimillionaires who do nothing else but hang out in mysterious sex clubs? Seriously guys, you don't get to be a multimillionaire without at least occasionally going to work. This year, I'd like to see more Doms with real jobs and mortgages, who have to stop off on the way home from the mysterious sex club to buy milk. 

And I hate -- and will always hate -- when a Dom is a Dom because he was abused, abandoned or unloved as a child. Or, worse, when a sub is a sub because he was abused, abandoned, or unloved as a child. Not every kink needs a nasty psychological trigger, and not every scene is a therapy session. Sometimes you just need what you need. It really can be as simple as that. 

What would you like to see more of in m/m? And what really annoys the hell out of you? 


  1. Loved the Island and Dark Space. You are one very fine and creative writer, I must say.

    In answer to your question: (i) I'd say more of anything by you. I mean that quite honestly. You spin a good yarn, you have a flair for dialog, and you know how to portray regular guys as -- well -- regular guys. It's surprising how rare that really is among m/m writers.

    (ii) As for what annoys me, hmmm. Guys in m/m romances who suddenly go all "giddy" and "feminine" after falling for someone. It seems like an unfortunate recurring trope in m/m romances. To that I say: Ick. Bleh. I also prefer less "man/boy" and more "man/man". The whole older guy + "kid" thing is overdone. That you managed to pull it off so well and in a way that intrigued me in both of these two novels speaks to your talent as a writer. Normally, I pull out (forgive the entendre) of such novels if the relationship feels too unbalanced, as I lose respect for one (or more usually both, in some cases) characters.

    It's a fine line, writing someone as vulnerable, even abused, without making them pathetic and thus unlikable.

    Once again, I commend you for the obvious talent that you have. I am at sixes and sevens regarding your other two novels, like an animal sniffing warily at a trap (or is it a trap?), since this is a genre I am not that interested in as a general rule. But good writing is a difficult thing for yours truly to resist. :-)

    Best of luck in the new year!

    1. Thanks, Tom!

      I agree with you about guys who go all giddy once they fall for someone. Those aren't the guys I want to write about. Then again, I also hate it when women go all giddy. Hell, I just hate giddiness!

      It's a very fine line between vulnerable and pathetic -- I'm trying to walk it now in a WIP I'm working on and it's starting to feel like a high wire act. Thank god for editing!

      Thanks for stopping by to comment, and double entendres are always welcome here! :)

  2. I'm reading Dark Space right now...It was hard to put down...but if I didn't I would never go to sleep (yet, here I am online) *shakes head.

    I love angst most of the time. I like a story with ups and downs. I'm looking forward to seeing what my favorite authors come up with this year. I want more sci-fi stories that are well thought out and creative (btw DS is up there with the best so far). I'd like to see more secret cross dresseres. You know, panties, lingerie, and thigh highs. Some authors make it so sexy. Definitely drag queens. There are not enough stories about drag queens out there. I'd also like to see more of an older couple...not so much OLD but most of m/m is late teens to early thirties. I'd like to see some late thirties to late forties or maybe even early fifties.

    Things I'm tired of...well, I'm definitely with you on the insta-love angle. I like a relationship that doesn't seem possible. Where everything is fighting against them, and they still make it. And I don't mind shower scenes so much, but you're right they are a little overdone. I like to see a new aspect to them. One of my favorites is from an anthology DSP put out called Don't Try this at Home...the story is called Slippery When Wet by K. Lynn...OMG! The funniest, greatest shower scene ever! :D I'm also over mannies. Ugh...all single gay men fall for their mannies apparently. It's just so predictable. Over it.

    Anyway, I look forward to finishing Dark Space and, already, I'm looking forward to reading more of your work.

    I hope you have a wonderful 2013!


    1. LOL Crissy! I know exactly what you mean by being online at weird hours...sleep, meh, sleep is for other people!

      I'm glad you liked Dark Space! It was different from anything I'd tried before, but different is always fun!

      And I would LOVE to see some more secret cross dressers! Have you read Your Biggest Fan, by Missy Welsh? I really enjoyed that one. I will have to check out the shower scene in Slippery When Wet.

      What a great point about mannies...maybe it's because so many of those stories lend themselves to the old "instant family" formula?

      Have a great 2013 as well!

  3. Yay for more sweet puppy play! And yeah, I would like to see some well-done age play. That's hard to find. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've found it yet. So if you have, please let me know.

    More DD for me. Always. More brats. And more electro-play.

    I love H/C. I love HFNs where two people who know they might fail epically at a relationship decide to go for it anyway. And since I can't write them, I love well-done mysteries.

    And LOL, I didn't even know the term "mannies" until now. Vocab word of the day.

    Hope you're having a good start to 2013.

    1. I still haven't found any age play that I love, but I'll keep looking! You write great DD, and I want to read more of it. And brats go without saying. The worlds needs more brats!

      And electro-play...yes, please!

  4. Hiya, there. After sniffing around He Is Worthy and Tribute, I finally bought and read them both. You are one heck of a writer, I must say. Here you have written a thriller, a sci-fi novel, a fantasy, and a story set in ancient Rome and managed to pull them all off believably. Who does that? It's really something.

    I am a big (maybe hopeless) romantic when it comes to the idea of "rescue", something that played into all of your books. I also like relationships that are not easy or quick.

    I will be honest that while I am not particularly squeamish, I had some difficulty with Tribute. The fine line for me is my level of respect for the characters. It's one thing to be mistreated and another thing to enjoy being mistreated -- at least for me -- if that makes any sense.

    Of all of your books, I think I enjoyed The Island and Dark Space the best: such likable, believable characters and dialog. I read a couple of other "highly rated" m/m romances in the midst of reading these two books and they suffered badly comparison. Your lead character in Dark Space, for example, was funny, tough, and always ALWAYS sounded like a guy. Too many men in other romances are all hunky and gorgeous and then, gah, they say or think something ("Ooooh, I saw him across a crowded room and my heart went thumpity-thump and pitter-pat and he was just so -- ooooh! -- scrumptious!") and then the spell is completely broken. Such characters are fine for some people, but to me they are 14-year-old girls set in adult male body shells, like some sort of weird "Freaky, Friday" movie. Frequently, I only get as far as the "boy-meets-boy" moment. If the scene comes off anything like that, I am nauseated, quit, and hit the delete button.

    I look forward to seeing what you write next. I haven't been this pleased and impressed with an m/m author's ability writer -- to really WRITE -- since I read a book by Tere Michaels, another m/m author whose writing feels genuine.

    I know you have your genre and your niche here, Ms. Henry, but dammit you have talent. You could write anything and it would be good. How often I have wished that, in the more mainstream historical, sci-fi, thriller, and fantasy fiction novels that I read that someone, somewhere, would include believably gay characters, there, too.

    Anyways, thank you for writing these books. I am looking forward to your next one. Even if the title is something like "Watching Paint Dry" or "The History of the Phone Book", I'm still gonna buy it because I know you'll make it good. :)

    1. Thanks again, Tom!

      You're definitely not alone in your difficulties with Tribute -- that one polarised opinions, for sure! Tribute is actually the main reason I wrote The Island. For every "unreal" moment in Tribute, I kept thinking "But in real life..." and The Island was born.

      I'm so glad that Brady worked for you in Dark Space. Since I've never been in the mind of a 19 year old boy, I could only cross my fingers and hope his voice sounded authentic. :)

      And coming soon in 2013: "The History of the Phone Book. Part one: Aaron A Aaronson."

  5. Dear Ms. Henry I really love all your books!. My preferite is your first, Tribute, I like the story, the setting, the characters.....The characters are well described, attractive, and well integrated into the story. The only thing that I would like also to see the story through the eyes of Brasius.... but this is just my observation that does not alter the value of the book. My other favourite books are Dark Space and He is Worthy,of the latter I appreciate the accuracy in the setting.
    thank you for writing these books!

    1. Hi, and thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

      I would like to write a sequel to Tribute one day, and show Brasius's personality a bit more. While doing terrible things to the newest batch of tributes :)


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