Friday, January 24, 2014

Women in M/M Romance: Special Guest Dawn Kimberly Johnson Explains Why It's Important to Include Women in Gay Romance

I am so pleased to host Dawn Kimberly Johnson on my blog today. As writers of m/m romance, we are very cognizant of the fact that readers are most interested in the men of the story. But Dawn makes an insightful observation about why the women in our stories are often just as important.  Make sure you also check out her new novel, Button Down published by Dreamspinner Press.

Women in M/M Romance

by Dawn Kimberly Johnson

Since 2009 I’ve been all about the gay romantic fiction. Writing and reading about two men falling in love or simply tearing their clothes off to get at each other, does it for me, has for several years now. I like my fictional boys tough, uncertain, snarky, angry, stoic, destructive, fearful, funny, and creative.

Pretty much anything goes with the fellas, and I like the same for the women who populate my stories. But above all, I like them formidable. Maybe because I wish I were that way. They have a strength and a “true North” that soothes me. They don’t take any crap from anyone, and they stand resolutely behind my main characters. They fight for them, support them, listen to them, and are endlessly patient with them. But sometimes they might cross a line.

In my first novel, Broken, I had two primary female characters: Ilsa Lacoste and Mirabell Boot. Now I adored them both, but some readers were not happy with either of them. Despite her best intentions, Ilsa had basically butted in and manipulated the situation, so I get that. But, to this day, I have no idea why anyone would not like Mirabell. She’s protective of her Alec and is sort of a tiny, colorful, chimney stack of toxic snark and suspicion. Fun.

In Button Down, Cicely Pepper is engaged to Ford Reilly’s brother Royce. She is Ford’s best friend and Royce’s one true love. She loves them both, in different ways, and doesn’t want to hurt either of them, but because of her friendship with Ford, she keeps a secret from her fiancĂ©. Naughty, but understandable.

Ford’s mother, Eliza is a southern flower, elegant, polite, and supportive of her husband, complementing him in all that he accomplishes, until it runs afoul of her baby boy. Then there’s Gran, who has seen it all and is still learning. Her influence over the men of the Reilly clan has very old, very deep roots.

I don’t want to forget Gus Hansen and the woman in his life—Grace, his best friend’s wife. She’s a friend to Gus, but it’s her love of Lin that keeps Gus’s support system up and running. After all, his family has cut him out of their lives, so he has no one else…at least not right away. *wink*

These women are working behind the scenes, always there when one of my fellas looks over his shoulder, needing reassurance he’s not alone and can do whatever needs to be done to secure his happiness.

So love them or hate them or get annoyed by them, these women are vital to the stories I tell. I hope they always will be.

Thanks for visiting today. Have a fantastic weekend!

About Dawn Kimberly Johnson

A native of West Virginia, Dawn earned a BA from the Marshall University W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and worked as a copy editor at The Charleston Daily Mail for eight years.        Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |   Google+  |  Email

Button Down

When he finds himself captivated by a movie-star handsome stranger he meets in a bar, lawyer Ford Reilly watches a simple one-night stand develop into a taste of what living honestly might bring him.

Out and proud Gus Hansen has built a small architectural firm from nothing, but could lose it all as he tries to break a contract he signed before knowing about the project’s antigay ties.

After Ford discovers he spent a passionate night with the man on the other side of the dispute he’s handling, he finds himself in more than one quandary. He can either maintain the status quo, enforcing the contract to the letter, or he can defy his overbearing father and break free of the closeted life he's built for himself in order to be with Gus.

Gus has his own choices to make. He knows the sting of loving a man who hides himself, but the longer he lingers in Ford's presence, the more difficult it becomes to deny their attraction.

Buy it now:   Dreamspinner  Amazon  Barnes & Nobles



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