Hello everyone! It’s nice to have you here with me today. My name is Katie Mettner and I write romantic suspense and inspirational romance. All three of my romance series have characters of new adult age, they all take place in the Midwest, and they all have a disabled main character. My newest book, After Summer Ends, is no different. Willow Erwin is a proportionate dwarf with rheumatoid arthritis who teaches English in Two Harbors, Minnesota. When I first met Willow in my last release, Forever, Phoenix, it didn’t take me long to know I was going to write her story. My heart told me there was something special about Willow that made her different from any other I had written before. Not knowing just what it was yet, I set her aside, knowing someday she would get her own book.
Image Courtesy of www.chiefsplanet.com
That ‘someday’ came a lot sooner than I expected. This past spring, I was talking with my daughter Emily. She’s fourteen and reads at a college level, so she’s very much into mainstream new adult books. She told me something in that conversation that made Willow’s story click. She said, “There are no sweet NA lesbian romances that I can find on Amazon. There are all kinds of erotica books, but no true love story about two girls who fall in love.” I spent about an hour searching Amazon, and I had to admit she was right (It was difficult to tell my teen that mom was wrong). My daughter is pansexual, which means she doesn’t see gender, but see’s the person’s personality above all, and that is what she falls in love with, regardless if the person is male or female. I’ve written a story with a pansexual character already, and it’s one of my most popular books. My NA romance, April Melody, is about a young man named Martin Crow who is pansexual. Emily ate April and Crow’s story up in a matter of a day, because she was starving for a romance she could relate to.

Image courtesy of Myshabrolins.tumblr.com
After that conversation I felt compelled to write a sweet NA lesbian romance about girls who were perfectly imperfect. The first thing I had to ask myself was if a book like that would get any traction in the marketplace. I honestly had no idea, so I started writing After Summer Ends with blind faith, and a whole lot of hope, that it would. That said, it didn't really matter to me if didn't. I would be satisfied to know that my daughter, and other girls like her, would have a story they were longing to read. A few months later, when I finished the rough draft, I handed it over to my daughter to read. I wanted to gauge her reaction to the story before I went any further with editing and publishing. She disappeared into her room and we didn’t see her again until hours later when she was finished. She came out with her tablet crushed to her chest, and walked around on her tiptoes for a few minutes as she absorbed the story. She talked about it for days afterwards, and she showed me what a story like Willow's can do for someone who is aching to relate to the literature they read.


Since Emily is my daughter, and not exactly a unbiased party to my writing, I sent the story off to several others who read NA, but not LGBT, romances. I had to know if people outside of the genre (and my family) would relate to the book. Their response? “You had me hooked at the prologue and I didn’t put it down until it was done!” MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! 

Image Courtesy of GIFADAY.BLOGSPOT.COM
You might be asking yourself what my definition of a sweet NA lesbian romance is. I can answer it very simply; After Summer Ends is about the love story. It’s about the emotions of meeting that special person for the first time when your heart starts to pound just a little bit faster. It’s about the impromptu first date that leaves you walking on air all the way home. It’s about the things you teach each other every time you’re together. It’s about the bumps along the way that wake you up and show you how to be a better person for the one you love. It’s about soft kisses in the moonlight on the warm sand of a nighttime beach. It’s about standing by your convictions and learning that fear has no place in your life when you love someone truly, completely, and forever. Love is what I hope I captured within the pages of After Summer Ends.

Image courtesy of WWW.TUMBLR.COM
When I started writing this post today my plan was to walk you through the top five things to do when writing a disabled character. Maybe someday I can come back to NA Alley and share that post with you, but today isn’t the day. Today is a day to look at the ever-changing face of new adult literature and ask ourselves if one of those faces needs to be more diversity in LGBT romances. What’s your opinion? Can we stretch the NA genre even further to include LGBT romances that touch the heart and not the libido?

Image courtesy of K4RMAM0N4MOUR.TUMBLR.COM

Post a Comment

  1. So nice to have you here, Katie! :D Thanks for sharing with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pleased to share my thoughts with your blog readers. Thanks for inviting me :)

      Delete
  2. I've found that this is not a problem with just NA Fiction. It often takes me a long time to find sweet same-gender romances in manga for example (although I highly recommend Octave for this as a sweet lesbian love story about two young women who meet and fall for each other). I do hope that this changes over time though. And it's good to see pansexuality get a mention too. Depending on the definition used, I tend to identify as either pan or bi (it depends on whether bi is taken as meaning male/female or same/differing gender, as i'm not a great beleiver in gender binary).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can find many many M/M stories that are fade to black or clean reads, but the lesbian genre seems to be lacking in that department. My next book with be a M/M and I plan to offer the same kind of romance, all about the love :)

      Delete
  3. Great post, Katie! This is exactly why I fell in love with New Adult--the diversity and opportunity for telling all kinds of stories. Authors (and readers too it seems) are willing and able to explore all kinds of things in NA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree E.J., the hardest part sometimes is just getting the literature out to the readers who want it. I think NA Alley is a very helpful resource for authors who are trying to figure out how to do that.

      Delete
  4. This is a fantastic post and really shows the spectrum of what NA can be to diverse audiences. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so! I've found writing NA novels about the disabled gives me an audience from age 16 all the way to 86. Sometimes it's less about the age of the audience as it is about the diversity of the literature. Thanks for stopping by today :)

      Delete
  5. Great post! And thank you for bringing this topic up.

    I certainly hope there is a market for non-sexual LGBT stories. I'm writing an urban fantasy NA novel where the main character is a gay male. I have one fade-to-black scene where sex happens, but it's far from erotica. I think this is something LGBT fiction needs a lot more of across the literature spectrum. Being gay isn't just about the sex. It's about who a person can develop real romantic feelings for, and that happens to be someone of the same gender. We need more stories like yours (and hopefully mine when it's done). Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the support! I strove to make this about the love story and nothing else. The readers are there if we can get the word out to them that the books are waiting. Please keep us updated on yours as well!

      Delete
  6. Awesome post. The thing that has kept me away from NA is all the ones I've seen look the same. It's great hearing other authors are trying to branch it out and be more diverse.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes, thank you, Katie! I agree that there is a place for sweet NA. Many of us are looking for romances with young main characters that are not explicit. There is an audience for your books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing that with me! I know I'll be writing several more Sweet LGBT romances, and I couldn't be more excited about bringing those stories to the reader :)

      Delete

We LOVE hearing from you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

 
NA Alley © 2013. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Blogger
Top