Alternatively titled Why the main character of Captain’s Boy isn’t gay when the rest of the main characters in the Dream’verse are. I’ve had a few readers express surprise at this choice, so I thought I’d address the situation here.
Remember way back when, at the very beginning of Turtleduck Press? I wrote the “About Us” copy, and I said “writers don’t like to write in boxes.”
Well, I guess I can expand on that.
Looking at everything I’ve ever finished, I can see that I enjoy writing relationships where no one involved knows “the rules.” Or perhaps I should say, the roles. In the first and second (still unpublished) novels in the Dream’verse, Eve is the fierce protector of kind, nurturing Ben. In Captain’s Boy, the third novel† in the Dream’verse, Donte and Selene—well, carefully vague so as not to spoil things, but Selene is also the protector, though Donte is the more skilled fighter.
And then we have my boys. I went from reversing accepted gender roles to going around them entirely. Taro and Rafe—whoo boy. Do they ever not know the rules. Those two are making them up as they go along. Joss and Zeke—well, we can call that when rules collide, because the rules of marriage on BFR have only minute similarities to the same institution on Kari’s Star.
I have to move on, though. I want to explore everything, and I’ll keep writing until I have done so or my fingers fall off, whichever comes first. I have (parts of) a fantasy trilogy with gay mages, with a master and apprentice relationship to complicate things. I have (parts of) a fantasy series with a not-elf (that “not” is important) fleeing an arranged marriage as her betrothed chases her around the world and back again. I have one (1) series where no one is in love because they’re all kids, but if I ever get around to writing them grown up enough, one character will be trying to figure out how to handle a relationship with someone who isn’t human, and who seems to know only the passions of the hunt besides.
Along the way I’ll be revisiting the Dream’verse, of course. Among other things, I’m dying to watch Taro and Rafe tackle fatherhood. And maybe after that, I’ll write my “lesbians save the world” story. Or my “grandma goes on a quest” story.
Poor me, I am afflicted by a thoroughly enjoyable mental wanderlust. Though I love it and I enjoy it, this wanderlust is one of the reasons I decided to self-publish. If I had an agent, I’m sure we’d have had a long heart-to-heart about my wanting to “alienate” the fans I’ve found with my m/m stories when I brought out Captain’s Boy. And then when I wanted to go from SF to fantasy, or worse, from Adult (the mages story would get at least three chili peppers on any hotness scale) to Young Adult… So I decided to self-publish, and go looking for my own people, the readers I hope will follow me from book to book and through the genres because they like exploring too.
I don’t want to alienate anyone. I just want to write what I want to write, and not get stuck in a box. Boxes are for storage. And presents. And chocolate, and–well, fine. Lots of lovely things. But they are not good for winged creatures like birds, and imaginations.
† Chronologically third. I chose to publish out of story order due to the *cough* more disorganized status of earlier works. Meaning, my first novels needed a lot more work to fix than the later ones, so I started publishing with Knight Errant.