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Archive for July 29th, 2020

Gabbi Grey: Why gay romance? (Contest)
Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Barbara Bettis!

My journey to writing gay romances was full of twists, turns, and switchbacks.  I wrote my first book in 2012, the same year I bought my first e-reader.  I had no notion of books beyond those being traditionally published and the indie world opened my eyes to the possibility of writing for more than just a major publisher.  The collision encouraged me to open myself up to what else was out there.

I read my first gay romance in 2013.  It was an Ava March story, Pleasures of Somerville Park.  It was revelatory, but not earth-moving.  I had gay friends.  I’d seen Tony Kushner’s Angels in America plays in Toronto.  I’d enjoyed the movies Peter’s Friends and Philadelphia.  I thought I was enlightened.  What I had yet to discover is there was a whole subgenre of romance called gay romance that was about to really break out.  And it did so mostly by word of mouth.

A good friend insisted I try books by Tara Lain, Marie Sexton, and Kaje Harper.  I was just moving into audiobooks so I tried Kaje’s Into Deep Water.  My mind was blown.  Here were two gay men in the navy during the Second World War in the Pacific Theater.  I had no notion.  And not only did their new love survive the war, they went on to live together and love together well into their eighties.  I was moved, realizing for the first time just how difficult things had been for gay men and lesbians back then.  I supported marriage equality, of course, and was pleased that Canada was one of the first countries to adopt the legislation, but I still was naïve.

From there I moved on to Tara Lain’s Knight of Ocean Avenue from her Love in Laguna series, and I was hooked.  I’ve never looked back.  My first dip into writing gay romance was when I saw a call from a publisher.  There were certain criteria and I hit all of them, quite pleased with myself.  Then I asked a Beta Reader – a gay man – and he had plenty of feedback, including that the story was incomplete.  He was right and eventually I did tackle the edits for that book.  The call from the publisher had long closed but I had something I really loved.  That being said, the book is way too long and still in need of work.  I will publish it one day, I promise.

Another call from a different publisher caught my attention.  This was a general call and there was no specific mention of gay romance, yet I knew I wanted to be part of this.  The series is set in a small fictional Vermont town with an inn at the center.  Every book had to have a visitor from the inn meeting someone in town.  I went way out of my wheelhouse and chose a black Civil War soldier’s ghost who haunts the local cemetery and a history professor from Scotland who is in America to research untold stories of the dead.  I had my story, I had my conflict (because one of them is dead, how are you supposed to get a happy ending?), and I was off to write a story I believed in.  My first paranormal as well, but that was secondary to the love story between the two men.  The book, My Past, Your Future, was my first book published and I earned some great reviews.

The next call from the publisher was for beach-read books.  The only criteria was there had to be ice cream and a beach.  I ruminated over that for months before one day knowing the story I had to tell.  I wanted the book set in my city, Vancouver, Canada, and I knew I wanted something to do with the film industry.  A story coalesced and the next thing I knew, I had a book.  The edits moved swiftly as the publisher wanted to get the book out in time for summer.  Catch a Tiger by the Tail was released last month and I have to say I’m happy with the project.  And if you’ve never heard of tiger tail ice cream (orange cream with ribbons of black licorice), here’s your chance.  I call this book my fake-boyfriend age-gap gay rom-com.

Catch a Tiger by the Tail

Thomas Walsh knows the number one rule in the film industry. Don’t get involved with the talent. But resisting the urge to take the big screen to the bedroom can be hell when the lead actor on the set looks good enough to eat…one slow lick at a time.

Peter Erickson’s latest role as a gay man hits a little too close to home. He’s still in the closet and secretly grieving the death of his lover. Then an enchanting production assistant catches his eye, and he’s surprised by the instant attraction that stirs more than his wounded soul.

When the two men are caught on camera in a very intimate pose, both Thomas and Peter are afraid they’ve caught a tiger by the tail.

Excerpt from Catch a Tiger by the Tail

“The frown is back, Peter.”

Damn. “Just concentrating on the ice cream.”

“If you say so.”

I turned to him and stuck out my tongue.

His mouth gaped open. “Did you just stick your tongue out at me?”

Leaning over, I took another swipe at his ice cream. Little remained, only cone. Much the same as mine.

“You know, that licorice is growing on me.” The orange cream was becoming a favorite. “What’s it called?”

“Tiger tail.” The omnipresent grin was back. “Created by a woman named Morgan Carr back in the 1950s, it is very popular in Canada, Southern Ontario in particular. It is almost impossible to find in the United States.”

He said the words with faux officiousness, and I burst out laughing. “I find the flavor oddly compelling.”

“Ah, but here’s the real test—would you pick it all on your own if you had the choice?”

“Over the other hundred flavors?” Good question. “I’m not sure. I love cookies and cream, adore chocolate chunk, and have even enjoyed spumoni.”

Thomas gagged. “That’s disgusting. You obviously have no taste.”

“Says the man who believes black licorice belongs in ice cream.”

“You enjoyed it.”

“Probably more than I should have.” There, the honest truth. I had enjoyed it. I enjoyed the company even more.

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About the Author

Gabbi lives surrounded by trees, raccoons, deer, and other woodland creatures, on a mountain in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin poo keeps her safe from nasty bears.

Working for the government by day, she spends her nights writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances…and while she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love.

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Gabbi is happy to give away a $5 Amazon gift card. 
Just let her know what your favorite flavor of ice cream is (hers is pretty obvious…)!