Welcome to Julia Talbot's blog!

Welcome, everyone! Here's where I blather about writing, life with my partner BA, and my two basset hounds! I love to hear from readers, so comment here or email me!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

the myth of a homogeneous experience

During a discussion of my last blog post on FB, the assertion came out that the "general you", in this case, a women writing m/m, tends to write "flat, two dimensional characters who in no way resemble gay men".

Now, I'm not going to get into the tired old argument about cross gender writing and whether men should write women or women should write men or what sexual orientation has to do with it. If writers only wrote what they were or what they knew personally, most of the great books and the lion's share of bad ones would never have hit the bookstores, brick and mortar or virtual.

No, what I'm having thoughts about today is the idea of the homogeneous gay man. Or the typical lesbian. Or the typical man or woman.

I'm terrible at sweeping generalizations in everyday life. "Those bitches!" I'll holler at the TV if I'm unlucky enough to see a housewife show when I'm clicking through late night channels, "Oh my God, it's the lesbian prison women! Because all women in prison go lesbian!."

But in my heart of hearts, I know those generalizations are full of caca. There is no such thing as the gay experience, or the lesbian experience or the Disney experience.

There's just people.

See, this is why I was so disappointed in the argument presented to me as, "Well, you have some valid points but I'm person X so I know and you don't, so there." To that particular person, my characters (the general me or specific me, take your pick, as I'm sure he did) may not in any way resemble a gay man.

But to, say, my friend Steve, who's ex-Navy and who had more sex with Marines than he could even remember on any given day, my "sex-crazed maniac erotic romance" resonates with his experience so much that he has me send him my books to beta so he can suggest ever more acrobatic sex. Or there's my old friend Scott, who went to Halloween one year as Pan, and who loves my werewolves and vampires because he's a gamer and thinks those things should exist, damn it.

I have readers who love my contemporaries because the men are just dudes who love dudes, and I have readers who hate that because they want their gay men to be sensitive and open with their feelings. One way or the other, someone may love what I write, and may say "OMG yes that's just like I see things and feel things" or they may hate what I do and say, "No, that's not my experience".

That's totally fine. That's what writing is. But to suggest that because I don't share some mystical connection or mind meld about a whole group of people because I'm not a member of a secret club? Well, that's just an argument you can't win with me, because I know such a thing doesn't exist, God knows, I know a lot of short haired, flannel wearing, clog stomping dykes. That doesn't mean that all lesbians dress, act, or feel the same way I do, and I hope I would never present us all as a shared hive mind.

In other news, it snowed! We got our Thanksgiving snow early!

Now, that's something to be tickled about



Friday, November 13, 2015

Objectification, Divisiveness and One Author Calling Bullshit

It seems like there always has to be a kerfluffle in the writing world. Especially in romance. I happen to be very active in the m/m romance community, even though I write all genres and genders of romance, so I see these explosions daily.

The latest is an anonymous article about the objectification of gay men by romance women. You can read it here.

I have lots of feels here and I will try to list them in a relatively coherent way, off the cuff as this is. I may not achieve literary crit greatness here, but bear with me.

One, I find the argument in the article specious at best if you take the first lines as the premise of the whole commotion.

"As a gay man, the M/M Romance genre makes me extremely uncomfortable.

A lot of women in the genre, both readers and authors, seem to fetishize physically attractive gay men. Not all women in the genre are like that, but a substantial amount."

Hmmm. Because het romance readers never fetishize hot het men. Because before m/m conventions had go go dancers there were never Ellora's Cavemen flexing their muscled, oiled bods at RT. As the former owner of the first exclusively GLBT romance publisher, I can tell you long before we had naked waiters at the UK meetup there were hot cover models carrying mermaid dressed authors across the stage at the Fairy Court ball. Romance is about the fantasy. Period. The article fails to address this.

Second, as the L in LGBT, let me talk about how straight men have objectified my "people" for decades. Do we even get romance novels? No, we get bad porn reels with big boobed porn ladies pretending to be into one another, all for men to enjoy as a fantasy. Because most of us lezzies of a certain age have never seen our partners look like that...

I'd also like to note that the pics accompanying the anonymous post are more likely to be found on a gay porn site than a m/m author's FB and are there for shock value. Here's more what I see on my facebook and on m/m book covers. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=505808079586315&set=a.248987658601693.1073741828.100004713810507&type=3&theater

Am I saying this guy is 100% wrong? No. Am I calling bullshit? Yes.

On the eve of a gay man being appointed Director at Large of RWA, what I see in this article is divisiveness.

Yep. There's the go-go dancer groping commentary. I've seen both genders and all sexual preferences do this at all kinds of events. Do I love it? No. In fact, my main objection to sexy male models parading around at cons is largely feminist. If I would object to a woman being viewed that way, I have to give equal time to the guys. But that's my issue, and I don't go if I don't want to see it. The porn fest masquerading as lit is another comment in the article. This is causing authors to defend romance. It's not all sex! they say. Sex is bad! Bullshit again. You don't like erotic romance? Don't read it. But don't tell me it's not valid, and that het romance doesn't do the same thing. Listen to Can Johnson talk at a panel about alpha alpha heroes and tell me het romance is any less interested in the heat.

Romance is a valid genre, with a huge, diverse following. We don't need divisiveness and we don't need all the tired old accusations of objectification just because our genre is mostly about women taking their sexuality into their own hands. As a m/m romance author, I think my genre is also about acceptance and love, because many a reader has told me they didn't believe in gay rights until they read a m/m romance. How can that be bad? Own what you read and what you write, and sure, fight for understanding and equality. But don't try to blame all the ills of the world on a go go dancer and a couple of smokin' hot novels... I'll call bullshit.



Monday, November 09, 2015

can't keep up

I feel like I'm drowning in my lack of social media.

Send minions

Or houseboys

Sunday, November 01, 2015

A Halloween Emergency story

So, Halloween went well. Candy all handed out by 8:30. Our friends Bessie and Matt stopped by with their kids. The dogs were calm. We had a lovely fire in the fireplace.

Then at bedtime, one of us took 37 units of short acting insulin instead of long acting Lantus...


BA is type one diabetic. I'm type two. We both take Long acting insulin, and she takes 3-4 shots a day of short acting. We keep the bottles in separate places and they're different sizes, but when you've had as long a day we had yesterday, it's easy to make mistakes.

The good? No one died. We called 911 as the doctor told us to in such a sitch. The EMTs said hospital for monitoring was voluntary. After our glorious stint in the ER Wednesday, we took option 2. Testing every 10-30 minutes for 2-3 hours and lots of juice and rice. After the first harrowing hour of plummeting blood sugars, it evened out. By 4am we went to sleep without setting an alarm to wake us to test.

No lasting harm. But man. Don't do that, y'all



Monday, October 26, 2015

Minerva Howe? what the heck?

I know I've told y'all who Minerva Howe is before now. She's me! She's my kinkier, BDSMier side.

If you've been following along, you know I have two books out as Minerva right now. Chosen Wolf and Found Vampire are both biting, spanking, dubious consent in no no yes do me kind of way books out from Resplendence Publishing. They're both m/m, and they sort of walk the line between lifestyle BDSM and paranormal D/s.

My newest release, out tomorrow with Samhain Publishing, runs right over the line into BDSM as a life choice. It's also a mmf historical 1790s femme domme.

Oh. y'all, I'm so proud of this. It's a true menage, with all three characters needing each other to be complete. It's smokin' hot, and full of all sorts of dominance play by both femme domme Felice and cool as a cucumber Simon. Matthias the sub burns so bright with need. I love them all so much, and I hope you do, too.

The path to love isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes it’s a triangle.

When Simon realizes his dearest friend is in real trouble with gambling, whoring and daredeviling, he hits on the perfect solution: provide Matthias with an outlet for his self-destructive urges. While Simon would be more than willing to take on the task himself, Matthias has always fought their “unnatural” attraction.

As London’s Mistress of Discipline, Felice Grey wears her independent and scandalous reputation with confidence. She’ll take on Matthias for one night as a favor to Simon—even break her own rules to let Simon watch. She never expected that Matthias’s struggle against his feelings for Simon would touch her heart, or that she’d feel drawn to both men. Especially since Simon’s dominant nature makes it unlikely he’ll bend to her will.

Simon, barely surviving the night’s session, withdraws to his country estate in hopes that his two favorite people will find each other. Felice and Matthias must make a decision—let happiness fall by the wayside, or pursue it—and damn the risk.

Find it here!

Friday, October 23, 2015

bad blogger too sad to post

been down this week. Lots of bad news in the writing world and lots of people I know directly, personally affected. Sad and tired. I'll try to get back to it this weekend as I have a new release next week at Samhain under my Minerva Howe BDSM name!