Hello and welcome to my first ever monthly column spot! Thank you for visiting, and thank you Lou for inviting me to participate in your cool group blog!
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about safe spaces. Okay, not only lately—I’ve been active to varying degrees in the queer community since the 80s—but this year is the first time I’ve actually created one.
Safe spaces can take many different forms, whether they’re for readers of a specific genre or a place where nobody questions the words anyone else uses to describe their orientation or gender identity. I take everything a little too far so my space has both.
Earlier this year I published my first novella with Samhain. Three days before they announced they would be closing. I was afraid my odd little book would disappear in the face of that big news. It didn’t, but I’ve had moments when I almost wish it had.
My daughter helpfully reminded me that I knew some people would want to rip it a new one and I chose to go ahead and submit it anyway—for some very good reasons (which I’ll probably talk about another time). That is 100% true, and even as hard as it was to read some of the reviews I don’t regret it. Torque inspired me to create the Facebook group Rainbow Snippets and even if that were the only good thing that came from it that would be enough. (It wasn’t, which is even better!) Now I have a wonderful group of people I look forward to seeing every weekend. People who have made me feel safe sharing with them regardless of the pairing in my stories, regardless of the orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic of my characters. And I hope I’ve done the same for them.
Here is the group description for Rainbow Snippets. If it sounds like something you might be interested in, check us out. The more the merrier!
Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).
In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.
What kind of safe space would you like to see created? Be honest, you never know who you’ll inspire!
I’ll leave you with a little about the book that inspired all of this, Torque.
Mick Randall is on the run, from the biker culture he grew up in and his impossible vision of love. Alaska should be far enough to escape his old life—until he rolls into a wrecking yard and gets lost in a pair of pale, bottle-green eyes.
Scotty Bell has spent years learning to channel his fiery temper into the heat of a welding torch. His sexual heat has always been slower to ignite, but one look at Mick rouses confusion alongside desire. In all his life, he’s only been attracted to one other person—his best friend, Mercy Taylor.
Mick lands a temporary job at the yard, and finds an uneasy crash pad at Scotty’s place…where the ragged ends of his emotions get tangled up in Scotty and Mercy’s relationship
But when Mick hears a Harley engine from his past bearing down on him, his first instinct is to go back to the half-life he’d been living. Lest his secrets destroy the only two people who’ve ever made him feel whole.
Warning: Contains references to abuse, subversive ideas about sexual identity and gender expression, and a free-range bisexual on a mission.
See you next month right here!
Feel free to rattle my cages anytime!