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Eva2I had a great time at the Gay Romance Northwest Meetup yesterday. I was already familiar with some of the author panelists and some of the ones I didn’t know I fell in luv with and will definitely read their work.

I also scored free MM books! Can anyone say awesome swag? : )

Okay, so what did the panelists talk about? What were the risque topics addressed? What’s the skinny on MM romance publishing these days?

I really liked the panel with Astrid Amara, Stormy Glenn, Daisy Harris, Ethan Stone, and Anne Tenino, where they talked about gay versus straight characters. Anne pointed out that she doesn’t write gay or straight characters, she writes people. Stories are about people, not about their gender or their sexual preference. I totally agree with that sentiment!

bw panel

Panelists Heidi Belleau, Kade Boehme, Ginn Hale, Rick R. Reed, and Andrea Speed with moderator Laylah Hunter.

However, the panel with L.C. Chase, Samantha Derr, Lou Harper, Nicole Kimberling and Devon Rhodes fielded hot questions about crossover readers. There just aren’t a lot of crossover readers from say mystery fiction to MM or FF fiction. Similarly, there’s not even a lot of crossover from MM to FF or from Science Fiction and Fantasy to romance. Kimberling said it has to do with degrees of otherness. If you’re normally a straight fantasy reader, reading a fantasy book with a gay male character is one step out of your comfort zone. Reading a romance book or a gay or lesbian romance book is another one or two steps out of your zone. And why do it, when there’s so much out there IN your comfort zone that there’s really no need for you to step out of the box.

I see her point. And I hear what she’s saying. People who read top-shelf thrillers aren’t necessarily going to cross over. But, sadly, even MM readers don’t cross over to FF. I happen to write and read and like both so I guess my comfort zone is the size of Manhattan.

What’s your comfort zone? Do you read one type of romance only? MF? MM? MMF? FF? Or do you read all kinds like me?

Next week, I’ll do a giveaway for one of the books I nabbed.

Gay romance rocks!