A reader who enjoyed the paranormal element of my novels has asked if I would consider writing a series that more deeply explores that element while putting aside the queer romance theme. After considerable thought, I’m not of a mind to do that.
The issue is one of queer visibility. When I was a teen, few role-models existed in any medium. Love stories in books were difficult to find in bookshops and practically non-existent in libraries. Gay women in film were depicted as perverted, crazy, suicidal or murderous. Unsurprisingly, they often ended up dead. None of that stopped me from seeing those films, simply to have someone to relate to, no matter how flawed. A lesbian vampire movie? Hey, why not.... better than nothing!
Even now, everyday lesbians leading everyday lives appear rarely in mainstream media. And when they do, I get very excited and lap up whatever is on offer. It’s true, I do become resoundingly bored with unrelenting heterosexuality, and thusly delighted when characters like Caroline and Kate turn up in the British TV series, “Last Tango in Halifax.” You could just about hear the global groan when Kate was killed off in season three. Here we were, enjoying two sane and functional women going about their daily lives with perfectly ordinary worries like career and family, as the vast majority of us actually do – so refreshing. And then Kate, a gay woman of colour, tragically dies. Part of me was not surprised. We’ve come a long way in the last forty years, yet not far enough.
I love writing about women loving women, and will continue to do so. Sure, many more queer books are available now. I hope the genre will continue to grow, improve and develop genuine literary legs that allow it to hike into mainstream media– the more the merrier.