Today I am remembering to post! I was at GayRomLit (a convention/retreat for authors and readers) last week and the preparations pretty much made me forget… just about everything else! But the conference was fantastic. I participated on a panel called Sex in Space with Belinda McBride and Angel Martinez. It was fantastic. Despite going up against a reading by the incredible Damon Suede, we managed to get about 30 attendees (only 3 of which were personally threatened and/or bribed by me to show up). Considering sci-fi is still kind of the red-headed stepchild sub-genre of romance, even in a specialized niche like gay romance, we did pretty well. The three of us have very different styles of writing, different things we considered to be important, different ways of world building, and the audience had plenty of questions. In case you’re interested, I’m on the right, Angel is in the middle and Belinda is on the left.
Now, you may have heard me say I’m a fluffy bunny sci-fi writer. That was readily apparent during the panel. Things like Belinda and Angel basing space travel off real science… I was all “you’ve seen Star Trek… let’s assume space travel happens.” And then there was the discussion about knowing how to pronounce your alien words. Um… nope, not me! Planning? Series or world building bibles? Those are things for other writers. But I will staunchly maintain there’s no wrong way to write. All rules can be bent or broken if the occasion demands 🙂
We had a great time with the panel, and things did get a little rowdy when we actually got to the sex portion of the panel. My books have some fairly explicit sex, and in Alien ‘n’ Outlaw I have some specific physiology that I describe in detail, but also is a lot of fun, in my opinion. We also discussed the need for aliens to be humanoid, or of human descent, because of course, in my opinion, if you’ve got alien lovin’ in your romance, the aliens need to be relatable and boinkable. Possibly the boink factor is more important, because if your alien is a hot mess of tentacles and eats cat poop for breakfast, you’re going to have a harder time selling the hot sex, never mind the relationship. Tentacle porn has its place, but it’s going to take a more skillful writer than me to sell a love story between a human and an alien from Galaxy Quest. But, I do have some more aliens knocking boots in my newest sci-fi, Voodoo ‘n’ Vice, coming from Carina Press in May!