Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Suzanne Brockmann's gay plot line

Expand Messages
  • Joseph L Murray
    Hi people, I need help, desperately! My sister is an absolute sweetheart and she is the most supportive person in the world, a true mother earth, etc. For
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 30, 2008
      Hi people,
      I need help, desperately! My sister is an absolute sweetheart and she is
      the most supportive person in the world, a true mother earth, etc. For
      example, she knew that I was gay even before I did (she was 14, I was 16).
      (She and I live in different cities, I see her usually once a year.)
      Trouble is, she is absolutely besotted with the work of this
      "romance action" genre writer named Suzanne Brockmann. Brockmann has
      had a longtime supporting gay character in her novels named Jules who has
      always been unlucky in love. Not only has she featured a gay character in
      her books, but Brockmann also has a gay son, has been very active in the
      "keep gay marriage legal movement in Mass." movement, and is an ardent,
      card-carrying PFLAAGer (to non-USA audience: Parents and Friends
      of Lesbians And Gays).
      Brockmann has a discussion list similar to this one apparently,
      and does go on it from time to time, but doesn't live there, like the
      goddess does on ours. Also, this woman sells enormous numbers (like NYT
      bestseller list) of books so probably can't be expected to give her
      readers the kind of individual love we get from Lynn. My sister is on the
      list, but has only had a couple of very casual contacts with the author
      over the years.
      So, Brockmann (SB), in her last full-length novel, "Hot Shot"
      started a plotline of Jules falling in love with Robin, a closeted
      Hollywood actor. Then, there was a novella for Xmas this year, "All
      Through the Night," where Jules and Robin finally plan to get married.
      My sister sent away for the "autographed hardcover edition" and
      received a book back with a rather astonishing personalized dedication
      (sorry, can't remember the exact words and my erm, copy, is at home....)
      which went something like, "For Diana, and the great love she has shown
      over the years for her brother Joe and his amazing partner Tim......"
      Like, even if SB does keep files somewhere on her readers, it was
      truly quite the personal touch and quite moving. (esp. so as I have been
      with the same man for most of the last 37 years).
      So, Diana sends me copies of the books, along with the
      dedication, and a note begging me to read them (in sequence). And, TMI-she
      also told me she's into slash now including names of websites.

      Here's my dilemma:
      I picked up the second book (where the gay guys get
      married) and it was way worse than horrible. I couldn't get past the first
      couple of pages: no man, or gay man, thinks or says any of the words that
      SB puts in their minds/mouths. I mean, it is truly heinous. These books are
      just dreadful pieces of sh..i mean, crap. My partner is actually forcing
      himself to read them because he at least is really into mysteries--but not
      only can I not read them, I can't even find a kind word to say, other than
      nice dedication (nor can Tim, the writing is just ludicrous, on way too
      many levels).

      My apologies for the rant....I really am looking for some nice way to
      tell--or not tell--my sister that her taste sucks, that no man or gay man
      has ever thought or spoken like her heroes, and that her fave writer is
      utterly untalented and insipid...can you help? any advice?

      Joe in Buffalo

      (if you feel this belongs offlist, here's my private address:
      <JLM@...>
    • Ashley Reale
      That was an interesting and, I think, relevant rant if you will. I have read several mainstream gay books and novels, some by straight women and some by gay
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 30, 2008
        That was an interesting and, I think, relevant 'rant' if you will. I have
        read several mainstream gay books and novels, some by straight women and
        some by gay men. Each author puts his or her own spin on things, and with
        Lynn's books where in Tobin's era same sex relationships were not as
        tolereated as in Seregil's or in the Matelots series. There are good and bad
        stories and authors, just like in mainstream novels. Each person has their
        own preferences, and although I have not read any SB books, I have rather a
        similar situation with J.L Langley's Without Reservations.
        I doubt that many people say "Okey dokey" anymore, besides on Donna Reed.
        The dialouge had problems, I think she was trying to make it more 'real' and
        in the process made it hokey. Her rather simplistic writing detracts from
        a good premise, her too improbable and coincidental story just didn't make
        sense. Her sex scenes were good, but it's flaws detract from the good
        points.
        I will admit that I have read it several times, and will read her other
        books that are coming out, but I can only say that they are good, not great.
        I think that she has the drive and potential and her intentions are to
        give us entertaining books with substance, but she is not reaching that
        goal.
      • Mary Lockerbie
        The way I see things is this - people (men or women) who write gay fiction/gay characters are actually writing for two different audiences - one is gay men
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 30, 2008
          The way I see things is this - people (men or women) who write gay
          fiction/gay characters are actually writing for two different audiences -
          one is gay men themselves, and one is the women who love reading about gay
          men. Really good authors (ahem, Lynn) can appeal to both . . . but for the
          most part, the gay fiction out there that appeals to one audience, is
          quite likely not going to appeal to the other, and, I think, the stuff
          written by women for women is just not going to be the kind of stuff that
          many gay men find enjoyable, realistic or even readable. I've just had a
          short story come out through an e-book publisher, but I don't kid myself
          that the way the men in it act or speak is actually the way that many (or
          all) gay men would act or speak. But it makes me happy, and hopefully,
          will appeal to my particular audience - straight women with a penchant for
          reading about gay men.

          (Out of interest, I have a straight male friend who ocassionally reads my
          stuff, and he also sometimes looks at me oddly at the way the men come
          across . . . but he agrees I pretty much know my audience).

          My two cents! You may hate this author, but I guarentee that the women who
          read her are going all gooey over what she writes. And lets face it, we
          can't all write as well as Lynn <gratuitous praise inserted in an attempt
          to keep on topic a little>

          Mere (long absent but still reading the list)

          > Here's my dilemma:
          > I picked up the second book (where the gay guys get
          > married) and it was way worse than horrible. I couldn't get past the first
          > couple of pages: no man, or gay man, thinks or says any of the words that
          > SB puts in their minds/mouths. I mean, it is truly heinous. These books
          > are
          > just dreadful pieces of sh..i mean, crap. My partner is actually forcing
          > himself to read them because he at least is really into mysteries--but not
          > only can I not read them, I can't even find a kind word to say, other than
          > nice dedication (nor can Tim, the writing is just ludicrous, on way too
          > many levels).
          >
          > My apologies for the rant....I really am looking for some nice way to
          > tell--or not tell--my sister that her taste sucks, that no man or gay man
          > has ever thought or spoken like her heroes, and that her fave writer is
          > utterly untalented and insipid...can you help? any advice?
          >
          > Joe in Buffalo
          >
          > (if you feel this belongs offlist, here's my private address:
          > <JLM@...>
          >
          >
        • Teri Pettit
          I ve never read any of Suzanne Brockmann s books (nor any novels at all that are specifically marketed as romances, for all that goes), but I do say okey
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 30, 2008
            I've never read any of Suzanne Brockmann's books (nor any novels at all that
            are specifically marketed as romances, for all that goes), but I do say
            "okey dokey". :)


            On 1/30/08 4:07 PM, "Ashley Reale" <honour_huston@...> wrote:

            > I doubt that many people say "Okey dokey" anymore, besides on Donna Reed.
          • lynn_flewelling
            -Hey Joe! How s the house rennovation coming? If it were me, I d just say, Thanks for sharing those with me. And if she pushes for more, just say Well,
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 30, 2008
              -Hey Joe! How's the house rennovation coming?

              If it were me, I'd just say, "Thanks for sharing those with me." And if she pushes for more,
              just say "Well, they weren't quite to my taste, and I couldn't really connect with her gay
              characters, but I'm glad you enjoyed them so much!"

              Or, to paraphrase a priest we knew who would say, when presented by proud parents with
              a really ugly baby, "Now THAT'S a baby!" You could say, "That was quite a read."

              :-)

              (PS I finally found a Buddhist meditation group! Only had to move across country to do it.)





              -- In Flewelling@yahoogroups.com, Joseph L Murray <jlm@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi people,
              > I need help, desperately! My sister is an absolute sweetheart and she is
              > the most supportive person in the world, a true mother earth, etc. For
              > example, she knew that I was gay even before I did (she was 14, I was 16).
              > (She and I live in different cities, I see her usually once a year.)
              > Trouble is, she is absolutely besotted with the work of this
              > "romance action" genre writer named Suzanne Brockmann. Brockmann has
              > had a longtime supporting gay character in her novels named Jules who has
              > always been unlucky in love. Not only has she featured a gay character in
              > her books, but Brockmann also has a gay son, has been very active in the
              > "keep gay marriage legal movement in Mass." movement, and is an ardent,
              > card-carrying PFLAAGer (to non-USA audience: Parents and Friends
              > of Lesbians And Gays).
              > Brockmann has a discussion list similar to this one apparently,
              > and does go on it from time to time, but doesn't live there, like the
              > goddess does on ours. Also, this woman sells enormous numbers (like NYT
              > bestseller list) of books so probably can't be expected to give her
              > readers the kind of individual love we get from Lynn. My sister is on the
              > list, but has only had a couple of very casual contacts with the author
              > over the years.
              > So, Brockmann (SB), in her last full-length novel, "Hot Shot"
              > started a plotline of Jules falling in love with Robin, a closeted
              > Hollywood actor. Then, there was a novella for Xmas this year, "All
              > Through the Night," where Jules and Robin finally plan to get married.
              > My sister sent away for the "autographed hardcover edition" and
              > received a book back with a rather astonishing personalized dedication
              > (sorry, can't remember the exact words and my erm, copy, is at home....)
              > which went something like, "For Diana, and the great love she has shown
              > over the years for her brother Joe and his amazing partner Tim......"
              > Like, even if SB does keep files somewhere on her readers, it was
              > truly quite the personal touch and quite moving. (esp. so as I have been
              > with the same man for most of the last 37 years).
              > So, Diana sends me copies of the books, along with the
              > dedication, and a note begging me to read them (in sequence). And, TMI-she
              > also told me she's into slash now including names of websites.
              >
              > Here's my dilemma:
              > I picked up the second book (where the gay guys get
              > married) and it was way worse than horrible. I couldn't get past the first
              > couple of pages: no man, or gay man, thinks or says any of the words that
              > SB puts in their minds/mouths. I mean, it is truly heinous. These books are
              > just dreadful pieces of sh..i mean, crap. My partner is actually forcing
              > himself to read them because he at least is really into mysteries--but not
              > only can I not read them, I can't even find a kind word to say, other than
              > nice dedication (nor can Tim, the writing is just ludicrous, on way too
              > many levels).
              >
              > My apologies for the rant....I really am looking for some nice way to
              > tell--or not tell--my sister that her taste sucks, that no man or gay man
              > has ever thought or spoken like her heroes, and that her fave writer is
              > utterly untalented and insipid...can you help? any advice?
              >
              > Joe in Buffalo
              >
              > (if you feel this belongs offlist, here's my private address:
              > <JLM@...>
              >
            • lynn_flewelling
              ... Gratuitous praise welcome. LOL I think you are on the mark about this. At the time that I was creating my characters (1980s), this whole women writing
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 30, 2008
                --- In Flewelling@yahoogroups.com, "Mary Lockerbie" <mlockerbie@...> wrote:
                >
                > The way I see things is this - people (men or women) who write gay
                > fiction/gay characters are actually writing for two different audiences -
                > one is gay men themselves, and one is the women who love reading about gay
                > men. Really good authors (ahem, Lynn) can appeal to both . . . but for the
                > most part, the gay fiction out there that appeals to one audience, is
                > quite likely not going to appeal to the other, and, I think, the stuff
                > written by women for women is just not going to be the kind of stuff that
                > many gay men find enjoyable, realistic or even readable. I've just had a
                > short story come out through an e-book publisher, but I don't kid myself
                > that the way the men in it act or speak is actually the way that many (or
                > all) gay men would act or speak. But it makes me happy, and hopefully,
                > will appeal to my particular audience - straight women with a penchant for
                > reading about gay men.
                >
                > (Out of interest, I have a straight male friend who ocassionally reads my
                > stuff, and he also sometimes looks at me oddly at the way the men come
                > across . . . but he agrees I pretty much know my audience).
                >
                > My two cents! You may hate this author, but I guarentee that the women who
                > read her are going all gooey over what she writes. And lets face it, we
                > can't all write as well as Lynn <gratuitous praise inserted in an attempt
                > to keep on topic a little>


                Gratuitous praise welcome. LOL

                I think you are on the mark about this. At the time that I was creating my characters
                (1980s), this whole "women writing 'gay' romance" market wasn't there, or at least I didn't
                know about it. The closest I can come were the books of Mary Renault, but she was trying
                to write about real people and real relationships. I learned a lot from her books. I think
                they made me brave enough to attempt what I did.

                One problem I see with some of the woman generated/woman read gay romance is that
                the men seem like proxies for women. They can be a fun read, but there doesn't seem to
                be an attempt to really get inside a man's head.

                I don't claim to be perfect at it, either, but I can say that I really *try* to create believable
                men, rather than women without breasts. I talk to men, gay and straight, and have male
                critique readers who are quick to say "Guys wouldn't say/do that." I'm sure there are gay
                readers who don't connect with my characters, but I'm glad I've had some good feedback
                over the years.
              • HBrown9628@aol.com
                Lol sounds like the novels a friend of mine sent me many years ago. What I got were two hundred page epics of male domesticity. I was turning the pages
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 30, 2008
                  Lol sounds like the novels a friend of mine sent me many years ago.

                  What I got were two hundred page epics of male domesticity. I was turning
                  the pages going where's the plot if I read another page discussing what
                  they're going to order out to eat or decorate the dratted house I'm going to scream
                  or even worse discussing their feelings, the odd comment, fine but this was
                  over and over and over, arrrggh. I think the plot consisted of them eating in
                  the kitchen, argueing, getting together, eating, arguing, falling out,
                  eating, the one leaving, making up, eating, more food the end.

                  I think you got off lightly lol if yours had some semblance of a plot.

                  Just say thank you to your sister and you appreciate the thought, if you
                  want to be honest just say the writing style or particular genre isn't your kind
                  of thing, but if she likes them leave out how bad you think they are, what
                  one person likes another doesn't.














                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • lynn_flewelling
                  ... Heh! I call those picking out curtains stories.
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 31, 2008
                    --- In Flewelling@yahoogroups.com, HBrown9628@... wrote:
                    >
                    > Lol sounds like the novels a friend of mine sent me many years ago.
                    >
                    > What I got were two hundred page epics of male domesticity. I was turning
                    > the pages going where's the plot if I read another page discussing what
                    > they're going to order out to eat or decorate the dratted house I'm going to scream


                    Heh! I call those "picking out curtains" stories.
                  • Jessica Fisher
                    For the record, I don t think I ve ever read a novel that s categorized as romance that hasn t been full of ridiculous writing. That s not to say there
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 31, 2008
                      For the record, I don't think I've ever read a novel that's categorized as
                      "romance" that hasn't been full of ridiculous writing. That's not to say
                      there isn't ridiculous writing in other genres too, but just that romance
                      novels are especially bad offenders. Why? Because IMO 90% of the time the
                      plot and characters are just filler, because the real purpose of the book is
                      to write titillating sex scenes between physically attractive people. If
                      the book was about more than just sex, and the sex was a side item, it
                      wouldn't be on the romance shelf in the bookstore. Women don't read romance
                      novels for the plot the same way people don't watch pornography for the
                      plot.

                      Some authors who are well-regarded on other genres have also delved into the
                      "trashy romance" area, at least in my opinion. For example, Laurell K.
                      Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Not only does it all strike me as poorly
                      concealed trashy romance, but it also strikes me as a self-insertion/Mary
                      Sue, which completely turns me off from the series. Several of Mercedes
                      Lackey's books also go a little too far in the gratuitous sex/trashy romance
                      area for me as well.

                      I guess what I am trying to say is there's no need to tell your sister her
                      taste sucks. She already knows she's not reading Nobel Prize-winning
                      literature as soon as she picks up the book from the romance shelf.

                      Jessica
                      PS - I don't mean offense to people who read romance novels -- I don't think
                      there's anything wrong with reading them, I just think we need to be honest
                      about WHY we read them and what their niche is.


                      On 1/30/08, Joseph L Murray <jlm@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi people,
                      > I need help, desperately! My sister is an absolute sweetheart and she is
                      > the most supportive person in the world, a true mother earth, etc. For
                      > example, she knew that I was gay even before I did (she was 14, I was 16).
                      > (She and I live in different cities, I see her usually once a year.)
                      > Trouble is, she is absolutely besotted with the work of this
                      > "romance action" genre writer named Suzanne Brockmann. Brockmann has
                      > had a longtime supporting gay character in her novels named Jules who has
                      > always been unlucky in love. Not only has she featured a gay character in
                      > her books, but Brockmann also has a gay son, has been very active in the
                      > "keep gay marriage legal movement in Mass." movement, and is an ardent,
                      > card-carrying PFLAAGer (to non-USA audience: Parents and Friends
                      > of Lesbians And Gays).
                      > Brockmann has a discussion list similar to this one apparently,
                      > and does go on it from time to time, but doesn't live there, like the
                      > goddess does on ours. Also, this woman sells enormous numbers (like NYT
                      > bestseller list) of books so probably can't be expected to give her
                      > readers the kind of individual love we get from Lynn. My sister is on the
                      > list, but has only had a couple of very casual contacts with the author
                      > over the years.
                      > So, Brockmann (SB), in her last full-length novel, "Hot Shot"
                      > started a plotline of Jules falling in love with Robin, a closeted
                      > Hollywood actor. Then, there was a novella for Xmas this year, "All
                      > Through the Night," where Jules and Robin finally plan to get married.
                      > My sister sent away for the "autographed hardcover edition" and
                      > received a book back with a rather astonishing personalized dedication
                      > (sorry, can't remember the exact words and my erm, copy, is at home....)
                      > which went something like, "For Diana, and the great love she has shown
                      > over the years for her brother Joe and his amazing partner Tim......"
                      > Like, even if SB does keep files somewhere on her readers, it was
                      > truly quite the personal touch and quite moving. (esp. so as I have been
                      > with the same man for most of the last 37 years).
                      > So, Diana sends me copies of the books, along with the
                      > dedication, and a note begging me to read them (in sequence). And, TMI-she
                      >
                      > also told me she's into slash now including names of websites.
                      >
                      > Here's my dilemma:
                      > I picked up the second book (where the gay guys get
                      > married) and it was way worse than horrible. I couldn't get past the first
                      > couple of pages: no man, or gay man, thinks or says any of the words that
                      > SB puts in their minds/mouths. I mean, it is truly heinous. These books
                      > are
                      > just dreadful pieces of sh..i mean, crap. My partner is actually forcing
                      > himself to read them because he at least is really into mysteries--but not
                      >
                      > only can I not read them, I can't even find a kind word to say, other than
                      >
                      > nice dedication (nor can Tim, the writing is just ludicrous, on way too
                      > many levels).
                      >
                      > My apologies for the rant....I really am looking for some nice way to
                      > tell--or not tell--my sister that her taste sucks, that no man or gay man
                      > has ever thought or spoken like her heroes, and that her fave writer is
                      > utterly untalented and insipid...can you help? any advice?
                      >
                      > Joe in Buffalo
                      >
                      > (if you feel this belongs offlist, here's my private address:
                      > <JLM@... <JLM%40buffalo.edu>>
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • walker_of_the_shadow_path
                      I must say, as someone who reads a fair amount of romance, mainly paranormal or otherwise supernatural, that I don t read anything if I don t find the plot
                      Message 10 of 11 , Feb 2, 2008
                        I must say, as someone who reads a fair amount of romance, mainly
                        paranormal or otherwise supernatural, that I don't read anything if I
                        don't find the plot line interesting.

                        I don't kid myself that the romances are anything more than brain
                        candy (and there's nothing wrong with that, lol) but it does need an
                        actual plot :)

                        As for Anita Blake, while I liked her series to start off with I
                        haven't bought anything of hers since Danse Macabre when I got to the
                        end of a hulking great book without having seen any plot whatsoever.
                        And it's soooo not a romance series. Have you seen the reaction of
                        the romance readers and writers (eg on Smart Bitches Trashy Books) to
                        LKH thinking she's writing romance? They were not impressed.


                        > > I really am looking for some nice way to
                        > > tell--or not tell--my sister that her taste sucks, that no man or
                        gay man
                        > > has ever thought or spoken like her heroes, and that her fave
                        writer is
                        > > utterly untalented and insipid...can you help? any advice?
                        > >

                        I'd just say, wow that was really nice of her to autograph it like
                        that but that it wasn't really to your taste. You don't have to tell
                        her you think her taste is terrible, lol.

                        You could always lend her a book you think is more realistic and
                        say 'I thought this was better,' and maybe she'll come round to your
                        way of thinking.
                      • Brenda
                        I think that idea is far nicer. Lend her your book and say here, this book is good to. you might like it of some sort. Sharon Shinn does good romance to (and
                        Message 11 of 11 , Feb 3, 2008
                          I think that idea is far nicer. Lend her your book and say "here, this book is good to. you might like it" of some sort. Sharon Shinn does good romance to (and it has plots!) I recommend any of her books in the samaria world.

                          I'm getting tired of LKH books. I'm about half way though Danse Macabre. I'm not sure if I'm going to finish it. I haven't read it in a few weeks. I can only seem to read one chapter at a time with this book before I get tired of it. I'm not sure if I'm going to read the other series Merry Gentry either. Though at least that's not over done like Anita Blake. I'm just not sure I'm into reading about sex. There's more to a book then reading about characters having sex all the time. (which is one of the reasons I'm tiring of anita blake)

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: walker_of_the_shadow_path
                          To: Flewelling@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2008 11:01 AM
                          Subject: [Flewelling] Re: Suzanne Brockmann's gay plot line


                          I must say, as someone who reads a fair amount of romance, mainly
                          paranormal or otherwise supernatural, that I don't read anything if I
                          don't find the plot line interesting.

                          I don't kid myself that the romances are anything more than brain
                          candy (and there's nothing wrong with that, lol) but it does need an
                          actual plot :)

                          As for Anita Blake, while I liked her series to start off with I
                          haven't bought anything of hers since Danse Macabre when I got to the
                          end of a hulking great book without having seen any plot whatsoever.
                          And it's soooo not a romance series. Have you seen the reaction of
                          the romance readers and writers (eg on Smart Bitches Trashy Books) to
                          LKH thinking she's writing romance? They were not impressed.

                          > > I really am looking for some nice way to
                          > > tell--or not tell--my sister that her taste sucks, that no man or
                          gay man
                          > > has ever thought or spoken like her heroes, and that her fave
                          writer is
                          > > utterly untalented and insipid...can you help? any advice?
                          > >

                          I'd just say, wow that was really nice of her to autograph it like
                          that but that it wasn't really to your taste. You don't have to tell
                          her you think her taste is terrible, lol.

                          You could always lend her a book you think is more realistic and
                          say 'I thought this was better,' and maybe she'll come round to your
                          way of thinking.





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.