Being me and writing M/M Romance


So as you know, Where I Belong is coming out May 27th from JMS Books, LLC.  (Please forgive the shameless self-promotion) And I’ve run into this weird emotional eddy of how I integrate my writing life as Jae Moran and my “real” life. I’m kinda hoping that writing about it will help me resolve my conflicting feelings, so bear with me.

First, we have to take a short detour into backstory-ville or TMI about your erstwhile author. I’m a bisexual woman and have been in a committed same-sex relationship for almost my entire adult life. My immediate family does everything in their power to ignore both of those facts. Over the years, we have grown comfortable with the purple elephant in the room and they do, in fact, treat my partner, Sunshine Smartypants as she’s known here in the blog, well and with some affection. This is all aided by the fact that they live 3000 miles away and we only see each other once a year or so.

I think they would be more directly accepting if I was actually lesbian and not bi. My mother, in particular, can’t wrap her head around bisexuality as a concept. In the past, she has gazed upon the giant purple elephant and wondered aloud why someone who could have an opposite-sex partner would choose to take what she perceives to be a harder road. Because we generally only have a week together, it’s easier on everyone if I roll my eyes and walk away. For the most part, she accepts Sunshine as part of the family and that’s enough reason not to rock that particular boat.

What does this have to do with my book coming out? I’m proud of Where I Belong and I am gobsmacked that it’s actually going to be published, but I haven’t really told many people in my “real” life. I’ve told a few of our friends and Sunshine has told some her family, much to my dismay. More on that in a minute. But, I haven’t snoopy danced all over Facebook the way I’d like. As I have built this infrastructure around Jae Moran, my social media life has become bifurcated. Facebook is where I keep my “real” life and Twitter is home to Jae Moran. Don’t worry, Jae is the real me, same as always, just maybe a bit less introverted.

Anyway, the more people who know about Where I Belong, the more likely it is that someone will accidentally out me on Facebook and I will have to explain to my family that little old bisexual me writes (relatively) sexually explicit M/M Romance… There is no way people who can’t wrap their head around my being bi will ever reconcile that without a tedious conversation I don’t want to have.

Now, back to Sunshine telling her family about the book. Most of the Smartypants family hear the word “romance”, tepidly congratulate me and move on. Yesterday Sunshine had lunch with her aunt and cousin and told them about the book. She’s proud of me and tells everyone who will listen then shows them the book trailer you guys haven’t seen yet (soon, I promise). Apparently, Sunshine’s aunt and cousin were so excited that they immediately whipped out their phones/tablets and pre-ordered. Sweet, right?  %sigh% The problem with those two is they will actually read it.

And for the record, it’s not the M/M part that vexes me–it’s the sexually explicit part. Having people I know reading the sexually explicit thoughts from inside my head freaks me out. I would feel the same way if I wrote M/F, F/F, or any other combination romance. For a while, I worried it was some latent LGBT-phobia that kept me in the M/M closet, but it’s not. I don’t know if it’s some internal slut shaming or just because I’m uncomfortable talking about sex, which I often am. I blush and stammer a lot. Although, I don’t seem to have any trouble writing about it and letting strangers read it, so buy the book.

Up until Where I Belong was headed for publication, my writing life and my “real” life existed in parallel and the only place they touched was through Sunshine and she’s the most supportive partner a girl could ask for. Suddenly both lives are bumping into one another all over the place making me anxious in a way I don’t quite know how to process. I know that some of this is bleed over from my unsettled feelings about the book actually being published. I’ve been living on the knife-edge between excitement and terror for a while now, and other authors tell me this near panic is perfectly normal, but it doesn’t feel that way yet.

One day soon, I’ll navigate my way through this uncomfortable personal growth and be able to just be open about who I am and what I write, but not quite yet. For now, Sunshine Smartypants is the only one who sees all of me and I can live with that. For now.



Cover Reveal

It’s getting exciting around here!!  LOL. I know it’s not world peace or anything, but I do have my very first cover to show off. Fulfilling a lifelong dream is an occasion to celebrate, so here I sit at my laptop with a glass of champagne and a self-satisfied grin.

Before we get to the actual cover, I want to say a few quick thank yous. To the countless teachers and librarians who encouraged my love of words and never gave me any reason to believe I couldn’t tell a story of my own, thank you. To the late, great Dr. John Cummins, English professor extraordinaire, who pushed me to be better, to give more, and to never be satisfied with good enough, I hope you knew how grateful I was for your advice and attention. And to Sunshine Smartypants, you have been my everything for my entire adult life, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for putting us together in that awful calculus class.

Without further ado,

Where I Belong will be available from JMS-Books

May 27th

Pre-order it HERE

More links soon.



Bestselling author and erstwhile musician Harper Ellison started running from his troubled past before he graduated high school. When his sister tracks him down ten years later, Harper hesitantly agrees to visit the family and small North Carolina community that rejected him when he needed them most.

Life has taught Harper to avoid relationships, but he can’t seem to ignore his attraction to Lucas Rhodes, the buff, blond social worker living on his grandparents’ farm. Lucas quickly becomes an anchor in the maelstrom created by Harper’s homecoming. Together they wade through the grief and loss Harper buried six-feet deep just a few miles from his childhood home.

Choosing to forgive is the only way Harper will ever find peace, but can he learn that lesson before it’s too late?