A short chat on the topic of GLBT with Jess C Scott, who writes contemporary fiction + poetry.
Sketch by Jess C Scott.
1) How straight are you?
Jess: 65%, 65% of the time.
2) A usually straight writer, writing gay fiction...
Jess: I'll try to keep a long story short. I was aiming to finish my first erotic short story collection by the time I was 25 (I finished it before I turned 23; I'll be 24 soon). I've always found genre fiction in erotica to be quite peculiar (gay fiction targeted just towards gay people, etc). I understand that publishing is a business, but society is never going to progress if stereotypes continue to be perpetuated. With 4:Play, I aimed to "challenge the reader to see sex, and love through a perspective that is more accepting of others' differences whether it's sexual orientation, or just the acceptance of being able to make a choice about who one loves or have sex with" (http://www.examiner.com/x-19118-Charlotte-Erotica-Examiner~y2009m12d6-Erotic-book-review-4-Play). Since no publisher/agent wanted to help me with 4:Play, I decided to help myself and published it in both print and electronic formats last year.
P.S. I think the best thing that ever happened to me was *not* going "the traditional agent->editor->12-18 months" for anything to happen route with publishing. I've a popular post on my main website on Indie versus Traditional Publishing, heh!
3) What has reader response been like?
Jess: I primarily just write things coz I have to get "things" out of my system. So it's nice when a reader appreciates something in the writing/story. And if they don't get it, that's okay.
I deliberately included the bisexual succubus story with The Devilin Fey, the first $0.99 (paranormal romance) novella I plucked out from 4:Play (it covers several genres). I believe people of all sexual orientations (and races, etc) should be equally represented in the mass media. I intend to feature a gay/bisexual character in one of my mainstream series (the best friend of the lead character -- I'll probably feature a lead bisexual character sometime...).
4) What inspired New Order?
Jess: I think somebody made a comment about gays/lesbians...unfortunately, I sometimes don't gather my thoughts quickly enough in real life to shoot a comment, when I should. I wrote some GLBT-themed poems (they're available in the chapter titled Appetizers, in 4:Play), where the focus was on a real type of love/sex/romance (to me, at least). My erotic fiction is never meant to just work up a reader -- I'll always try to add something else in. Mindless physical action isn't erotic, to me.
5) Have you had a direct gay experience?
Jess: My first kiss was with a girl. It was more playful than sexual...
If I were a guy, I definitely wouldn't be 100%-straight (perhaps the same -- 65% straight, 65% of the time?). I'm with Adriana from Tongue-Tied when she says "if you like a person, you like the person, not their genitals."
6) Any final words?
Jess: One of my writing goals is to feature a lead GLBT character, in a mainstream kind of way / in a mainstream novel, sometime in future. In a world where 99% of people were gay, the 1% of straight people would be "non-mainstream" and "alternative" (I believe Yin said something like that in the last story, 4:Play). Stay tuned (give me a few months -- I have LOADS of current projects going on)!