Welcome to Shae! She is a lovely, lovely lady with a great sense of humor! She’s helped me quite a bit and I adore this gal. Now, she brings her sense of humor to the page and tells us about her Butt Ninjas. Enjoy!
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It’s excellent advice, sure. But it’s not always that simple.
I write gay romance. (Or, to be more precise, and wordier, I write about people falling in love, and so far, the main characters in the original stories I’ve written have been men, not all of whom identify as gay.) Just by virtue of writing in this subgenre, I’m outside the mainstream, even though I write primarily contemporary romance, which is by far the most popular category.
Writing gay romance, in some ways, is the equivalent of writing in many of the other subgenres under the romance umbrella. Paranormal romance, scifi romance, fantasy romance, inspirational romance—all are smaller subgenres with smaller audiences, no matter who they’re written about. By choosing to write anything other than mainstream contemporary (or, in some cases, historical) romance involving heterosexual couples, authors limit their audiences before they even publish a single book.
Is that a bad thing? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on your goals. If you want to hit the big bestseller lists or make piles of money, you’d probably do best to write the kinds of books that are most likely to get you there. If you just want to write what you want to write, then all you need to do is do your best at that. I have a day job that allows me to fall into the latter category. 🙂
Within the gay romance subgenre, two things sell best: contemporary romance, and novels. I’m lucky on the first point, since that’s what I write, but not so much on the second. I’ve published 15 stories in the genre, and only one has been novel length. I write short stories and novellas. That means many of my stories end up in anthologies. It also means they don’t sell nearly as well as novels (and my sales numbers illustrate that vividly).
So why do I keep doing it? Because that’s what I enjoy.
Writing a novel is difficult for me. I’m generally a pantser as a writer, and for shorter stories, that works well. I just sit down with a pretty well thought-out idea and start writing. When things get more complex, though, I need more structure, and that’s a struggle. I’m figuring some things out, but I’m not to the point yet where novels will come easily, and I don’t know if I ever will be.
So when I got a chance to do something different, but still write the story length I like best, I jumped at it. At Outlantacon 2012, I was on a panel with several other authors, and in the course of our discussion, we joked about putting together some of the most ridiculous ideas imaginable into the same book. And thus was born the infamous Butt Pirates in Space.
We had a wonderful time with the anthology. The stories were fun to write, silly and often over the top, and the title was certainly eye-catching. When we met up again last year at Outlantacon for our book launch, we decided we had to do it again. So we recruited some new blood, and then came Butt Ninjas from Hell.
The catch, of course, is that problem with being different. Yes, the book titles are ridiculous. Yes, the stories are funny. (Some aren’t even romance. Gasp!) And as is the case with almost any kind of comedy, some people aren’t going to get the joke. We’ve taken our share of bruises as a result, from people who’ve read the book and from people who haven’t.
But you know what? That’s a risk we all take every time we publish a story. Even the biggest bestsellers and most beloved classics have detractors. Publishing something that’s way off the beaten path is a bigger leap of faith than usual, so if you saw the anthology title and your response was to roll your eyes, that’s okay. We don’t expect everyone to get it. But we’ve had fun putting it together, and we know there are readers who will have just as much fun reading it.
And really, we can’t ask for more than that.
Butt Ninjas from Hell
They move like shadows through the night… when they aren’t tripping over the furniture. Porn stars, holy emissaries, demons, and even just plain humans—ninjas come in all forms and from all kinds of Hell in this erotically charged comedic Wilde City anthology. Whether it’s the world of second-rate television, fluttering ninja stars, obsessions over a bronzy-olive toned soldier, or magic backsides, your authorial guides will take you where few readers have ever dared to go… without protection.
Butt Ninjas from Hell: You’ll Never Hear Them Coming!
Clean Up on Aisle Me! by Shae Connor
Sheathing His Sword by JP Barnaby
Twink Ninja Tiger, Flaxen Buns Of Fury by Kage Alan
Twerk It by Ally Blue
Hell Is Where The Heart Is by Eden Winters
Ninja, Vanish! by Kiernan Kelly
The Soldier And The Vagabond by Jevocas Green
A Ninja Walks Into A Bar by T.C. Blue
Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.
Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com.