Now & Forever ABCs (Marcus)

Marcus Lee Jackson

5 February 1996
Discordian (Lapsed)

Marcus is a very flamboyant, and effervescent young man. He loves life, he loves to joke, and he loves confusing people.

He will happily inform anyone who cares to ask, and many who don’t, that yes — in fact — he is just as gay or more so than he acts, especially if the person is an attractive male. He, needless to say, has quite a sense of humour where his sexuality is concerned.

When he isn’t acting like the poster child for why and how Drugs are Bad, he’s a generally quiet and well-read boy. He’s not terribly academic, and his love of reading extends exclusively to fiction, but he reads a wide and eclectic variety of genres, and authors.

Like Lauren he plans to make dancing his career, though unlike her he has little interest in the theory of dance, only in the techniques and as such intends to forego college in favour of auditioning for a career on Broadway or, frankly, any stage that’ll have him.

A bestseller in the making.

#14 in “Hot New Releases” – Lesbian, and #29 in Lesbian fiction overall?!

That’s where Love or Lust is on Amazon’s ranking system as I type this.

According to some, this means that I am a bestseller.  I’m still in the 12k-th slot on Amazon, overall, but … wow.

oh, and for my UK friends?

no14-hnr no29

[Reblog] Sometimes sexuality doesn’t have to matter, it just has to exist.

More words of brilliance from the fair Ms McGuire.

Sometimes sexuality doesn’t have to matter, it just has to exist.

A few months ago, I got an email from a reader who had a question she wanted me to answer. I like questions. If they’re not spoilery for things that haven’t been published yet, I’m generally willing to give them a go. This question, however, stumped me for a little while:

“what is the purpose of Dr. Kellis being gay? It neither adds or subtracts to the story line but is distracting.”

Dr. Kellis was gay because Dr. Kellis was gay. I “met” the character in the same scene that everyone else did, when his husband showed up to try and convince him to leave the lab for a little while. He was a man, he had a husband, he was at minimum bisexual, and for the purposes of the story, he was gay. He was a gay scientist. Since he wasn’t working on gay science (I’m not even sure what that phrase means), it mattered purely in the sense that when he talked about going home, it was to a husband, and not a wife. I honestly never thought about changing it. While everyone in the world is at least somewhat defined by their sexuality—it shapes us throughout our lives, both in the exercising of it and in the existence of it—I’ve never felt like it was the be-all and end-all of human experience.

What weirded me out a little, and still does, is that no one has ever asked me “What is the purpose of Character X being straight?” No one has ever called it “distracting” when Velma has naughty thoughts about Tad, or when Toby blushes because Tybalt is commenting on her clothing. Men and women, women and men, it’s totally normal and invisible, like using “said” in dialog instead of some other, more descriptive word. It’s invisible. But gay people are distracting. (Bisexual people are apparently even more distracting. I’ve had several people write to tell me that a piece of text in Blackout can be read to imply that Buffy and Maggie had sex, and some of them have been less than thrilled when I replied that there was no implication intended: Buffy and Maggie had sex. Repeatedly. Lots of sex. Lovely sex. They enjoyed it a lot, but Maggie took it more seriously than Buffy did, and Buffy wanted to keep things casual, so they broke up. But before they broke up? They had so much sex.)

For the most part, I let my characters tell me what their sexuality is, once it starts to have an impact on their characterization. I don’t write Bob as a gay man and Tom as a straight man and Suzie as a lesbian: I write Bob as a zookeeper and Tom as a ballet teacher and Suzie as a ninja, right up until the moment where they have to interact with someone they’d be attracted to. Sometimes, that’s when they tell me what they’re into. Since this is all in first draft, I can go back later and clean things up, clarify things to add any additional detail that needs to be there, but I almost never tell them “Oh, no, you can’t be gay, it would be distracting. It’s not allowed.”

(The one exception is with characters who are here to go—the ones created to be slaughtered in fifteen pages or less. They’re not all straight, but I have to stop and think long and hard about how I would have felt, as a bisexual teenager, if I had finally, finally encountered an awesome bisexual woman in fiction, only to see her die before she got to be amazing. Sometimes this does result in my reexamining their relationships, as it’s also difficult to really form strong character portraits in fifteen pages or less. Anyone who’s sticking around for more than fifteen pages is fair game.)

Gay people don’t walk around saying “I’d like to have an urban fantasy adventure, I’m gay, I like men/women, let’s go fight a dragon” any more than straight people walk around saying “I’d like to go to space, I’m straight, I like men/women, let’s go steal a rocket.” People is the word that matters here. And yes, being anything other than heterosexual and cis in this world means that you’re going to experience different things, and have some different perspectives, but it doesn’t inform one hundred percent of what you do. I eat pizza the same way my straight friends eat pizza. I watch TV the same way my straight friends watch TV. I chase lizards…well, I chase lizards in a uniquely singleminded and slightly disturbing fashion, but as I’m not a lizardsexual, it has nothing to do with who I do or do not choose to form romantic relationships with.

Dr. Kellis is gay because Dr. Kellis is gay.

He doesn’t need any reason beyond that.

The downside to a series

Oh my, Love or Lust is past the halfway mark in a second draft as revisions and edits get done. I swear if I find one more daft typo I’ll scream.

Anyway, this is the broad sale edit phase polishing up the story. When editor and I are happy with it then copyediting happens. Couple passes to be sure no little ugly comma splices and other grammatical gremlins are still around, then it’s off to the retailers.

The downside is this is absorbing and distracting the mental CPU cycles that might’ve been going to getting over my touch of writer’s block with Ready or Not. No I hadn’t mentioned that yet. Yeah, well, got a bit sick & work got a bit crappier and I’m a little “so … what’s next?”

It’s the worst kind too. I can see all kinda next coming up, but I got to GET THERE! Hmmm … maybe this many chapters in, it’s time to fast forward to school starting and them getting on with sophomore year.