We’re so pleased to welcome author EJ Smyth and the Burning Fall blog tour, book one in the Frankfurt Hot Seasons series. Also be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below for the giveaway details, and enjoy!
Hi there! My name is EJ Smyth and I write MM romance in all forms, from contemporary to fantastical. Today I’d like to talk about how I got started in this genre.
I opened my first MM novel two years ago and was hooked. Even though I’d devoured books all my life and always loved reading romantic tales, I’d become jaded. Every story seemed to follow the same pattern. Boy meets girl, girl acts stupid, girl needs rescuing, girl annoys the crap out of me.
Growing up in a small village in Bavaria, it didn’t bother me. But when I moved away, first to college and then abroad, I realized how much these stories keep us trapped in outdated patterns. And how frankly offensive these stereotypes are to both men and women.
Then one day, I picked up Cut and Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux. I can’t even remember why or who’d recommended it. But I do remember clearly how much I loved reading about two characters who were equals in every sense of the word. Both were hardnosed FBI agents, forced to work together. Throughout the entire book, they fought without giving an inch.
Yet they learned to trust, to rely on each other. The characters were richly drawn, their relationship developed naturally, and boy, the chemistry was off the charts! But this wasn’t just boy meets boy. No, the plot was a well-told murder mystery, with lots of excitement and adventure. Yet it was still a romance. I’d never read anything like it!
This book made something click for me. I had considered myself an ally to the LGBTQ+ community for a while without really knowing how to support my rainbow friends. Sure, I marched and spoke up against homophobia whenever I encountered it. But suddenly I had another option.
I could write about men falling for each other and show that their love is as beautiful as any hetero relationship. And if I managed to get others to read my books, I might be able to change some minds. Isn’t this what this is all about? Slowly changing readers’ perceptions, “normalizing” gay relationships—although I hate that word because gay relationships ARE normal—and showing kids that it’s okay to be different.
The genre is growing, and I’m really excited about that. Sometimes watching the news overwhelms us with its negativity. At times, it seems that religious fanatics run the show. It’s not real, though. We hear them the loudest because they shout the loudest. There is a huge number of straight allies in the US, in the UK, in my home country of Germany, that support the LGBTQ+ community. There are so many people out there that have their backs. And I am proud, as an MM author, to be part of it.
Over to you: why do YOU read MM fiction? What attracts you to the genre?
About the Book
Cover: EJ Smyth
Blurb: Opposites attract, but can they ever work together?
Damien is an ambitious young lawyer. After moving to Germany, he doesn’t expect to feel quite so out of his element. Apart from hating his job, a rumor spreads that he is a homophobe.
To redeem himself, he is put in charge of the firm’s signature event Burning Fall. He has no choice but to hire Yannik, a gorgeous yet unconventional event manager.
But from their first disastrous meeting, everything possible goes wrong.
Can the two men find a way to work together, or will Damien’s career, Yannik’s future, and the most important client event of the year go down in flames?
Find out in this steamy and fun short novel, the first book in Frankfurt Hot Seasons.
About the Author
Hi there! My name is EJ Smyth, I live in Frankfurt, Germany and I’m passionate about romance. Not luffy-duffy romance, but stories with other elements mixed in. Paranormal romance, romantic thrillers, gay romance, if it’s got two difficult characters finding each other, I’m on board!
I write at my living room table, usually covered with folded laundry because I couldn’t be bothered to tidy before sitting down. And my kids are teenagers, so not much help there either <eye roll>. I do love having them around and I’ve gotten used to writing with a background noise of Grand Theft Auto and teenage histrionics. Maybe that’s why I prefer writing action scenes over descriptive settings! Except for the 18+ scenes which I have to write in a separate room, because, well, embarrassing…
I’m currently working on a series of short stories Keith is Awesome about a young man exploring his sexuality. Not something I’ve ever written before but the research alone was quite a bit of fun Check out my Pinterest account to see my inspiration. I love to talk to my readers, online and offline, so please feel free to drop me a line!
Follow the Tour
August 27 – The Blogger Girls, Xtreme Delusions, August 30 – Joyfully Jay, August 31 – Cupcakes & Bookshelves, The Novel Approach, September 1 – Bayou Book Junkie, September 3 – Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, Lelyana’s Reviews, September 4 – Love Bytes, September 5 – Book Review By Virginia Lee, September 6 – Gay Book Reviews