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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Theme Overkill

So the other week I was shopping around and I start reading the blurbs (because despite spontaneous shopping, I do read the blurbs) and I found the following descriptions in blurbs (no names/authors/publishers) all in one night.

especially not with a married man.

he’s a gay man trapped in a loveless marriage ... Nathan is straight, married, and just about to be a father

Divorced after thirteen years,

the ruggedly handsome and very straight floatplane pilot ... (who was married)

refuses to become involved with a straight man


Wow. So many married men in the closet or GFY. It just seems to be overkill/coincidence that they all showed up at the same time I suppose. I know that often happens when there will be 5 vampire books released at once or even 4 fairy tale movies released the same month.

To be honest, the theme of the married closeted man or even the previously happily married GFY doesn't work for me so much. But I thought it weird that so many married men showed up all at once. I wonder what will be next? Have you noticed any themes in your own shopping? I suppose if I liked it I wouldn't have noted so much perhaps, except for a decreased bank balance. :-)

How I prefer it in my books.









37 comments:

Chris said...

Well, other than stalkers... ;)

I don't think I notice the married/divorced thing as odd, because I think it's not really uncommon for someone to be in denial and try prove it by marrying a woman, etc, then getting divorced later. (For example, my stepbrother...)

Tam said...

It just seemed weird to me that there were 5 or 6 books out in one week and I think the one publisher all their new released had a married or "straight" character. Seems like spreading out the themes would make more sense to maximize your sales. Something for everyone.

I think stalkers have gone down, you just have an unnatural aversion to them. ;-)

Chris said...

I read With Abandon this week, and it had a stalker... making it at least the 2nd book in that series with one...

Chris said...

And after I mentioned that, someone commented that every one of the Brac Pack books has a stalker - those have all come out in the past month or so! Obsessive Adhesives had one, too, didn't it?

Maybe you've just managed to avoid them lately.

Val said...

Very cute photos, especially the guys in that last one!

The only theme I run across with mind-numbing regularity (even though I try to avoid it) is the one where the smug dom finds a guy who, of course, is a NATURAL submissive --- only, of course, he doesn't KNOW it. So he needs to be forced into it for his own fulfillment. Arggggh!

Tam said...

Ah, werewolves like to stalk. LOL Yes, Adhesives had one.

Oh yeah Val, those are baaaaad too. I'm still waiting for some smug dom's self-esteem to be shredded when said "natural" submissive is pushed too far and walks out on him forever. Would be interesting to see him have to re-think his ways. Write that kay?

Val said...

Or maybe, for realism, the supposed "submissive" could just punch him in the face? I mean, really! It would probably help reduce a bit of the obnoxious smugness. :)

Stephani Hecht said...

Love, love, love the pictures!

Jenre said...

I've just read a book with this theme and, yes, I have noticed it cropping up quite a lot just recently. It's taking the GFY theme and adding a complication such as children and a (ex)wife. Sometimes this works for me, and sometimes not.

There are tonnes of shifter books out at the moment. I notice these because I'm not a huge fan of that sub-genre (although I have read some great shifter books). I must have passed at least 3 shifter shorts onto you this week, and then there's the JL Langley out recently. Mind you some readers who like shifter books will be very happy about this :).

Other than that.... not really. There have been a few D/s themed books but I like those so I'm not complaining, LOL!

Tam said...

Ah but if he didn't care for the "sub" already he would just shrug it off. He has to fall in love and THEN be dumped so as to doubt himself Val. See, I have it all planned out. I'm also mean so want him to suffer. :-)

Thanks Stephani. They are "make ya smile" pics.

Tam said...

It does seem to be a trend Jen. Not only are you in the closet and act straight you have to be married and preferably have a kid or two, definitely one with a handicap just to make your life more complicated. Sometimes too complicated is not for me.

I worry that I'll OD on shifters. I don't want to get sick of them by reading too many, so I'm trying to pace myself but it's hard, luckily I can switch between different creatures which helps, not ALL wolves. :-)

Kris said...

I noticed that exact same thing when I was trying to spend money yesterday. Needless to say that I also avoided the theme like the plague. Overkill indeed.

Tam said...

I just hate when it seems like you can only buy one theme in a week. Spread it out people, think when you schedule books so that you get a variety. Oh well, whine whine.

Eyre said...

I noticed the same theme.

The divorced theme doesn't bother me, but I don't like it if the guy is still married when the story begins. I don't like cheaters as the protags in my stories.

Tam said...

Yeah, if he's still married that can be an issue for many readers Eyre. It's just not a theme that appeals to me as a rule.

Lily said...

When I first started reading M/M the unhappily married GFY theme felt strange. However, in the past couple of years I've met 3 couples who met while married to others. They then fell in love with someone of the same sex. From what they've shared only two of the six had previously been interested in same sex partners the other four say they had always been straight. All three couples have been together for several years and are all very happy. In fact I work with two of the couples. Strange as it seemed when I first started reading those stories it really does happen. :)

Tam said...

Wow Lily. Must be something in that Florida water. :-) I'm sure it happens, it just seemed odd to me that week that 2 or 3 publishers had themes with married men (or straight) for soooo many books. Kind of limited my shopping at those publishers that week. Not that I NEED more books. LOL

Chris said...

My stepbrother was married and had three kids when he finally decided to stop living the lie and come out... I don't know if there was someone else, who inspired him to do so.

wren boudreau said...

I think it's a collective unconsciousness thing. Like when a bunch of books with rape at the center seem to appear close together. Or the rancher almost losing the ranch.

*cue creepy music* We're all plugged in, we just don't know it.

Tam said...

I think you're right Wren. Most of the time we are just obliviously going about our business and don't notice something, but once our attention is drawn to it, we see it everywhere.

That must have been difficult Chris, probably a relief though to be true to yourself.

Lily said...

What's even stranger is we all work together. Well, not together, together as there are over 2000 of us at our site in different dept/bldgs. Two of the couples did meet onsite and the third somewhere else.

Eyre said...

I know it happens, and I can't imagine the pain of trying to live as someone you're not. I'd hope someone in that situation would eventually be able to live the life he/she wants and deserves.

I just don't like it when in books the protagonist actually cheats. To me there's a difference between admitting who you are/leaving the marriage and sneaking around behind your spouse's back. I think it takes a lot of courage to tell your family that you can't live with hiding anymore. I can't remember which book I read that cheating situation in, but it did bother me.

Eyre said...

Maybe someone should do a poll to predict what the next collective theme will be. I'd vote for cowboy werewolf orphans.

wren boudreau said...

Vampire bookstore clerks.

Chris said...

Wait, I think I read that one.

Tam said...

There was on recently with a character named Holly. Was he still married to the bitch when he took up with his old friend Eyre? Might have been that one.

Yep, vampire bookstore clerk/owner. I can't find the story now but it was a Halloween short from Torquere with a vamp and an elf on Halloween. I quite enjoyed it. I thought it was Chris Owen but it wasn't. Hmmm. I'll have to search further.

Werewolf cowboy orphans. Not sure about that one.

wren boudreau said...

Clearly, I'm more plugged in to the Global Mind than ya'll.

Tam said...

That's why you're making the big bucks as an author Wren. :-D

I found the book. Chance Meetings by Misa Izanaki.

I'm thinking IF there was a werewolf cowboy orphan, it was Stormy Glenn who wrote it.

Chris said...

Or Joyee Flynn... ;)

Tam said...

You know I don't think I've read anything by that author Chris but I keep seeing her name crop up in the "genre".

Chris said...

I haven't, either, but she seems to put out books as fast as Stormy Glenn.

K. Z. Snow said...

I agree with Chris that this situation is not uncommon in RL, so it really doesn't bother me.

But...there sure do seem to be a lot of queer wolves in Romanceland, and I can't remember ever having enountered any of those in my lifetime.

BTW, I think a gay pack vs. straight pack shifter parody would be hilarious!

Tam said...

It's not that I don't think it SHOULD be a theme, it just seems weird that out of the 1001 tropes out there, 50% of the releases in a week (I'm probably exaggerating) seem to be the same one. More gay vampire booksellers. :-)

I've never ran across any straight wolves either, that have been revealed to me. Ooooooh, maybe I just didn't know it? :-)

Eyre said...

Tam, I can't for the life of me remember the title of the book I read.

I did, however, read Anah Crow's One Real Thing, but I was okay with the married issue in that one. The main character was married during that one, but she was a cheating bitch of a wife. Plus, while Nick kept secrets from her, he didn't physically cheat on her.

Tam said...

I think that was the one I was thinking of Eyre. I know in Shades of Grey he cheated on his girlfriend. They weren't living together but they did have sex, but I don't think they did after he hooked up with the other guy. Not 100% certain but maybe because they weren't married or living together it made a different impression because I loved the book.

Erotic Horizon said...

Yup I did notice this Tam - I just chalk it up to "author bandwagonism"...

Something else will some along in a few weeks. we've had the kids, the pets, the friend of a friend..

M/M fantasy and sci-fi/space opera is picking up speed lets see how much of this theme filters into those sub genre..

:)

Tam said...

It does seem like they lump together or maybe I just notice it, especially if it's not my fave theme. I'm sure I wouldn't have noticed if it was a theme I loved, I would have just snapped up some books happy as a clam. :-)