Fun (and serious) discussion of Kindle Boards, started by Hugh Howey. Whether you should warn readers that your protagonist is gay. I was glad to see that the consensus was whole heartedly NO. Which made me think about The Warden, which I still haven’t finished. Den is in a relationship with his ex-convict slave, but that’s not what the book is about. Categorizing it as male/male would certainly attract readers who like to read that genre. But most male/male novels are romances, which The Warden is decidedly not.
Both the hand slaves novels, particularly the first, include romance, even if it’s not the type most readers are accustomed to. Since the relationship between Cor and Alcot is at the center of the novels, and Cor also has a relationship with his own male slave, labeling the books male/male makes sense. But I seem to be moving further away from that trope, and though I’d originally planned to identify The Warden as male/male, I won’t be doing that.
The Kindle Boards discussion considered whether some readers would be offended to find that there was a male protagonist, and one reply pretty much summed up where that could lead. Besides the usual (foul language, sex . . .), he threw in: “Kissing between people of different races, Cordial interactions between Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and A character who leaves the toilet seat up.”
Seriously, any writer is going to come across readers who are offended by something. Should we try to pre-empt them by apologizing ahead of time? Where would it end?