I get that readers want to read what they like. Totally. And publishers only want to print what's going to sell. As I see it, though, the problem becomes then -- who pushes the envelope? Who writes that book that encourages the reader to see things from a different perspective, to think outside the box, to understand something beyond their comfort zone? Readers don't often read to be challenged, though. They do it for escapism, or to pretend they're in the story.
Well, I do too... but my escapism stories would have most other readers pissing their pants, I imagine.
I'm not out to change how anyone thinks. Readers aren't required to agree with a word I say, right? It isn't like I have some superhero ability to reach out and flip a switch and change what someone believes.
But readers like their bubbles and their comfort zones. It's why Black was turned away. Not sufficiently marketable, pure and simple. If Hamm gets turned away for similar reasons, it isn't the end of the world. There's a publisher out there for both of them, if Black's current prospect ends up unwilling.
I'm never going to be the writer of contemporary or mainstream or romance. Unless those genres shift their definitions a great deal. I'm fine with that. I write what inspires me, and if it's too strange for most people, well, I know it isn't too strange for everyone. There are closet freaks out there. I'm not crazy.
...Okay, fine. I am crazy. As a loon. But in a good way. Or, it makes for good stories at least. And so long as it does, I'm not even considering treatment. *lol*
So the military science fiction with the gay alien-borderline-bestiality is subbed to the Gun Porn Anthology. My next project is either a short sequel for that one, a speculative/futuristic suitporn cum-fetish slavefic, or an m/m pirate story.
Or perhaps all three at once, if I can manage to get my notes from the past few days transcribed.
I imagine I'm probably a publisher's worst nightmare in terms of authors. I mean, how the hell do you market something that has no clear genre delineation? A story that defies logical labels? It seems those are the only kind I even know how to write anymore.
The only exception might be the Trunk Novel. It evolved from a military speculative fantasy... to acquire a gay romance aspect as well. I think it's better for it, personally, but that's mostly just because I'm incapable of writing within acceptable norms of relational parameters in fiction. Like with my second-year physics class in high school. Fuck the formulas. I know what's happening, and why, and can write you an essay about it, but don't ask me for calculations. (Also, don't ask about my final grade in that course.)