Beyond MM Romance ~ Andrew Q Gordon: Outside the Margins

Join us as Andrew Q Gordon goes Outside the Margins.


Beyond MM Romance

When thinking about my Outside the Margin’s post for this month, I was going to take the easy way out and just do a promotional post for my new books. And while I’ll touch on those in a bit, it might not be the most engaging topic for an entire post. But the ‘new’ release does bring up a ‘new’ topic—non-romance LGBT Fiction.

Like many of my generation—and to avoid admitting I’m old, let’s define ‘my generation’ as those born before the 1990’s—who fell in love with fantasy, our first taste was J.R.R. Tolkien. Once I’d finish every Tolkien book I could find, I scoured the Fantasy/Sci-Fi aisles of the bookstores—which back then meant Waldenbooks or B. Dalton—for my next obsession. By the time I graduated high school, I had hundreds of books. (Think those mass-market paperbacks.) Authors like Anne McCaffrey’s, Patricia McKillip’s, Terry Brook, Michael Moorcock, Roger Zelazny and others filled my books shelves. When my bookcase got too full, it was a struggle deciding which ones to put in a box in the attic.

I never really took to Sci-Fi as well, though I did read Asimov’s Foundation series, Herbert’s Dune, and Clarke’s 2001. I enjoyed quite a few Sci-Fi books, but my first love always pulled me back. Paul O. Williams, Fritz Leiber, Julian May, Andre Norton, Raymond Fiest, David Eddings, new Stephen Donaldson, Melanie Rawn and R. A. Salvatore and so many others battled for space in my already crowd rows and rows of books.

But the only books that had gay/lesbian characters often portrayed them as evil. Robert Adams wrote the Horse Clans novels and regularly vilified gay men—often portraying them as pedophiles. What wonderful examples of LGBT character for young gay men and women to read about.

In the late ’80 I chanced upon the The Last Herald Mage series by Mercedes Lackey and the world—or at least my world—shifted. The main character, Vanyl, was gay. Lackey didn’t call them ‘gay.’ Instead she had a word for it—shay’a’chern—but the effect was the same. Lackey went on to write an entire world where same sex couples were normal. Nothing so perfect as universally accepted, but they were common and shay’a’chern characters weren’t represented as evil.

Before I’d read Magic’s Pawn—Book 1 in the Herald Mage series—I’d been writing my own fantasy novels for a few years. None had seen the light of day, but I wrote them nevertheless. Might all have characters that were like me—gay. Reading published works with gay characters who were not the bad guys, but actually the protagonist gave me hope to keep writing.

Cycle forward a few decades to the present. LGBT characters are not common outside the MM Romance genre, but they are not unheard of anymore either. Finding a home for them, however, is still hard unless you want to self publish them. Yes there is an audience for them, but finding that audience is not easy. So when Dreamspinner Press announced its DSP Publications imprint I was thrilled.

Unlike other same, LGBT publishers, DSP Publications was going to try to take its authors and their books and market them to the book buying world at large. Certainly the largest audience would still be in the MM Romance world, but just as MM Romance is making a push to be part of the general Romance novel world, DSP Publications wants to put books with LGBT characters into the general world of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, Mystery, or Historical Fiction.

I expect this will turn off a few straight book buyers and reviews from those unfriendly types will be less than positive, but overall this is a big step forward. To me, the timing is right. The world as a whole is starting to see that same sex couples aren’t going to destroy the world, the moral fabric of society or bring plague and pestilence upon us all. Well-written books are well-written regardless of the sexual preference of the main characters.

Just as same sex marriage hasn’t been the bane of civilization, I think the world will soon see that reading books with LGBT main characters will be every bit as entertaining as books with heterosexual characters. At least that is my hope.

As I mentioned above, DSP Publications has released two new books from me in the last 3 weeks. First Love is a short free story that takes place ten years before the start of the Champion of the Gods series. You can download it for free from DSP Publications’ website. (It costs .99 cents on Amazon and B&N—go figure that out if you can.)

The Last Grand Master was released this past Tuesday. It is a re-release under the new imprint in advance of Book 2 –The Eye and the Arm that is coming out in April. For those interested, Brandilyn reviewed the book in October 2014. Here is her review:

If you’re a fan of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, Mystery or other non-romance fiction, check out DSP Publications. You’ll probably find more than a few books by some of your favorite MM Romance authors there.


LastGrandMasterTheFS Title: The Last Grand Master
Publisher: DSP Publications
Genre: Fantasy

The Last Grand Master; by Andrew Q. Gordon

Champion of the Gods: Book One – 2nd Edition

In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world. Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost he and Miceral their lives.

Publisher: DSP Publications

DSP Publications
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble

~ Andrew Q Gordon

About Andrew Q Gordon

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog.  In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.

Follow Andrew:
Twitter:  @andrewqgordon
The Last Grand Master:  (Champion of the Gods – Book 1);
Ashes of Life:
A Closed Door:

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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8 thoughts on “Beyond MM Romance ~ Andrew Q Gordon: Outside the Margins

  1. Yes, thank you. I appreciate so much what you say. I haven’t much faith that mainstream readers will embrace m/m relationships, but I’m older and more cynical. It’s a great goal–and if booksellers really make the effort to market m/m (etc) fiction to a wider audience, who knows what might happen? After all, the idea of gay marriage didn’t exist except as a fantasy in 1980 when my career started…

    • Ulysses,

      I think this goes back to that old adage, if you never try you won’t succeed. If you see the interview I did with Lynn West (the Editor in Chief and person running the nuts and bolts of DSP Publications) she touches on how some of the books made it into the mainstream top100 lists on Amazon for their genre. Having read enough MM Romance and Lgbt fiction, I can say there are a LOT of good authors in the genre. Now the world needs to look at them as authors and books and not MM authors or LGBT books. Here’s hoping. 😀

  2. Great post! I am excited to see the new imprint. I hope that this does have the impact it should and I believe it will. I look forward to exploring these books outside the romance genre.

    • Thanks, Allison. I’m hopeful to that this will help move us beyond a niche and into the genre population of books. There’s no reason most books in the niche genre can stack up favorably to those in the general genre. So here’s to getting the word out. 😉

  3. I have the same fantasy bookshelf you do, I think! I found LGBT characters in science fiction. My first love was science fiction, then fantasy. I have not read the Mercedes Lackey books. I should check them out.

  4. Susinok,

    I’ve not read a lot of Sci-Fi, but I don’t recall too many LGBT character portrayed positively (And I’ll be honest, I can’t recall the last Sci-Fi book I read so it’s been a hot minute.) But I vividly remember the negative characters in Fantasy – especially things like the HorseClan series which was post apocalypse Earth. I think for readers of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror, Mystery, etc, they are about to discover a whole new crop of authors to love. I can’t think of any reason other than the LGBT nature of the characters and it does seem to me that the most people don’t care about that so much anymore. (wishful thinking perhaps, but I ‘m going with that. 😀 )

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

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