Today’s guest post is simply fantastic.  Ms. Smith helps fill a hole in fiction.  Very few books feature same-sex relationships because the readership for these books if considered to be a niche market.  More authors are interested in aiming for mainstream readership.  Why can’t same-sex couples, who exist as part of our world, be viewed as normally as opposite-sex relationships, and have their love as accepted as any other?  I am very please to have an author in the giveaway who writes these beautiful relationships with the passion she has for them.

Without further adieu, I present to you Adrian J. Smith’s guest post on Strong Women:

I never really knew what I was doing with writing until recently. I’ve always been a writer, at least since I was introduced to the thing when I was twelve years old and read some amazing M/M slash fanfictions of Lord of the Rings. It was also the first time that I was interested in reading. So…when I started writing, I really had no clue what I was doing.

Now that it’s been over ten years—not going to tell you how long exactly because that will give away my age—I only sort of know what I’m doing. There’s a lot that goes into writing that I hadn’t ever expected. Plot, twists, plot, twists, romance, Oh My God, the romance. I hate writing romance.

It’s one of those things where I think that as authors who tend to write non-romantic pieces we think that we’re horrible at it. I can write the sex, and I can make it hot—at least that’s what a lot of readers tell me—but writing the romance and the sexual tension, oh Lordy, give me a chase or a fight scene (verbal or physical) any day of the week.

This is probably why I tend to stick to very action-centered pieces. My first series is all about firefighters. My second series is all about a Sheriff’s Deputy. My third series (which hasn’t really been talked about AT ALL) is about magical creatures that have a really, really bad habit of getting themselves into trouble. See? All action-centered pieces. I tried to write a romance once, let’s just say that aside from those who have seen it, it will never ever see the light of day again. I might even delete the piece from the great wonderful world that is my hard drive.

I do want to talk about one thing though. I should also confess one other thing that I always write. Strong women. And not only strong women, but strong women who are in lesbian relationships. See…that romance thing does get in there a bit. Well, usually they tend to have problems in their romance, but who doesn’t?

I write lesbian fiction, and each of my main characters is one of the strongest women that I have yet to know and would love to know. While they might not necessarily know who they are or where they stand on the personal level, when it comes to work and life in general, they are set to go. The novel that has been entered into the giveaway is my first book, called Forever Burn.

James is the main character, and yes, James is a woman. I like that I have to make that distinction most of the time, and I like that anyone who has read it now thinks James is exactly the perfect name for her and fits her character more than anything. I wanted to make her sound like a guy. Really, I did. I wanted people to be confused and wondering how feminine she was, because she is the more feminine one in the relationship she’s in (which yes, is a lesbian one).

I wanted James to be strong, but I didn’t want to make her masculine. I wanted the initial understanding and vision of her to be that of man, but then I wanted the reader to sink in to the best part about her—how she is a woman, and how she is the best kind of woman. She’s the kind of woman that I want to meet, and she is the kind of woman that I want to represent our gender.

I’m tired of seeing these sexy images of woman who can’t possibly be realistic. I want to see a woman who works hard and gets the job done, someone who isn’t afraid of what she needs to do and is confident in her abilities. I don’t want the women who represent us to be what the majority of us are not. She is what I want to embody women as a whole—faults, strengths and everything in between.

James is simply and foremost that.

-Adrian J. Smith

Alys again: I originally thought James was a man due to the name and felt like a fool for it.  What a relief it was to find out that this author enjoys having to clarify.  I can’t wait to read Forever Burn.  It’s in my every-growing queue.