Diverse Reader is thrilled to have author Noah Steele here today! Great post ahead and there's also an awesome giveaway. So, be sure to hang out and enjoy!
Hi everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe through the panic of COVID-19. With so many people around the world self-isolating and feeling the effects of the pandemic, I’ve been wrestling with what to share with all of you today. A post about how being overly realistic in romance isn’t super important? A reflection on my first year as a gay author writing gay love stories? Nothing has felt like the right thing to share! So instead, I thought I’d tell you a little about me and why I gravitated toward writing low-angst gay romance.
I feel like I don’t need to tell you that even in a progressive city like my hometown of Toronto, it’s not easy to navigate life as part of the LGBTQ+ community (and as someone who benefits from white male privilege, I recognize I still have it easier than others). Before I’d even considered writing romance for a living, I was the teen who was asked constantly about my sexuality in the cafeteria, as if others were entitled to know that about me when I was still trying to figure it out for myself. Why did they want to know? Would I be bullied out of school the same way the only out gay student in my grade was before the first semester came to a close? Before writing my first book with a romantic focus, I had to know whether or not romance was something I could experience without being hated for it.
It took years. I was 16 when I came out, and my first date wasn’t until I was almost 18 and already in university—and I was an inexperienced hopeless romantic with lofty ideas of what it meant to be in love. Let’s just say that over the next three years, I learned that real life and romance novels are totally different beasts. As far as realism goes, gay men’s life experiences (sexual or otherwise) are so wildly different, I don’t even know how anyone can decide what is and isn’t realistic enough for a fictional love story.
What I do know is that all of it made me want to focus on building a world where romance can just happen for people like me, because I never had media like that when I needed it. No hate, and no harm for being gay. I met my current boyfriend when I was 20 (it’ll be 11 years together this April, he’s a huge part of what inspires me to keep writing), and as our relationship developed around some tragic circumstances that saw us living together really quickly, I became even more sure that the love stories I wanted to share would be low on hurt and high on joy. Heavy moments happen in real life and on the page, but at least on the page I’d be able to handle them!
I wanted to write books that captured the butterflies of seeing someone and just knowing there was something special to explore. Books full of men who were free to fall in love and express it everywhere on cute dates. Books that proudly display my sexuality as part of who I am rather than an obstacle hanging over my life. And you know what? I’m having a blast, and so are my readers!
Just like the LGBTQ+ community finds our family in the way we support each other, I found a happy family of people sharing swoony, sexy love stories, and every day it grows a little more. Exploring the lives of gay characters working through other kinds of drama has felt like a beautiful release (and I think we can agree that a beautiful release every now and then is pretty great for some of us, LOL) I wouldn’t trade for anything.
So me and my guys will be there for you when you need a pick-me-up from some angstier reads (and there are so many amazing ones by so many talented authors)! I’m a firm believer in creating fiction as escapism, and when you pick up a Noah Steele book, I want it to be a getaway from the woes of reality into a world with a little drama and a lot of heart. <3
Noah Steele is an out and proud gay author based in Toronto, Canada. His debut new adult instalove gay romance series, , is the start of a journey to share stories featuring queer characters getting the happy endings they deserve. He believes that queerness is strength, and the gay men at the heart of his books embody that strength without experiencing queerness as a roadblock to happiness. Like Noah, they're out, proud, and thriving in their whirlwind romantic adventures! When he's not writing, Noah is an avid video gamer and gym-goer.
Website + Newsletter: noahsteele.com
FB Page: facebook.com/booksbynoah
EXCLUSIVE DIVERSE READER GIVEAWAY
I want to know what makes you happy! Do you have a comfort read? A movie that makes you smile for personal reasons? Maybe a memory or a hobby that puts you at ease? Tell me about it in the comments below! FIVE winners will be chosen to pick any one of my currently available books as your prize. <3
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