In THE PIRATE WITCH, a winter storm in 1692 blows Alexander MacBeth’s life onto a perilous path when his dying mother pleads for him to survive. Alexander must learn his powers of witchcraft while concealing them from those who want him dead, even as the noble and handsome Crispin Nottingham steals his heart. Forced to flee Massachusetts aboard a pirate ship, Alexander struggles to protect himself from an evil witch while falling in love with the pirate captain. When Crispin, on behalf of His Majesty’s Navy, hunts for their ship, Alexander again confronts a chaos of events and emotions that may very well undermine his mother’s last wish.
I’ve noticed of late a lot of interest by women in male/male love stories? Have you?
Damian: I certainly know that a lot of my readers are women. I don’t know how new it is, though. I would think it’s more accurate to note that it gets more publicity and discussion these days. In a funny way, it’s like straight women are coming out of the closet about their love for gay romance!
So what’s the fascination for women with gay romance?
Damian: I’ve wondered the same thing! (Laughing). But on the surface, it makes sense. I mean, we’ve known for a long time that straight men like, shall we say, lesbian stuff? So why not straight women getting turned on and lost in a story about a couple of guys getting together?
Like a voyeuristic kind of thing?
Damian: Partially. There’s a certain sex appeal that gay men and women like about two men loving each other. So getting lost in a romance about it appeals to them.
Why not just get lost in straight romance, though, if they’re attracted to men? It’s not like they will ever experience the fantasy, right?
Damian: (Laughing again) Hard to say what they’ll ever experience! Or what it may inspire them to do! I’m not going to get into that. But we know that for a lot of women, hanging out with gay guys is more fun. It’s safer, in terms of not dealing with dudes drooling all over you for the night. You can party and dance and let loose without the restrictions or tensions.
In other words, women gain a different sense of security from reading gay romance?
Damian: Yeah, certainly for some that’s it. Others, like I mentioned, just get turned on by it. It runs the gambit, really. The bigger story to me focuses on the fact this audience for gay romance has burgeoned of late. I really think it’s related to women asserting themselves more in the marketplace and society in general. The more women feel liberated to express themselves, to resist conforming to gendered expectations, the more they revel in different forms of entertainment and seek the things that really appeal to them. In this case, it’s gay romance.
It’s different with two guys dating, isn’t it, in terms of the power dynamic?
Damian: Exactly. Two men certainly deal with other crap, like the closet and homophobia and the like. But it strips away the whole tension of dominance and expectations that society has built up around men and women dating. The more we bust those apart, the more freedom everyone has in their relationships and in their choices for escapism. I think that’s also part of the appeal for women in reading gay romance; not just the sex, but the escape from proscribed boundaries and expectations.
Whoa! That went a little academic on me!
Damian: Must be the formal training I had. Sorry! Let’s leave it at this: there’s nothing hotter than two guys getting their groove on. The build up and tension of a gay romance is so totally hot, why wouldn’t it appeal to women? Like one of my best friends says, she thinks the hottest thing is to fantasize about a couple of penises!
And your latest novel, The Pirate Witch, will fulfill this longing for us?
Damian: You bet! Get this: a gay love triangle, and the setting of a pirate ship in the tropics. What could be more romantic?
A little about the author
Damian Serbu lives in Chicagoland with his partner and dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. He is author of The Vampire’s Angel Series (The Vampire’s Angel, The Vampire’s Quest, and The Vampire’s Witch), as well as Dark Sorcerer Threatening, The Pirate Witch, and Secrets in the Attic. Keep up to date with him on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.DamianSerbu.com.