Men in Sports: Why Are They Almost Non Existent in M/M?

This is my regular Friday post two days early because I have another post on Friday.

I have been wanting to write this post for awhile because, as many of you know, I’m a sports fan (some would say ‘sports fanatic’ or ‘sports slut’ but that would be slander and so WRONG 🙂 ) Baseball is my drug of choice. The reason for this piece is there’s a dearth of sports books in M/M and I don’t understand why, since this sub genre is supposed to be about gay men and we know that men are crazy about sports, straight and gay.

Have you ever tried to get anything done on the day of the Superbowl Game, football’s holy grail? What about last week when hockey fans were going crazy about Game 6 of the Stanley Cup? How about the Baseball World Series, my favourite series? The Masters? As of this writing the final outcome of the NBA Championship had not been determined but most fans will be glued to their televisions on Tuesday night to see if the Boston Celtics will knock the L.A. Lakers off their perch (update: they didn’t so it’s on to game 7). The World Cup of Soccer has just started and will continue for a month – Cup fever has taken hold of sports fans everywhere gay or straight, in the biggest sporting event in the world. I could go on, but I’m sure you get my message. Sports is dominated by men and M/M is supposed to be about men. Why then is there such a lack of M/M books when it comes to the favourite thing for most men and some women – SPORTS?

Do M/M writers not think that gay men play professional and amateur sports? In real life they do and a few of them have been outing themselves after they retired rather than continue to remain silent. John Amaechi, retired NBA player with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz and Orlando Magic, has written a book and decided to ‘out’ himself, and there are many other athletes in professional sports today who are still in the closet. Jason Akermanis, a player for Australia’s Western Bulldogs football club, wishes they would stay there. A few weeks ago he told gay professional athletes to stay closeted since the world wasn’t ready for them. Who made Akermanis an authority on our readiness to embrace gay athletes? While it’s great that some of these athletes are coming out after they retire, it would be a lot more meaningful if a few of the guys would do so while still playing. 

Everyone knows that gay athletes in professional sports are here to stay, so why don’t M/M authors write more stories about them?

It’s a fact that the majority of M/M writers and readers are straight females but it seems that a revolution, albeit a small one, is impacting the demographic of who reads and writes M/M. A poll on this site shows that while female readers continue to dominate at 83%, male readers are now at 14%, and 3% of readers are genderqueer, genderfluid or transgender. According to those who responded to another poll on the site, M/M writers break down as follows: female 73%, male 19%, and genderfluid, genderqueer or transgender make up 8%. So why aren’t there more sports themed M/M books with the increase in writers who are not straight females? Is it because: –

1) Writers still believe that M/M is a woman’s game and women cannot possibly be interested in sports? I’m a woman and I love sports and I know I’m not the only one. Check out professional tennis, golf, the NBA, etc. and you will see that there are highly regarded sports teams made up of women who have both male and female fans, and I’m sure some of them read M/M romances. OR

2) Male writers believe that gay men are neither interested in nor do they play professional sports, therefore they  would not read M/M stories about gay athletes? That is blatantly untrue – most of the gay athletes are in the closet but they are in every professional sports league. Here are a few who declared their sexual orientation after they retired: Don Kopay, former NFL running back; offensive lineman Roy Simmons and defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo; and Glenn Burke an outfielder for the L.A. Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.

Many M/M romances feature stories about stalkers, muggings, hate crimes, extreme homophobia, religious extremists and serial killers, and while these themes are important, frankly some of them are becoming stale and I would welcome a wider range of plots. Of course there other topics such as Gay For You, romances with ‘opposites attract’ themes, mid life crises, and lately a few books have focused on homelessness or health issues,and let’s not forget The Big Misunderstanding, which translated means a lack of communication. Selfishly I’m hoping that this post will result in a few more authors writing stories about sports because there are sports fans everywhere. Of course there are many topics yet to be explored in M/M in addition to sports. Authors should take some risks and push boundaries and who knows, you may garner even more fans. It’s a challenge to move from the old tried and true themes, but think of the rewards of trying something fresh and vibrant with a built-in fan base. 🙂
 
Here are some of my favourite M/M sports books so far:
 
Caught Running by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
The Dreyfus Affair by Peter Lefcourt
The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren
High Line by T.A. Chase
Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy
Out of Bounds by T.A. Chase
Quarterback Sneak by Pepper Espinoza
Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg
Cowboy Up by Mary Winter
Riding Partner by Mary Winter

These are only my favourite sports stories but there are others that are highly regarded including the Roughstock books by B.A. Tortuga which are about the sport of rodeo and Sean Michael’s Going For The Gold series which include Perfect 10 (gymnastics), Personal Best 1, 2 and 3 (swimming), Bases Loaded (baseball) and Making a Splash (swimming).

Are there any M/M authors who are thinking of the plot for their next book? Would a sports themed story be on the horizon? I can only hope. 🙂

Since there are other sports fans who read M/M books and I’m looking for new books to read, I would appreciate it if you would add a few recommendations in the comments section of this post. Thanks.

Sean Kennedy has generously agreed to donate a copy of Tigers & Devils in PDF (because that’s all he has left and I swear there was no arm twisting involved) 🙂 to a lucky person who comments on this post. T.A. Chase, not to be outdone, has also stepped up to the plate and he will be donating a copy of both High Line and Out of Bounds from his Love of Sports series. Thank you Sean and T.A. The fans thank you too. When you comment please indicate your preference for these books in order of priority since we don’t want to give you a book you already have.

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

84 comments

  • Hi there! I know this is sort of off-topic but I needed
    to ask. Does operating a well-established blog such as yours
    require a massive amount work? I’m completely new to running a blog but I do write in my journal every day. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and thoughts online.
    Please let me know if you have any recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring
    bloggers. Appreciate it!

    Reply
  • Hi Wave,
    I have many sports-themed books published. Two were mentioned above but here they are:
    Hanalei Moon and sequel Blue Moon: surfing
    Stolen Magic: Boxing
    Blood Eclipse: Ultimate Fighting
    Fire and Ice and sequel A Hundred Fires (written with Stephani Hecht): Hockey and Boxing
    Coming Soon:
    Hardsex (with DJ Manly) – skateboarding – July 1 eXtasy Books
    The Mediator -boxing – at Total eBound August 13
    Thanks,

    AJ

    Reply
    • Hi A.J

      Thank you so much for commenting and including your current releases and upcoming titles. I’m tryng to start a movement to get more M/M authors to write sports themed books. After all, men and sports are almost inextricably intertwined so I don’t understand why a sub genre that’s supposed to be about men has so few sports books.

      I’ll be posting a list of sports books for those M/M fans who like these stories and I will definitely include yours.

      Reply
  • Can I just say we need more hockey stories? Where are all the Canadian writers and what are they doing? 😉 Seriously, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally over (Congrats Blackhawks! Wasn’t that a crazy Cup-winning goal?! Wow.), but now I have to wait until September for my next fix. (Although I’m planning to purchase Blood on the Ice this weekend, so….)

    I was glad to see someone mentioned one of my new personal heroes, Gareth Thomas. His story and coming out were so incredibly moving and inspirational, as a gay man, that I have a hard time reading about him without getting this huge lump of emotion in my throat. (And he has a bangin’ bod, too!)

    Someone mentioned Justin Fashanu, the soccer player who committed suicide in 1998. That poor man’s experience was a charlie foxtrot of epic proportions, and from what I’ve read, his suicide had less to do with coming out than with being accused of inappropriate conduct with a 17-year-old, something he denied.

    As for the existing books, Tigers and Devils is brilliant–and all that without a single sex scene! (gasp, I know!) I loved Caught Running until the premature end. (Can we get a sequel already, please, ladies?!) The Dreyfus Affair is hysterical, if occasionally disturbing, and a favorite re-read. I enjoyed Out of Pocket. Quarterback Sneak was entertaining, considering how short it was. And after the truly ridiculous way Out of Bounds by TA Chase ended, that author is on my “never again” list. (Sorry to those who enjoy his writing.)

    I’ve noticed several books centering round rodeo, bull riding in particular, but I the ones I’ve read have generally skipped the actual bull riding part in favor of copious amounts of cowboy riding. Fun, but not the same.

    I understand the reluctance to write about what is unknown, especially something so specific as sports (and, yes, I *do* want to know if my left winger found the five hole, got 5 for fighting or finished the game a -2). However, the women writers have managed (for the most part) to overcome the fact that they’ve never had man-on-man sex, so, yeah that argument doesn’t wash. Much. Lots of Ordinary Gay Joes play sports, and I’m sure many would be willing to help with the nuances.

    So I’m definitely seconding Wave’s suggestion here: more sports themed books, please! Especially hockey. *g*

    (Ms Roux – Stop teasing about Ty & Zane! *g* Love the athlete protection angle! When is Fish & Chips due? I’m more than ready for more!)

    Reply
    • .Hi Budajsguy

      >>Can I just say we need more hockey stories? Where are all the Canadian writers and what are they doing? Seriously, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally over (Congrats Blackhawks! Wasn’t that a crazy Cup-winning goal?! Wow.), but now I have to wait until September for my next fix. (Although I’m planning to purchase Blood on the Ice this weekend, so….)< < The Canadian writers are writing 'literature' unfortunately. However you'll enjoy Blood on the Ice because it's so authentic. Simsala said that JM snyder is writing a sports series and I believe one of the books is on hockey so you might want to check out her site. I have also seen a couple of hockey stories but damn if I can remember where - I didn't make a note of them and by the time I was ready to buy them I couldn't remember the names. 🙁 >>Someone mentioned Justin Fashanu, the soccer player who committed suicide in 1998. That poor man’s experience was a charlie foxtrot of epic proportions, and from what I’ve read, his suicide had less to do with coming out than with being accused of inappropriate conduct with a 17-year-old, something he denied.< < This is what I thought because I couldn't imagine that somdeone who had been a professional athlete where there was so much pressure would be overwhelmed by the pressure of just coming out. >>I understand the reluctance to write about what is unknown, especially something so specific as sports< < >>However, the women writers have managed (for the most part) to overcome the fact that they’ve never had man-on-man sex, so, yeah that argument doesn’t wash. Much. Lots of Ordinary Gay Joes play sports, and I’m sure many would be willing to help with the nuances.< < You're so right. Female writers who don't know anything about sports have male friends who can help them with the nuances if they wanted to write a sports themed story or two. There is no excuse! When I want information about what's true about the gay lifestyle I call up my gay friends who set me straight and if I can do it so can an author. >>So I’m definitely seconding Wave’s suggestion here: more sports themed books, please! Especially hockey< < YAY! >>(Ms Roux – Stop teasing about Ty & Zane! *g* Love the athlete protection angle! When is Fish & Chips due? I’m more than ready for more!)< < Abigail has always been a big tease. Fish & Chips is due in the fall I believe

      Reply
  • Wave.
    J.M.Snyders` newest m/m romance Power Play has a plot about a hockey player and a speedskater. The blurb is very interesting, but unfortunately (for you) the novel is very long – 163.215 words 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi simsala

      I was getting ready to pull out my credit card when I realized you forgot to mention the name of the book and the publisher. 🙁 Please post the information in case other readers are also interested.

      Reply
        • I visited J.M.Snyders website.
          She`s writing an ongoing series about gay athletes.Four stories are published.(Hockey,Golf,Soccer(!),Volleyball).Thought I should mention it but I know nothing about the quality of the stories.

          Reply
          • Thanks for the info Simsala. I vaguely remember hearing about these books but I didn’t follow up because I don’t visit this author’s website since she’s hit and miss for me. However, I’ll definitely check into this series.

            Reply
  • As someone who knows absolutely nothing about sports, I agree that sports in M/M stories should be more prevalent.

    I must sadly point out that when gays are portrayed in sports, usually in Hollywood movies, they are in a “wussy” sport. Take Blades of Glory for example; one long gay joke. If Hollywood isn’t taking gay men in sports seriously then it’s no wonder the subject matter is lacking in the book world.

    Then again I remember an episode of Law and Order SVU concerning a football player outed and accused of murdering his lover.

    Reply
    • Hi Kim

      There are many M/M books where guys are wussy. It’s all in the skill of the writer. Many female writers (not all, I hasten to add) seem to feel that male are similar to female characters and treat them as they would a protag in a M/F book. I hate that! When I read a sports oriented book I expect that it will be gritty and that the characters will be MEN.

      I’m hoping that this post will help to bring those writers into the open who have sports ms just waiting in the wings.

      Reply
  • Hi Wave,
    I haven’t read the TA Chase books yet, so please count me in for those. Hi Randy! 😉

    Interesting post as always. And good questions. I agree that part of the reason that there are so few sports related books is probably the author’s lack of knowledge or interest in the subject.

    I think that although a reader wouldn’t expect or want too much detail, it can be hard to sound believable if you know little about sports to being with. In the books that I’ve read, there was enough description to give the feel for the sport, without giving too much as to overwhelm or bore a non-sports minded reader.

    I also think that since the M/M genre was initially being read predominately by women, that most authors and publishers thought that there would not be a market for sports themed books. Wrong again.

    The good news is we have some new books coming up. Thank you Abigail and Maddy!

    Reply
    • Hi T.J.

      >> I agree that part of the reason that there are so few sports related books is probably the author’s lack of knowledge or interest in the subject< < Now that we have more male M/M writers I'm hoping that the number of sports themed books will steadily increase. Sad to say that outside of Abigail and Maddy, Gabrina Garza, Pepper Espinoza, Keira Andrews and a few other writers that other readers have recommended, there are very few sports themed books around. I just don't understand how authors can write what appear to be authentic stories about serial killers, a subject about which they know nothing, and which must have required a considerable amount of research on police procedures, yet they say they can't write authentic stories around sports. How is researching one theme different from the other? >>I also think that since the M/M genre was initially being read predominately by women, that most authors and publishers thought that there would not be a market for sports themed books. Wrong again.< < They must have realized that since M/M books are about gay men that sports would rear it's ugly head at some point. Men like sports, that's a fact. And some women are not far behind. So how were the publishers and authors so short sighted to think that M/M books would replicate het romance except the protagonists would be gay men, and the readers would be satisfied with fluffy sweet romances? I hope that this post sends a wake up call that writing about men is slightly different to writing about women. Some of the target audience may be the same but the protagonists are definitely different.

      Reply
      • Hi Guys

        I have to be offline for a few hours but I will be back to answer the other comments.

        Thanks for all the comments and book recs so far. I really appreciate them.

        Reply
  • This is a pretty timely post for me (and not just because I’ve spent the past week watching the World Cup. I’ll even deign to call it “soccer”, and not “football” 😉 — but that’s part of my point too), because one of my current WIPs is set in the world of English soccer.

    I’ve been a soccer supporter for over twenty years, so knowing the subject isn’t the issue for me. My issue is how much any potential audience knows about the subject, and how much of the `stats` I take for granted as a fan would just be a massive infodump for a reader. Would a reader unfamiliar with the sport even glance at it, and if they did, where do I strike the balance between giving enough information about the set-up without it being too much? Kate also mentioned above that setting a fictional team in an already established world creates its own problems. Team names, stadiums, kits etc., even players themselves, have their own licensing deals. I’m not even certain I’d be permitted to use existing teams these days, even if I wanted to.

    I’ll admit to knowing next to nothing about American sports, but, obviously, that’s where a significant proportion of readers live and those are the sports they’d be familiar with. I joked about it earlier, but what DO I call it, soccer or football? “Football” could confuse the readers, but most of the characters certainly wouldn’t use “soccer”. I wouldn’t use “soccer”, LOL. It’s difficult striking the balance between the flavor of the world and keeping the reader from tuning out thanks to an overload of details they don’t really care about — but details the character would need to know and understand as a given. Maybe a lot of writers feel that it’s a niche-within-a-niche, and that it’s just not going to appeal the way a contemporary, or a paranormal would? And if that’s true of hugely popular US sports, then I don’t know where that leaves soccer!!

    It’s interesting to read comments that readers aren’t keen on the `closeted sports star` trope. Like I said, I’m not familiar with the locker room environment in US sports, but in terms of English soccer, UK gay rights group Stonewall last year described it as “institutionally homophobic”. Homophobic insults at matches are ‘acceptable’ in ways racist chants would never be tolerated these days. Players are routinely told by their managers, agents and publicists that coming out would be career suicide. Literally, potentially. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where an out and accepted gay soccer player is not likely to happen any time soon. To have a character completely unaffected by the possibility of being caught/the implications on his career, life, livelihood of coming out, would be unrealistic. It would be a major part of his life, and would affect a great deal of his decisions/actions. If you want the sports theme in M/M, especially in the more “macho” sports, it’s almost always inextricably intertwined with the fears/doubts of what coming out would mean. Not in all sports, I appreciate that, and I can only speak about those I know, but from the research I’ve done I tend to believe it’s certainly most. Without at least touching on it, you might as well write about a lawyer, a chef, a businessman.

    All the above isn’t putting me off writing the book, though. It’s just making it a little trickier than usual! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Cat

      >>knowing the subject isn’t the issue for me. My issue is how much any potential audience knows about the subject, and how much of the `stats` I take for granted as a fan would just be a massive infodump for a reader< < This is always a problem when an author knows too much about a subject - the book could become an info dump. However, here's where your skill as a writer and your beta reader comes into the picture. It's always difficult to judge your own work so having someone else read it and point out where you're going over the line is always best. Writing about a sport is not the same as talking to your friends who are just as knowledgeable and interested in it and love the stats. Baseball is a game of stats and I love talking to my 'baseball' friends about a pitcher's ERA and whether he would win the Cy Young, but someone who is not into the game could care less. Similarly, in hockey, if the writer talks too much about winning the Stanley Cup the reader might lose interest. This happens with any topic that you write about and some books I read make my eyes glaze over because the author is 'telling' instead of 'showing'. Re your comment about whether soccer or football was the appropriate name of the sport, that doesn't really matter. Check out Tigers and Devils which is about two men in the world of Aussie Rules Footy. There's a lot about football in the book, it's set in Australia which is foreign to US readers, but the story is universal because it's about the two men and how the career of one teeters on the balance, in a world where being gay is not a good thing. In case you haven't read the book here's Kris's review http://www.gaybook.reviews/?p=400 We tease her all the time that she should have rated the book at least 4.75 stars because that's what it deserved, but Kris is a hard taskmaster. 🙂 >>To have a character completely unaffected by the possibility of being caught/the implications on his career, life, livelihood of coming out, would be unrealistic. It would be a major part of his life, and would affect a great deal of his decisions/actions. < < You're correct, but again it comes down to the skill of the writer and whether this is the entire focus of the book. I think that T.A. Chase handled being 'out' somewhat better than most in Out of Bounds but others might disagree. If the entire story is about being 'out' then why bother to write it? I think a story should be about the two characters, and the other stuff, while important in a career ending way, should not be so overwhelming that the rest of the story, including the romance, is reduced to a sideline. An option is to write a story about a former player who is 'out' but is still involved in his sport, so you get the sports background without all the hype of what being out would do to his career. You could have an older star player maybe 35 years of age who is in the final year of his contract and will be retiring from the sport so doesn't give a crap about the media or the other players because he knows he's leaving anyway. The team can't afford to lose him because they are in a pennant race so they just have to suck it up. Those are just two plots that can be used to get away from a story being riddled with the implications of being 'out'. I hope this at least gives you something to think about. 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Jessewave, this is an interesting question. I like stories about athletes too und would like to read more of them. I’m not that much of a sports fan that I follow it religiously, but I always liked hockey and swimming. Swimming maybe for obvious reasons, over 6 feet tall guys with very toned V shaped bodies in very small or nowadays not so small but very tight suits. *g* Here in Europe and maybe the rest of the world (except North America) football = soccer is THE sport. I’m normally not interested in that game, but with the World Cup now in South Africa I am going to watch some of it. (After the games the players take off their sweat-soaked shirts and trade those with shirts of the other teams players, and some of them put them back on, *errr*, okay. Soccer players are not overly muscular but they have toned fit bodies). Since we have gotten access to ESPN via digital TV two years ago I have become a “fan” of football the US kind, nobody was more surprised than myself about that. It took some time until I really understood the game, but now I love it. But I have got to admit, those butts and legs in tight tight pants are not bad to look at either. *g*

    Sports is about competition and dominating the opponent, more or less aggressively according to the kind of sport. And maybe that competing, aggressive, dominating edge is what women (mostly) don’t have in that amount. Plus the fascination for the stats of the last ten years of the favourite team is missing in most women. *g*

    But I think that this aggressiveness attracts me to hockey and football, played by men, but I never would want to be in games like that myself. I like to read about *alpha* guys and the fun as two (or more) of those alpha guys meet and have to arrange their attraction to each other to their own very masculine self perception. That goes also for other professions like the military or power play themes like BDSM.

    As this is my first post here, about me, I am female and since my early teens I was fascinated by the idea of two guys “together” and I read gay fiction for well over two decades now, besides these classics written by women which I love: The Front Runner, The Charioteer and The Catch Trap, I “grew up” with reading John Preston and a lot of gay fiction by male authors. Although I have seen it denied here several times (mostly by female authors?), there IS a difference in the writing by male and female authors and that doesn’t just mean if there is explicit sex or not or the amount of emotional content. It’s often nuances or maybe a kind of intuition by reading stories to recognize this. And I think the less “genre” the story is, the less is the difference.

    Sports is often a group activity, either playing or watching with lots of male bonding (I love the bump jump *g*). Maybe it is difficult for a female author to get those “nuances right”, or maybe it is just about what the reader “expects” the characters to be, what they are attracted to. I read “Caught Running” and liked it, the first half more than the second. After the protagonists became a couple, it seemed to me too much like a “typical romance” with “typical romance characters”, that guy-ish element was somewhat missing. And for me that is often the case reading M/M Romance, as long a there is unresolved tension it is interesting, but after the characters realized and admitted they fell in love, the characters get “too female” for my taste.

    The alpha jock football player / quarterback High School / College guy is some kind of iconic stereotype, but one which kind of pushes the right buttons for me and which I like to read and look for at Nifty, for example, not expecting literature but maybe some fun story – and which are – I suppose – mostly written by male authors.

    One of MY favourite feel-good books is “Northridge High Football Camp” by S. Joseph Krol. I read it for the first time when it was published in 1996 and reread it about four times.
    Until about three years ago I never questioned that the author was male and I thought, the reason for the abbreviation of the first name was, matching “Krol” as a last name it might be some “weird” name like “Stanislas” *g*.
    I hadn’t read the book for several years and with the flood of M/M Romance books in the last few years, with female authors with gender neutral first names, I suddenly wondered, does “S” maybe stand for Susan or Samantha? About two years ago I read the book again, and while reading it I didn’t doubt anymore that the book was written by a male author. Vuch and Vinnie, the protagonists, are two high school seniors, members of the football team. The book is young adult and more or less chaste (especially compared to most female written romances), but those guys are really *guy-ish*, *alpha-guys-in-training teenage boys* and not *girl-ish*.

    So for almost fifteen years I have been waiting for a sequel. By googling I found the announcement by the author that he had written a sequel which he was “shopping around”. That was already several years ago, but as far as I know, a publication didn’t happen yet. So if anyone knows how to contact the author or get the sequel published at least as an e-book, please help. “Northridge High Football Camp” takes place at the ten day football camp before senior year and I would love to get to know what happened to them in senior year. (In real time, the guys in the book should be over thirty now. :O)

    I also liked these books: The Dreyfus Affair, Out of the Pocket and Quarterback Sneak. I bought Tigers and Devils but haven’t read it yet and just last week I bought Alone in the Trenches, the bio by Esera Tuaolo.

    Sports themed books I read which I have not seen mentioned here:

    Northridge High Football Camp by S. Joseph Krol (High School Football) YA ***

    Mahu by Neil S. Plakcy (Kimo is a detective AND surfer) ***

    The Wild Man by Patricia Nell Warren (Bullfighting / Spain) ***

    Changing Pitches by Steve Kluger (Baseball) ***

    Eight Seconds by Jean Ferris (Rodeo) YA ***

    Pins by Jim Provenzano (High School Wrestling) YA ***

    Bad Boys by Diane Wieler (High School Hockey) YA

    A Secret Edge by Robin Reardon (High School Track) YA **

    Tag Team Studs by Clay Caldwell (Wrestling)

    The Lions Den by Larry Howard (College Swimmer)

    Gay Blades by Ben Tyler (Figure Skating) Fluff

    There is also a novel with a basketball player somewhere in my memory, but I can’t remember the title …

    *** recommended,
    the others I can’t really remember

    Reply
    • If you like swimmers Quinn, Sean Michael has the Personal Best books 1-3. A bit on the kinkier side but there is a fair bit about the competitions and Mike practicing and swimming, more than some SM books. It’s one of my favourite of his sports books. He also has the one with the gymnast, a baseball player and a diver. I enjoyed them all because there was quite a bit of info (more than the usual SM but still lots of smexin’) about the sports themselves but not so much that those of us who only follow the sports every 4 years or so at the Olympics couldn’t follow.

      Reply
    • Hi Quinn

      Thanks for a very in-depth comment and that wonderful list of books. I do know a few of them but many are new to me. What a haul – I’ll be spending lots of money to get uptodate with all of these suggestions. If you find any new sports themed books that you can recommend please either leave a comment on this post or email me at jessewave@gmail.com.

      >>I’m not that much of a sports fan that I follow it religiously, but I always liked hockey and swimming. Swimming maybe for obvious reasons, over 6 feet tall guys with very toned V shaped bodies in very small or nowadays not so small but very tight suits. *g*< < I can see why you like sports. I did mentiion the Sean Michael books about swimming in the post and Tam also made a separate comment about them. I hope you get the books. >>But I think that this aggressiveness attracts me to hockey and football, played by men, < < Women do play competitive hockey - the Canadian Women's Hockey team won the gold in the recent Winter Olympics. >>That goes also for other professions like the military or power play themes like BDSM. < < You'll find that there are many M/M fans who like the military and BDSM stories that drop by this site and we review a lot of those stories. I've placed an order for Northridge High Football Camp through an amazon reseller because you love the book. It's not generally available (maybe it's out of print) and it's not an ebook, in case someone else is interested. >>Although I have seen it denied here several times (mostly by female authors?), there IS a difference in the writing by male and female authors and that doesn’t just mean if there is explicit sex or not or the amount of emotional content. It’s often nuances or maybe a kind of intuition by reading stories to recognize this. And I think the less “genre” the story is, the less is the difference.< < I do agree that there are some difference that an experienced reader can spot and it’s not always the emotional content. For example Mr. Benson by John Preston is not the usual run-of-the-mill BDSM book that I would expect to find at Loose Id because it’s quite gritty and the details may be disturbing to some female readers, but I found the book fascinating. You should read Tigers and Devils because it’s a wonderful M/M book that’s not focused on sex. Thanks again for the recs. I’m forever in your debt and I hope you’ll continue to visit the site.

      Reply
    • To Quinn:

      Once in awhile when I have nothing to do, i Google my book to see if anything new has been happening with it. I am the author of ‘Northridge High Football Camp’, a book you mentioned in your post. And yes, I am a GUY. LOL. Regarding my name, my first name is Steve, but I don’t go by that. I go by Joey. So I thought ‘S. Joseph’ just worked better. Thank you for your kind remarks about ‘Northridge’. Your post was over a year and a half ago, so you might not even see this reply. I did write a sequel to it, right after the book came out in 1996. My publisher went belly-up and it was not possible to publish the sequel, although it sets in a box in my basement in manuscript form and ready to go should interest in ‘Northridge’ take off in the future. By the way, I never made of point of mentioning how to pronounce the name ‘Vuch’ and when I meet people who have read it and they mispronounce it it drives me batshit. It is ‘Vooch’ (rhymes with Mooch), not ‘Vutch’. I thought it was obvious,his last name is Carvucchio, but I guess I should have mentioned the pronunciation when the character is introduced. The fact you have read it multiple times and regard it as a ‘feel-good’ book really touches me. Thank you. I wrote it as a romance with a real locker room dialogue to it. Some have complained there wasn’t really any sex in the book. I did this on purpose, and followed-up with sex between Vinnie and Vuch in the sequel. By the way, I wrote the book thinking of a kinda middle-aged gay reader and was floored when it came out and the publisher had put it in the ‘young adult’ category. True story, the Boston Public Library (where I live) purchased 3 copies. One for the adult section and 2 for the ‘Youth Room’. I checked on it every few months to see if anyone had checked them out. The 2 in the Youth section remained unread for a good year before I guess someone read the book and freaked out. Then all 3 copies went over to the adult section! Thanks for your fondness of ‘Northridge’, it was my baby as I wrote it, and I love to hear from people who have read it.

      My best,
      Joey Krol
      GymTrainerJOEY@gmail.com

      Reply
  • Wave, I sort of love you. If I’d known you were broaching this subject I would gladly have offered up a copy of Caught Running!

    Sports, baseball in particular, have always been a huge part of my life and I know I’m not the only writer out there like me. I grew up on baseball. I coach softball and volleyball. If I hadn’t ruined my shoulder, I’d still be playing instead of writing! Baseball and football season, you can’t drag me away from a broadcast. Braves and Panthers, baby! I am literally sitting here right now watching the Braves and Rays game.

    As for why there aren’t more, I don’t know. I will offer one problem I have seen as an author. It’s obvious when a writer knows about the sport. They use the lingo, they know the ins and outs, they know what they’re talking about. Like the commenter who mentioned the lack of stats in a baseball sotry. It’s glaring when the author doesn’t know what they’re talking about. So that excludes quite a few writers right there. I would never tackle something like a rugby story, or a tennis story. I just don’t know enough about the games.

    But the few who can, it’s apparent. And as a reader, if you know what they’re talking about, it’s all good. The problem comes when you try to balance, as a writer, the ability to tell the story and explain the game smoothly and competently without losing a reader who has no clue.

    Because some readers really have no clue. After Caught Running was released, I got a letter from an English reader asking what baseball was and berating me for using such an obscure and confusing game as a backdrop. Seriously. Obscure.

    As for other reasons, I have no clue. That has been the daunting thing for me, trying to balance between too much description of a game I know way too much about, and not enough. That and a decent plot.

    I can answer your last question, about writers having plans for sports-themed books in the future. I’ve got a baseball story about 3/4 written. It still needs work, and I’ve been wrestling with the question of whether to change the names of Major League clubs or deal with getting permission to use the real names. I’ve also got, count them, four other baseball-themed plots lined up in various forms of doable. And (Maddy will kill me if she sees this) we have plans for Ty and Zane from the Cut & Run series to get tangled up with protecting a pro sports figure in the future, so it would sort of be a sports-themed book.

    I just need time to write them.

    Reply
    • Abigail……….. “And (Maddy will kill me if she sees this) we have plans for Ty and Zane from the Cut & Run series to get tangled up with protecting a pro sports figure in the future, so it would sort of be a sports-themed book.”

      Swe-e-e-t!

      Reply
    • Hi again Abigail

      Fancy meeting you here. Does your writing partner know that you have sneaked off to talk sports.? 🙂

      >>Wave, I sort of love you. If I’d known you were broaching this subject I would gladly have offered up a copy of Caught Running< < Don't worry. You will get another opportunity, I'm sure, to give away a copy of CR. >>As for why there aren’t more, I don’t know. I will offer one problem I have seen as an author. It’s obvious when a writer knows about the sport. They use the lingo, they know the ins and outs, they know what they’re talking about. It’s glaring when the author doesn’t know what they’re talking about. So that excludes quite a few writers right there. < < As I mentioned to another writer, approaching a sports themed story is just like writing any other story. You include just enough information about the sport to give a flavour to the romance, but you don't overload the story with a lot of stats. I really love sports especially baseball, but I wouldn't expect a M/M romance to come complete with everyone's batting average and ERAs. I would want just enough to indicate that the writer knows her stuff, but the thrust of the story should be the relationship between the two guys. For those readers who don't understand the sport that's a backdrop to the story they can skip the details and focus on the protagonists. I don't know every sport and curling is one sport I just can't get my head around, but I can read a story with a background in any sport the way I can read a story about a serial killer. It's all about the skill of the writer. >>I’ve got a baseball story about 3/4 written.< < >> I’ve also got, count them, four other baseball-themed plots lined up in various forms of doable. And (Maddy will kill me if she sees this) we have plans for Ty and Zane from the Cut & Run series to get tangled up with protecting a pro sports figure in the future, so it would sort of be a sports-themed book.< < Maddy will definitely kill you but I love you. I can’t wait. Please send me the ARC’s when they’re ready and I’ll be happy to review them for you. Tell Maddy I said hi. 🙂

      Reply
      • She doesn’t know I’ve sneaked off, but that’s her fault for not being around tonight like she’s supposed to be, isn’t it? We all know my attention span is like a bouncy ball.

        I’ll get advance copies to you of anything they’ll let me.

        Reply
        • That’s right Abigail. Blame Maddy for not being around to control you. She’s got a tough job.

          >>I’ll get advance copies to you of anything they’ll let me.< < Thanks. I'll look forward to it.

          Reply
    • >>I got a letter from an English reader asking what baseball was and berating me for using such an obscure and confusing game as a backdrop<<

      This made me giggle lots. As a Brit, I have to say that a fair number of us are amused/amazed by how popular baseball is in America. And these days, mention of the sport brings to mind the reaction of one of Wodehouse's characters to having baseball described: "Oh yes, we have that here. We call it rounders – it's a children's game." I'm pretty sure it's from Piccadilly Jim, though it is a good 18 months or so since I read it…

      I know, I shouldn’t laugh, but you can all laugh at me when I go “shhh! I can’t hear Test Match Special!”*

      *it’s somewhat of a long-standing joke that on Test Match Special they spend more time describing the lunches and teas than they do the game…

      Reply
      • Tiggothy

        >>As a Brit, I have to say that a fair number of us are amused/amazed by how popular baseball is in America. And these days, mention of the sport brings to mind the reaction of one of Wodehouse’s characters to having baseball described: “Oh yes, we have that here. We call it rounders – it’s a children’s game.” < < That is so mean to malign America's and my favourite sport (even though I'm Canadian and I'm supposed to only love hockey). I do know rounders - I used to play it as a child. 🙂 I love how you describe the Test Match Specials. How British. 🙂

        Reply

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