I made a mistake and read some reviews of my old, old, books. Now I want to burn my keyboard.
I have thinky thoughts about the evolution of writer style, and the maturing of the m/m genre. I've been around for a long time, Gentle Readers, and things have changed so much. For the better is so many more authors and wonderful stories to select from. Also for the better is strong stories and less dependence on sex scenes to sell books. That was a primary thing when we first started exploring this gig at the turn of the last century; we were all stretching our wings and coming out of stifling closets, and at the time there was high demand for lots of sex. That's calmed down a lot the last half dozen years.
The not so great is the super fast dismissal of writers based on the way back machine. Seriously, if you pick up one of my later books (uhhhh say, Prove It) and expect Bareback (AKA 'the slamfest of 2003') you're going to be a bit confused. Likewise, if you want Bareback and pick up the story I'm currently working on, you'll want to kill me for the utter lack of romping around.
But more than that, my writing -- and the writing of anyone who's been doing this for more than a decade -- has changed. I have stopped with the half sentences in dialogue, and increased my narrative. I write far less sex but far more meaningful sex. I still make up characters I like, and hope that you'll like them, too.
I feel (and say this knowing that there will be opinions to the exact opposite) that the stories I wrote in the year or two before my hiatus were deeper and more involved than the earlier books. I adore some of the very early characters and their tales despite the lack of skill in their writing, but I am so, so excited about what I'm working on now.
Reading reviews is always bad for me. Not my ego -- My ego is strong and can take almost anything, trust me -- but because even the good reviews leave me longing to fix things that are beyond my control now. The ability to let go and really let a story be something unattached to me is something I can't seem to develop, I guess.
Gentle Reader, I truly hope that when my new stories come out you welcome them with fresh eyes. The stories that take a long, long time to get to the sex, the ones that are smutty from the third page, the tales that are mostly plotty with a romantic sub-plot; they all have magic in them and I can't wait to share them with you.