So this morning I woke up, as I do, and checked Twitter, as I do,1 and noticed a bunch of congratulatory tweets getting sent in the direction of KJ Charles.
Well, turns out KJ had some pretty amazing news: she’s signed a three-book deal with Loveswept, whom some of you may recognise as sister-imprint of Liesmith‘s publisher, Hydra.
Importantly for the point I’m making here (other than that y’all should read KJ’s books, which you should), Loveswept (and Hydra) are both owned by the biggest publisher currently in existence, Penguin Random House.
KJ’s new series will be an m/m romance. Liesmith, while being a sort of horror/urban fantasy, largely revolves around a romantic boy-meets-boy scenario.3 It’s really, really super-important to remember that these are the sorts of books that, even very recently, the nebulous Theys of Theysay would be muttering about being unpublishable by “traditional publishing”.
KJ’s work in particular is, I think, notable because KJ writes explicit m/m erotica. Queer stories like Liesmith have been done before, and been done by big houses, but stuff like KJ’s? Much less so. But m/m has been growing and growing in selfpub and with smaller, digital-first publishers for years now. It seems the big New York houses–always hungry for the next “It” genre–have been watching.
We live in interesting times.
(Tl;dr: super-big congrats to KJ and go buy her books. Seriously.)