Novels Reflection Writing

Doing the Responsible Thing

Brick wall with graffiti painting of fist

When I began writing Enslave My Heart last November, the world was a different place. The novel was meant to be a fun, smutty story set in the backdrop of a world where our legalized form of enslaving criminals was far more open and culturally accepted than it is in our own world.

However, as protests erupted across the United States calling for justice for the murder of George Floyd, among too many others, I could not in good conscience continue writing my novel. The more I watched and listened to the protesters’ words, the more I realized that publishing my narrative would have been tone-deaf and deeply inappropriate.

When I began writing the story, I thought making both main characters white would avoid any racist overtones. However, I wasn’t taking into consideration the systemic racism in the US that has led to the highest incarceration rates in the world, with a disproportionate percentage of that population being Black.

This is a decision I made because I know it’s the responsible thing to do. Right now, is not the time for me to be romanticizing slavery in any form. A kink of mine may have inspired this novel, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be published. In the future I may find a way to rework the story, with a different setting and theme. It would need a heavy rewrite first, so for now it goes on my back burner while I decide what to do with it.

In the meantime, I’ve opted to work on a collection of short stories instead. I’ve dabbled with short stories for a few years and I decided to put them together into a single book, titled Sweet and Dark: A Collection of Gay Erotic Short Stories. The collection, as the title suggests, will range from sweet erotic stories to darker, more disturbing themes. The stories span a variety of kinks and should tickle the fancy of an array of readers.

Grayson Bell has been writing gay erotic romance stories since 2015. He identifies as a transgender man and is very invested in incorporating LGBTQ+ characters into his writing, and he loves exploring the love, romance, and intimacy that can occur between two men.

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Cristian Mihai

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