Janette and Kristy passionately runs 3 Chick After Dark. In their blog, they feature reviews of romance books including those under the M/M genre. If you’re looking for the best books to read out there, I recommend you check the great value their blog has to offer.
Tell us about you and your gay romance blog. Where can we read it?
Janette: Our blog is online at http://www.3chicksafterdark.com. You can also connect with us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/3ChicksAfterDark) or twitter (@3ChicksAftrDark). We try to post our reviews to Goodreads, but the best, most reliable place to find them is on our site.
What got you started as a m/m blogger or reviewer?
Janette: How did I get started…well, you see, it’s like this. I’m a professional fangirl. When I really enjoy a book, I want to shout it from the mountaintops for all to hear. It’s the same with the m/m books I read. At first it was just reviewing on Goodreads and stalking authors on twitter. After months and months of Kristy
and I discussing how we should really start a blog, she finally gave us the push we needed to get it going. While we do read all genres of adult literature, I’d say easily about 80% of it is m/m.
Kristy: Back in 2011, I had just finished a m/f rocker, erotic romance and was looking for something else like it. I would buddy read books with Janette and we’d spend a lot of time DMing each other about what we’d been reading. We loved sharing our thoughts on books with each other. I stumbled upon SJ Frost’s Conquest and from then on, I was hooked on mm books. Soon after, we decided that a review site might be a fun way to discuss books we’ve read with more than just each other. We knew LGBT books would be our biggest focus.
Why are you passionate about reading and reviewing m/m books?
Janette: These stories just have something different about them. It’s almost like once you start you can’t stop, and we’ve had many of our readers say they agree. I think m/m authors offer stories that aren’t afraid or ashamed to tackle the issues in life. They take on challenges all romance authors do such as social acceptance, rape, domestic violence, murder, but they seem to make it more raw and more intense. I feel like these stories are written with more emotion and more honesty than many het romances.
On top of that the LGBT literature community is amazing. It’s difficult not to want to support people who are doing all the truly wonderful things they are, so we’re trying to do our part to spread the word. For many years I had a couple Goodreads friends who read m/m, and I always wondered why. I didn’t know them well, so I just chalked it up to differences in sexuality or circumstance. It wasn’t until I read my first m/m romance – I can remember it so clearly, it was Conquest by S.J. Frost – that I really understood how or why these would appeal to women. It’s still romance, something I had been reading since I discovered Sweet Valley High, but between two men instead of a man and a woman. The dynamic between two guys is different, interesting, exciting. I have always believed that people should be free to love whoever they want, so once I got past the idea this genre should be forbidden to me, I never looked back.
Kristy: I’m passionate about reading, period. I think some of the best books I’ve read in my life were written for this genre. I’m a very open-minded person so if the story is haunting or passionate or just makes me smile then I’m enjoying myself and that’s what matters. The genre doesn’t matter as much as the words on the page, whether written by a man, woman, LGBT or straight person.
I think I like m/m romance because I’m attracted to guys and having twice the attraction is nice. 😉 Also, the women in m/f books tend to have character traits I don’t much care for (weak, bitchy or too dependent on a man for survival) so it’s hard to find m/f books and series I enjoy anymore. Reading m/m is like meth. One time is all it tales to be addicted! 🙂
Many of my readers love reading m/m blogs but what makes yours unique compared to others?
Janette: We like to think our blog is no-nonsense, down to earth and drama free. That means hopefully you won’t have to dig through things too deep to find what you’re looking for and you won’t find us spreading gossip or online ugliness. We also pride ourselves on doing as much as we can to support authors through promo posts, reviews, blog tours, etc. We enjoy reading the well-known authors in the genre, but we also really treasure finding those new on the scene.
Kristy: We’re small! We currently are three reviewers but two of us, Janette and Kristy, are the most active reviewers for 3 Chicks After Dark and owners of the site. That’s two people reading, reviewing and doing tours. It’s a lot for two people! We do not have outside contributors/reviewers and we do not profit through ads or any other means. Maybe that sets us apart? Maybe not? We’re unique because it’s Janette and Kristy, that’s why! 😀
Define success as a m/m blogger and reviewer.
Janette: Success…that’s a tough one. For me it would just be doing my best to provide honest, fair reviews. Sure it’s nice when you see the number of page views go up or tons of people comment on a post, but I try not to get too caught up in that. Let’s face it – readers have a lot of blogs available to them. If we work hard to create content that’s worthwhile, I think it all falls into place. I’ve been known to do a happy dance or have a panic attack when an author I love wants to do a post or requests a review, and each of those moments feels like a tiny victory as well.
Kristy: Success is making our deadlines! LOL! Actually, I would define success as having a favorite author send an email, out of the blue, for a review and request me by name. For me that’s success and a whole level of fangirling my spouse and Janette have been privy too. 😉
What are some of the best m/m books you’ve read this year?
Janette: There are SO MANY! I’m going to limit myself to 5 in the interest of time:
A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews
Sweetwater by Lisa Henry
Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder
Public Display of Everything by Cara Dee
Strain by Amelia C. Gormley
After Christmas Eve by Michael Rupured
Okay that’s 6, but I couldn’t help it. 🙂
Kristy: I’ve actually started my list for this year so I will share a few and save the rest for our annual ‘Best Of’ post yet to come. Here’s my five(-ish), a series counts as one, right?!?
For A Reason by Jessie G
Training Season by Leta Blake
Guarded by Cat Grant and LA Witt
Tales from the Edge series by L.M. Somerton
Sinners Series by Rhys Ford
Summer Symphony by Brandon Shire
What would you like to see more in m/m literature you don’t see now?
Janette: I think I’d like to continue to see more historical romances. I love that genre, and there really haven’t been that many out there. I’m also really enjoying the increase in paranormal and mystery books. Honestly there are still so many books in the m/m genre to explore, I’ll be busy for a long time.
Kristy: I can usually find what I’m looking for with no issues! The more broken, downtrodden, hurt and emotionally scarred the better, I love to watch them transform and fly. 🙂
What advice can you give to aspiring m/m reviewers and bloggers?
Janette: Keep everything in perspective and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. In the beginning we thought we were doing great if we had 10 posts for the month. Then we increased that to one post just Monday – Friday. Looking at how many posts we have now, it’s hard to believe we felt like we were so busy. It changes quickly! Second piece of advice would be to network, network, network. Get on twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and meet people. Sign up for a few random promo opportunities to get your feet wet. If you like something you read, let people know – most especially the author. All of those connections are important, and some will be key in helping you build your blog.
It doesn’t hurt if you have a partner in crime either. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate mine! 🙂
Kristy: Be respectful, be open, be happy and have fun! Make sure your partner is better at tech that you are. 😉 Pick the best partner you can, sorry folks but Janette is taken, so good luck!