Wayyyy back in about 1998, I think, I started a story I called “Wraith Bait.” (This was before SGA, so no, nothing to do with that.) I don’t even have the digital files for it anymore, just printouts of what I was working on.
Like most of my aborted attempts at writing during the long, bleak decade between 1997 and 2007, it was fairly nebulous. I instinctively knew it was not marketable in the publishing climate of the time, so I threw down a few scenes and abandoned it (a very, very common occurrence for me during those years).
Interestingly, I look at it now and see clearly what I was trying for: a diesel-punk polyamorous story. At the time I knew neither the phrase “diesel-punk” nor “polyamorous”, I just knew it wasn’t really set during WWII and I knew the love triangle was more complicated than most people would accept (as I had both men in love with each other, as well as the woman they were involved with). If I remember the inspiration correctly, it came out of some mary-sue (self-insert) fantasies involving Guns of Navarone and Force Ten from Navarone movies. Because HOT MEN IN ACTION, yo’!
I’m not sure the story is salvageable, but it’s interesting for me to look back and realize that even then, I was basically pining away to tell polyamorous stories despite the fact that I was only nominally familiar with the concept of polyamory.
Ironically, at the time I worked at a regional queer newsmagazine…but that was, believe it or not, detrimental. Back then, being “bisexual” was still controversial in the gay community and there was even a heated argument held in our offices about whether bisexuals were “legitimately” queer. Yes, really. It was another year before the publisher decided that the answer was “yes” so you can see how that influenced my belief about how a story about bisexual men involved both with each other and a woman would have no audience, anywhere, ever.
It’s a worry I still have, because it’s such a small category. A “polyamorous romance best seller” is kind of a joke right now, actually, because of how few units it takes to reach that status. I keep writing M/M stories not just because I enjoy writing them (I do) but also because I at least know they sell. Yes, I’m definitely the kind of person who hedges her bets. :/
But I have to own up that writing poly romance stories is a long-standing drive for me. Whether they sell or not, I’ve got to move forward with what I love doing.