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Ready to Star in Your Own Same-Sex Vampire Romance Novel?

Feb 3, 2011 – 1:00 PM
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Romance novels have long featured star-crossed lovers lusting after each other, but what if the lovers in those provocative pages were you and your partner -- straight or gay?

For the past 12 years, publisher Mike Pocock has been running Book By You, a company that creates personalized romance novels for imaginative readers.

The company offers 15 titillating titles that can be personalized so that the reader and the crush, lover or spouse are written into the story as the leading lovelorn characters.

Same-Sex Romance Novels
Chris Ellison
Book By You founder Mike Pocock holds up a copy of his latest personalized novel, "Hot Blooded," a same-sex romance novel about forbidden vampire love.
Here's how it works: After selecting which book they'd like to star in, a customer answers a "Character Questionnaire" filled with personal information such as his or her name, lover's name, eye color, hair color and body type.

Those details -- which may also include the name of someone's pet dog or cat -- are then worked into the novel's storyline so the customer becomes the main character in the romantic tale.

To spice things up in time for Valentine's Day, the company has just released a couple of hot, steamy same-sex novels catering to gay and lesbian readers.

"Hot Blooded" tells the erotic story of two gay men -- one vampire, one mortal -- who fall deeply in forbidden lust and love, while "Seduction Games" follows a sexy romance between two lesbians who pine for each other after they become rival contestants on a reality-TV game show.

"We've had a lot of increasing demand for same-sex novels in recent years," Pocock told AOL News. "We had thought about writing these books for a while and finally decided to just do it. I'm really glad we did, too. It was long overdue. To my knowledge, we're the first personalized book company to offer same-sex titles."

Same-Sex Romance Novels
Book By You
Book By You has just launched a set of same-sex romance novels. "Hot Blooded" is a vampire story about two gay men who fall in love, while "Seduction Games" is a steamy lesbian love story.
In order to make the books a hit with consumers, Pocock said authenticity was crucial.

He said he hired an openly gay writer from Washington to pen "Hot Blooded" and a lesbian author to write "Seduction Games," so the love scenes and relationships in the plot lines would feel realistic.

The books, he said, are also a notch "steamier" than other Book By You titles, perhaps to make up for lost time.

"The story lines are similar to our other books, they're just a little sexier. You have to be 18 or older to order 'Hot Blooded' because it gets pretty racy," explained Pocock.

"At the end of the day, though, both are passionate, touching and romantic love stories with happy endings, just like our other books."

According to Pocock, the personalized same-sex novels seem to be resonating with readers already.

He said that within an hour of releasing the titles, he already had orders for both books.

"I think people were waiting for this," he said. "It was time."

If the naughty novels go over well with customers, Pocock said he plans to expand the same-sex literature line by releasing more titles in coming years.

He figures Valentine's Day may be the catalyst to building a solid fan base for the books, since February is his busiest sales period of the year.

"These personalized books are the most unique gift someone can give their Valentine. There's a definite wow factor when someone unwraps a book and realizes they're actually the star of the story. I'd say it's better than chocolate."

The personalized books -- same-sex and straight titles -- go for $39.95 per paperback or $59.95 for a hardback. The last day to order before Valentine's Day is Feb. 11.

In addition to personal details within the pages, readers can also upload a picture of themselves onto the back cover for extra-special customization.

And if you have any other reasonable requests, don't be afraid to ask.

Once, Pocock said he even rewrote the ending of a novel for a customer who planned to propose to his girlfriend through one of the books.

She happened to love romance novels, so the end of her book featured her boyfriend popping the question.

Pocock said the woman accepted the proposal and, well, we can all guess what happened next: They lived happily ever after.

The End.

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