In the course of thinking about a new writing project, I’m also reflecting on what I love to read – specifically, those items that, if they appear in a book, will automatically seize my interest as a dog is interested in food. (Whether I actually like the book depends on other factors.)

Among fanfiction writers and readers, these items are referred to as “bulletproof kinks.”

I…seem to have a lot of them.

–Soldiers experiencing postwar angst. World War One is king of all my bulletproof kinks, to the extent that I have shelves and shelves of books about the period and check out all fiction that I can find with that war as a setting.

–The Marriage of Convenience

–Telepaths/precognitives/clairvoyants. Angstful ones in particular, who later find others of their kind and are happier. (Marjorie Liu, I’m looking at you!)

–Adventure stories with crossdressing

–Musicians, and visual artists, and actors, especially when the book addresses how they approach their art. Chefs and seamstresses count, too.

–Superheroes with secret identities, who then run into trouble because either they can’t reveal themselves or because they’ve been found out.

–Strangers in Strange Lands.

–Books/Series with groups of friends who manage to work together against the odds.

Not quite bulletproof kinks:

–Male prostitutes – I collect romances with male prostitute heroes, including those I didn’t love, for research purposes.

–Female soldiers, spies, women who combat standard gender roles in other ways, ditto.

How about you?