Why Yaoi 911™?

It started as an in-joke between me and fellow filmmaker (and best friend) Bill S. I was going over various title possibilities for this upcoming Yaoi story collection and had been well convinced of the necessity of coming up with a title that would immediately grab the attention of its intended audience. You see, I had been reading on a (now defunct) creator forum called The Engine the sad tale of an indie comic called “Elk’s Run” — a very well-reviewed David Lynchian/Twin Peaks-type story that nobody was buying because they thought it was about hunting or taxidermy or some such. (I’ve since heard that things have improved for the creators now that the secret of their storyline is out…)

Well, I was determined to not make the same mistake.

I thought “Might as well hit the nail on the head! My book’s about cute guys trying to rescue the guys they love — how about Yaoi Rescue Stories! My audience will know at a glance that the book is for them! That’s brilliant!”

Bill was not impressed.

But as he is a good friend, he grudgingly suggested that if I had to be so artless, that I should at least call it Yaoi Rescue Comics. Now I’m sure he was offering me good advice, but for whatever reason, I liked that title a lot less (all one word of it changed…) and we went back and forth about it for some time, trying to come up with something both artful and descriptive. Finally, in desperation, I joked, “I’ve got it, I’ve got it! How about Yaoi 911!

And he died laughing. So, it became our code word for the project, and then eventually the code word I used with everyone. (Every personal writing project needs a secret code word, you see. Can’t have anyone stealing the real, oh-so-original title, right?)

Flash-forward to a series of conversations I had with local comics publisher, friend and comics promoter extraordinaire, Larry Young of AiT/Planet Lar. He has a lot of good advice for small publishers and during our many helpful discussions, he fell in love with my code word and argued strongly that I should use it. Mostly jokingly, I imagine, but often enough so that I had to think — could this be the title I was looking for?

Well, thought I, with a title like Yaoi 911™, there’s no doubt that this is a Yaoi book. And it seems pretty clear from the “911” that these are adventure stories. And there definitely is the suggestion of “rescue” there. But mainly, I like the sense of whimsy and humor that’s the title promises — yes, these are adventure rescue stories and yes, most are pretty dramatic, but they don’t take themselves too seriously. Let’s face it, I’m not writing a CPR manual — Yaoi is supposed to be fun!

And ultimately, I am hoping the whimsical nature of the title will help people remember it — and maybe even turn to this website “For all their Yaoi emergencies…”

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