Nakamura Shungiku is probably one of the only big-name yaoi artists that anyone can name off the top of their head.
What I love most about her work is the inner-connectivity of series set on the same time line --Junjō Romantica connects in places with Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, and as a loyal fan, it's really cool when we find those sort of Easter eggs!
Junjō Romantica wasn't my first yaoi manga, but I'm pretty sure it was my first long serial yaoi. The converging love-stories helped keep it fresh for me, and I loved that these couples formed around them, almost without their notice!
Now, I will also admit that my fan-fiction for Junjō Romantica is not my best, but it was written in the spirit of making at least one of the other couples aware of the other, so it's kind of a cute idea.
Sleepover (Hiroki/Nowaki; Akihiko/Misaki) Akihiko hides out and sleeps at Hiroki's apartment. Hiroki and Nowaki offer Akihiko relationship advice. Hilarity -and sex- ensue.