Welcome to the April blog!
I’m special! That’s because I’m one of the only 9.5% of romance authors who are male. I already mentioned last month that only 16% of romance readers are men but there are even fewer authors.
During a writers group at the Midwest Writers Center, mwcqc.org, in Davenport IA, one of the female participants mentioned that there is a bias among some women readers. I wasn’t aware of that. Apparently some ladies do not think men can write romance. They are wrong of course, some great romance authors are men, but still the bias exists.
I understand a number of male authors have chosen gender neutral pen names to avoid the bias, while others use just initials and their last name. However, I don’t want to pretend to be someone I’m not, plus I couldn’t figure out how to deal with the author photo!
So I’m definitely a guy and obviously have a man’s viewpoint, and I am also very cognizant of the fact my gender is often clueless about women. However I try very hard not my allow my masculinity to become obvious or an issue in my writing. I hope I never write anything that offends. If I slip up and let too much maleness show through occasionally, I apologize. It comes naturally.
I give my readers credit for being more open-minded than having an artificial prejudice against male authors anyway. I’m confident the reason for liking my writing or not is based on the quality of the story I came up with and my ability to tell it in an entertaining and enjoyable way for the reader.
What qualifies me to write a romance novel to begin with? Good question!
My quick original answer to the question was nothing exceptional. However I have adequate intellect to make my stories realistic enough readers will believe the premise is plausible. I certainly have the desire and willingness to write, and my writing is reasonably intelligent and creative. My imagination continues relentlessly to concoct plots, characters, and details that clamor out of my brain and onto the computer. I also have a decent vocabulary stemming from all of my reading.
I have been an avid reader for a long time and that experience has helped me a great deal. In the past I have read books of all genres before settling primarily on romance as my favorite (I admit I’m a sucker for a happy ending). So romance is what I write too. I confess I still have a couple of large plastic containers and a sturdy box of favorite books in storage to read again – someday. Maybe some of you can relate.
Recently the director of the MWC said during an author panel discussion that continuing to read as much as possible is an important requisite for every author to assist in their own writing, so I qualify in that way. Although I will readily confess my reading time is much more limited since I began writing over two years ago.
It is not difficult for me to be able to write in the romance genre specifically. The fact is I adore and admire strong women, but aren’t they all strong? The ladies were never the “weaker sex” except for the obvious difference in muscle size. I’m surrounded by strong women in my life. I have three sisters, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, and sundry other female relatives, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.
In my writing I always attempt to be understanding of the female point of view and empathize with my female characters, dig into their thoughts and emotions, and portray them realistically. The review by Misty on Amazon for my published book One Night and One Day captured how I feel about women.
Excerpts from Misty’s review:
“Lilly is an accomplished, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to educate or dominate her, but rather wants a man who allows her to be a full and willing participant in all sorts of erotic play.”
“Jason…feels protective of Lilly and proud to be her supporter. He takes pride in giving her satisfaction in bed, and the erotic scenes are all about Lilly’s pleasure and gratification.”
“This is a book that fully and unabashedly celebrates, even adores women as sexually liberated creatures who deserve tenderness and respect along with mind-blowing orgasms. Read it yourself, then recommend it to all your girlfriends.”
Misty got it. She got me. She understands my mindset and attitude toward women when I write.
I hope my readers will too.
Exciting news! I currently have two of my manuscripts, Correspondent and Bonfire, being professionally edited with the purpose of making them the next of my books to be published. Until now I have self-edited my works but an independent review is always recommended. The edits will take several weeks and I don’t know how or where the next books will be published yet. I will keep you informed of the progress.
Also, I am still writing and I am excited to report I recently completed a novella of over 34,700 words, The Last Virgin. That equals 80 typed pages of text. I took it to Staples and had the first copies of the manuscript printed.
Do you know the difference between a novel and a novella? Depending on the source there are differing definitions. Here is the guideline for the length of literary works I have adopted:
- Micro story – under 300 words
- Flash story – 300 to 1,000 words
- Short story – under 7,500 words
- Novelette – 7,500 to 17,500 words
- Novella – 17,500 to 40,000 words
- Novel – over 40,000 words
- Epic Novel – over 110,000 words
Note: The preferred novel length is between 70,000 and 100,000 words, and 80,000 words is generally considered the optimum length.
The April free story download of “Flirting With Wes” is available to read now if you have registered on the website. It’s a 4,000-word sexy story about a hot barista and her favorite customer and how the flirting leads to more. Enjoy! Coming in May look for “Wildcat.”
The drawing from registered subscribers for the winner of my first free giveaway will be done at the end of April. Good luck!
Enjoy the Spring weather! I have my bicycle out of storage and ready to go. I will talk to you again in early May.