Sometimes Real Men Do Eat Quiche


Copyright Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved

 

Romantic fiction is not solely the arena of women writers anymore, especially in this enlightened age. Some men are finding that the romance market is a lucrative place to ply their writing craft. But the question arises, can men write romance?

Who can forget the wonderful scene in the movie As Good As It Gets, where Jack Nicholson's character, a disagreeable, cantankerous, OCD afflicted romance writer, meets up with a breathy female fan at his publisher's office. She gushes her adoration, and asks him something to the effect, "how are you able to write women so well", to which he replies, "I think of a man, and take away reason and accountability".

It made for a great laugh in the film, but would be horrifying to contemplate in real life.

But to answer the question posed above, yes, men can write romance. Of course they can! Why not? Men experience falling in love, deal with relationships, have their hearts broken, do stupid things in the name of love, have secret desires, fear being hurt, lust in (and out of) their hearts--all the things that a writer uses to create wonderful romantic tales.

It has been argued that men could not write believably from the POV of the heroine. Huh?? Women have successfully been writing in the male POV for years. Why can't men do the reverse? The answer? They can, of course. It's called "imagination"!

When you look at statistics like RWA's 2004 market survey that indicated that male readership of romances rose from 7 percent of romance readers in 2002 to 22 percent in 2004, you can see that romantic fiction is no longer a strictly female interest. One can assume that percentage has continued to rise since then. Men are not only reading romances, but also carving a place for themselves in the ranks of romance writers.

We may not always know that the books we are reading are written by men. Many have chosen to write under female pseudonyms. Popular writer Leigh Greenwood, author of historical romances, for example, is really Harold Lowry. Jennifer Wilde was actually Tom E. Huff. E-author Barri Bryan, is actually a husband and wife team, Billie and Herb Houston.

But more and more, men are choosing to write under their own names, and are gaining acceptance and readership. Michael Little, who writes "cowboy lit", is one. His arrival into the romance genre started with a desire, he has said, to tell a good story. With the increasing popularity of romantica, or erotic romance, many men are finding a comfortable niche for their writing there. S.L.Carpenter, C.J. Burton, Rod Casteel, and Julian Masters, are a few of the male writers with the highly successful erotica publisher, Ellora's Cave.

This increase in the number of men joining the ranks of romance writers may be in part to the increase in interest by readers for cross-genre stories--scifi romance, military romance, western historical romance, and so on, that may appeal more to male readers and writers. Or it may be simply that men are recognizing that romance and erotic romance are the fastest growing markets these days, and they are  smart enough to jump on the gravy train.

Whatever the reason, it is readily apparent that real men do sometimes eat quiche after all, and some of them even write romances. Men, don't be afraid to explore your tender side. It could lead to a comfortable writing career.

 

About the Author: Judy Bagshaw has been published since 2000. Writing romance featuring full-figured heroines, her publishing credits include 4 novels, 1 collection of short stories, and short stories in three anthologies. She was also part of the writing team for the Ginn Reading Series, and Reaching Readers Series, used in many elementary schools. Retired from teaching, she writes full-time from her home in Ontario, Canada. Visit Judy's website: www.judybagshaw.com

 

 

Easy Way to Write Romance - by Rob Parnell