Sometimes Real Men Do Eat
Copyright Judy Bagshaw - All Rights
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
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