Ask a male author about your male character traits or thoughts.

Amazon links to my stories: Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

GIRL ON FIRE, October 21, 2012

“This girl is on fire.”

On Saturday, at the RWASD meeting, I pitched to Emily O. of HQN. Since I'm a guy, Emily was unsure whether I should send 3 chapters and a synopsis to HQN or Mira. Mira had a higher percentage of guy authors. I felt, by being careful, she loved her HQN readers.

I made the hilarious mistake of asking Chris Green whether I write like a guy* or a gal. She stumbled (not literally) and said I wrote like a guy, but the emotional content was well done (she had read my 1st chapter). My faulty question is called the alternate of choice in sales. There is always at least a third option, like “I write like a successful author.” *I have the good fortune of being ambidextrous and artistic, which means I use both sides of my brain when solving problems.

Emily asked for 3 chapters and a synopsis when the manuscript was ready. She’d decide on Mira or HQN (or a pass – alternate of choice again). I pictured a mother duck taking her ducklings across a street.

Later Chris and I talked about emotional content. I said I’d never compare to Linda Thomas-Sundstrom for depth and length of thought. This is okay, because the degree of internal monologue is a style thing and depends on the genre.

Linda writes of a recurring character named Wanda who causes quite an in depth interior monologue because of her amorphous personality. I felt she stole the show in Linda's first book, CafĂ© Heaven. Wanda is physically impossible to resist. She’s a bad demon with a good streak. She’s a

GIRL ON FIRE (by Alicia Keys)

BTW, Linda, I pictured Wanda as Alicia in this video (even though her hair color and lipstick is wrong, for me the effect is the same, no stunning).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Women of RWASD, October 17, 2012

I’m overwhelmed by the women of RWASD.

Guys writing romance have a lot to learn from their female counterparts. Our local chapter of Romance Writers of America (San Diego) has approximately 120 members. Well over 1/3 of them are traditionally published authors. All of these published authors are women.

I learn from interacting and being inspired. Our authors are brilliant at writing, building their fan base via social media, and as human beings. As a guy and former engineer, I should be able to build my social imprint, but I seem not to have enough energy to rev it up properly and make it take off. Of course, I could back into it by getting an agent or editor. But there’s another problem.

I write with an individualistic style and worry the normal reader won’t ‘get me.’ I think I do a great job of developing all my characters, but I worry if my voice is too unique. I shouldn’t have to second guess, but then again, I have no agent. I continue to learn and hope to contribute to the romance genre.

This week’s video may have nothing to do with anything, but it brought tears to my eyes when I sat through it. SO, I’ll try to justify it. Elementary school teachers are generally women, who as a whole ‘get’ (nurture) kids. They’re more empathetic on average. Therefore, they can more easily inspire. They will get the best out of their students, just like the fantastic women of our chapter inspire so many to step up and get published. It is also voting season. This video, of a grade school class, promotes voting (but not who to vote for) (3 minutes).

BTW, that's what our chapter is like, metaphorically.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Are there any non-paranormal physically flawed heroes in our romance novels? October 8, 2012

Am I alone in my thinking? Oct. 8, 2012

Why is it some of the best love stories and/or romances other than romance novels involve a great beauty and a male who is physically handicapped in some way? We are taught to make sure the hero is flawed in other ways.


The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Esmeralda.
The Beauty and the Beast.
The Phantom of the Opera.
The mystery writer, Jeffery Deaver, writes of a quadriplegic NYPD consultant, Lincoln Rhyme and the woman who loves him, detective  Amelia Sachs.

I asked my wife who is an avid reader of romances if she could remember any hero who had a physical handicap. She not only said no, she said women who read romance want escape. The guy’s rich, handsome etc.

My gut tells me, if it is well written; a physical flaw would elevate the drama and make the romance sweeter (to say nothing of making it harder to write).

Help me here. Are there heroes with physical flaws in romance novels? Does RWA have an opinion?

On the flip side, my heart went out to the blind heroine in THE IVORY CANE by Janet Dailey. It inspired me to write a not yet published novel about a blind heroine. I enjoyed the challenge of describing her world and developing her character and the man who loved her. Let’s not forget many fine movies, i.e. An Affair to Remember, A Patch of Blue. . . .

Is it just me and my male POV or do you yearn for a breakout novel with a hero who is physically flawed? Would you dare write one?

A funny thought, I suppose all these vampires, werewolves etc. are very much physically flawed. My wife doesn’t read them. Are there any, non-paranormal physically flawed heroes in our romance novels? If not, why not?
A patch of Blue, 1965, Sydney Portier with Elizabeth Hartman playing a blind white teenager.
Please girls, tell me why we can't write with a physically handicapped hero. In so many romance novels, the secondary characters are handicapped. My wife is wrong, but I'm not going to tell her.