Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Male Romance Authors

I recently read a heated discussion about gender bias in another genre (thrillers). That post was concerned with a specific award, but it made me think about the issue in a more general way, and as it applied to the genre I write in.

There are several men publishing in romance, but a large number of them do so under female or androgynous pseudonyms. More men have now started writing under their own names, but just from my own knowledge, I think that this trend is still quite new.

As a reader, do you think you’d pick up a romance if you knew it had been written by a male? Personally, I think I’d give the first book a go if only out of curiosity – the rest would depend on the strength of the writing. But the author's name is something that I would notice when I usually only recall that if I really love the book, which fact sort of speaks for itself.

What're your thoughts on this?


Cynthia E. Bagley said...

It depends on how good he is in writing in a female POV. There is a very different view of romance between the sexes. Some males just don't get it

I might give them a chance, but if it doesn't feel write :-) then I probably would not read them again.

Nalini Singh said...

Cynthia - what do you think about the flip side - women writers writing male POV? I've heard it say that most women don't write actual male POV but male POV as seen by women (if that makes sense).

Laura Rose said...

Nalini, the cover artist who's done my LB covers writes erotic romance and is male. I've read 2 of his books and they are superb. I recently read a LSB ebook written by a male author as well, and found it to be a great read, so I'm willing to give male romance authors a go - whether they advertise that they're male or not.

On the POV thing, I agree with you Nalini about the way female authors write the male POV. I think if we really got stuck into men's thoughts, uh, romance might suffer some sort of culture shock, LOL.

I've also decided that when I finally get pubbed in rom. susp. I'm going under the pen name L. R. Middleton, though there are more female authors in this genre, like Alison Brennan.

Emma Sinclair said...

I think like you, I'd pick one up out of curiousity alone, but then the writing would have to sell me.

And perhaps this is double standard-ish of me, but I think I'd expect something different than a woman written romance! I think I'd expect it to feel different in some way.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

nalini... you are right. I can tell when a male POV is right because my husband enjoys it.. Terry Pratchett, Tom Dorsey, Carl Hiassen, and Lee Child.

When he doesn't like it ... then I know it is not written by a male. A male POV seems more raw... if you know what I mean.

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Oh yea.. and what man would really be thinking "I want to kiss those lucisous lips." GET REAL... He would be thinking sex sex sex. LOL
or UMMM breasts.

Nalini Singh said...

Hi Laura - LOL on the culture shock! That's good point about more women being in the Rom Sus genre. But as that discussion I linked to shows, it seems that making the jump to being taking seriously as a thriller writer is a big one.

Emma - what I worry about is that it won't actually be different but that I'd think it was different because it had been written by a male.

Cynthia - ROTFLM!!!