Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Do You Think? Female VS Male Romance Authors

I thought I'd begin a new feature here on the blog because I find myself thinking a lot about what I'm reading, writing and blogging about and would love to get everyones input on it. Today's topic is something I've seriously stewed over for YEARS and my thinking was sparked back up again after I saw a posting on Facebook about a book where the plot was undeniably funny but definitely a little creepy - female VS male romance authors.

Are you an "equal opportunity to SWOON" reader when it comes to the authors of the romance you read?

I will admit, I'm a little wary when it comes to reading romance by a male author. I don't know whether it's the stereotype that men have no idea what women want or that they're unable to capture the "emotional" level I know I crave when it comes to romance. Or is it the assumption the book will be nothing but "insert A into B"? I know I've heard people share when they think of male romance novels, they think of stories in Playboy and the like. I love a good steamy scene but without a healthy dose of feeling, that book is as good as closed.

I think about why I read romance - I love the emotional connection, the way the heart and soul of the couple rise above it all and give a happily ever after. I adore the alpha male and want him as tortured as possible. I want him sexy and full of swagger, whispering to the heroine all kinds of things that make me sigh and weak kneed. Is a male author able to provide that? I don't know only because I'm too scared to find out. With so many books vying for my attention, books that will almost guarantee leaving me satisfied, do I have the time to invest in a story that leaves me wanting? I find myself wondering - will the author write from the heroines point of view and if so, should I be impressed if he captures the heart of her or scared when he does? I'd love to read a romance from the males perspective but again, I like the emotional, sigh inducing side of the hero - can a male author capture that?

By no way, am I saying it's impossible. This is an honest question and something I've pondered. Am I the only one who when she's searching for new reads will automatically discard a romance novel if the author is male? Am I missing out on a hidden treasure because I'm afraid or have fallen into the trap of believing romance writing is solely a womans profession? When I have been brave and started to read a story, do I give up too quickly because it doesn't feel familiar like the books I'm used to reading? I don't know.

So again, I ask - are you an equal opportunist? Or are you like me and keeps their distance? Have you read romance novels by male authors and if so, what was it like? I would definitely be interested in any recommendations because just as much as I'm afraid to be disappointed, I'm just as afraid to miss out on something that will truly move me.

Feel free to share ...


Rhonda Plumhoff said...

This is a very good question. I tend to stay away from male Authors because their lead male characters are usually more self absorbed and arrogant or their female characters are slutty. Women Author can do romance and lust without making you hate the character in the process. But there have been a few Authors that have surprised me to the point that I thought they were women.

Sarah (The Brazen Bookworm) said...

Excellent topic for discussion! You're definitely not alone - I do the same thing! And I have no good explanation why, but I immediately discard the book if there's a male author. I'd love to hear others' suggestions for authors I'm missing out on...

Christine Rains said...

Interesting question. I don't think I've ever picked up a romance written by a man. I've read books written by men that have a romance in them. I might be curious, actually, to read one.

DJ D. said...

I'm a guy and I write YA paranormal "romances". But whether or not I'd be able to capture the voice of a teen girl was something some people expressed concern over when told about my book. I hope readers don't pass over my book because I'm a guy, but I do understand the hesitancy. My question is, how many romance authors with a woman's name are truly women? :-) Great post!

Deena said...

I have yet to read a romance written by a man. I am supposing that if the writer was really tuned into our gender, they could write dialogue successfully and make sure the hero behaves in a way that makes us swoon.
I remember hearing from friends that their editors said to strike out a chunk of dialogue because a man wouldn't say this or that. And you know what? That's the point! A real man may not, but we WANT him to, and so the author makes sure the hero DOES. Can a male author get that nuance? CAn a male author write what women want to hear?
DJ, I'd love to hear your thoughts... :D

Amber I @ Awesomesauce said...

I have asked myself this question a lot. I have read a few (very very few) male authors romance books and I was not as into them as I am women. So even now when I see a book is written by a guy I tend to not pay it too much attention. Its a bad habit I know. I am glad I am not the only one though.

Cialina at said...

I don't think I've ever even read a romance novel by a male author. I'm quite new to the genre but I don't think I've even come across one. I think I'd like to try it. I'm definitely open to see if they match up to the female authors but I don't think it should be that big of a deal.

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