RoMANce: Men Writing Romance


First, let me say I’m a man, and I write romances. I also read them—a lot. I love nothing better than a great love story with a happy ending. My little sister calls me a helpless romantic. One step down, I suppose, from a hopeless romantic.  Unfortunately (or some might say fortunately), there aren’t many of us guys writing romance, and I think I may have an inkling why. It’s just not seen as a manly endeavor.
My older sister is also a great reader of romances. One day her husband mistakenly picked up and read one of Sandra Brown’s novels that she'd left lying around the house (its cover was deceptively neutral, not a ripped bodice or heaving bosom in sight). He loved it, but was surprised—and slightly aghast—when my sister told him the book was “one of her romance novels.”
Few would dispute that the romance genre overwhelmingly belongs to women. Approximately 84% of the audience is female, and the vast majority of writers are also women. Male writers have slowly crept into the genre over time, but they’ve generally arrived quietly, with their heads down, looking over their shoulders, and very often using female pen-names. For instance, Harold Lowry, a past President of the Romance Writers of America, with over fifty romances under his belt, writes under the pseudonym Leigh Greenwood.
It’s baffling why more men don’t want to write romances given that the genre commands over a billion-dollar market share of the publishing world. With so much money to be made here, why aren’t more men dabbling, and when they do, why do most hide behind female or gender-neutral pseudonyms? Why are male authors so reluctant to write them?

Read the entire article in the April 2018 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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