I’ve noticed something a bit unexpected in the ten months I’ve been blogging.
Some of you do not have girl parts.
Not that I’m inspecting my blog readers’ genitalia, but I can’t help but conclude from the regular appearance of masculine names in the comment trail that there are male readers showing up on a pretty regular basis.
Geoffrey Cubbage, Matthew Rush, Patrick Alan, Matthew AT Banning, Mark Simpson, Douglas Morrison, Nate Wilson, Dr. Goose, Shain Brown, Ricky Bush, Simon Larter, Jason Fleming...probably a few more I’m forgetting, and maybe some who never comment.
I’m fascinated by this.
I make no secret of the fact that I write romance, and in case anyone stumbled over here mistaking it for a discussion on power tools, the blog is pink.
I think that’s one reason I’m so impressed with the guys who keep showing up – you’re obviously secure in your masculinity. Maybe you like the risqué humor or the occasional dose of writing-related advice, or maybe you routinely get drunk and google “pet me” at two in the morning.
I doubt it will shock anyone to know I started this blog with the intention of building a platform and selling books. Not that I’ll fume next August if readers of any gender fail to produce a receipt showing you’ve purchased MAKING WAVES, but I’m hopeful a few of you will end up buying my debut novel.
And this is where I find myself wondering about the boys. Romance isn’t a genre that draws tons of male readers.
And yet genre-straddling authors like Janet Evanovich – whose books are a fabulous meld of mystery and romance, and whose writing I’ve been flattered to have mine compared to – have a rather large male readership.
But Evanovich gets shelved under mystery, while my books will be over on the romance aisle where men don’t tend to venture unless they’re sneaking peeks at heaving bosoms on the covers.
I know I’m stereotyping a lot here, and if some of my male blog visitors happen to be established fans of the romance genre, I applaud you.
But I suspect that’s not the case for most of you, and if you do end up buying my book, it might be your introduction to the genre.
This made me nervous yesterday as I did a final read-through on my revisions for MAKING WAVES.
One of the things my editor requested was a bit more “heat” (a great hardship for me…ha! I said hardship.) MAKING WAVES is written in third person, and like many romances, alternates between the male and female point of view. There’s a particularly steamy shower scene that got steamier with revisions, and it happens to be written from the male point of view.
Concerned about male readers, I printed it out last night and shoved it in front of Pythagoras at dinner.
“Can you read this and make sure it sounds OK from a male perspective?”
He looked up from his spaghetti. “Do I have any other perspective?”
But he read diligently, purple pen in hand, not fazed at all by some of the more acrobatic maneuvers executed by the story’s hero.
In the end, his only concern was whether the hero was injured when he bumped into the showerhead.
“He’s fine,” I assured my spouse.
“I’m glad. He should get to enjoy the afterglow without needing stitches.”
So, potential male readers, you can rest assured the scene has approval from one of your own.
If you happen to be a guy, I’m curious what brings you here and whether you’ve read romantic comedy before.
And for the rest of you – authors of either gender, really – how much thought do you give to your readers’ genitals? Er, you know what I mean. Do you have a target demographic in mind, and if so, how do you think the opposite gender might read differently? Please share.
And then let’s gather together for one big gender-neutral group hug. No fair copping a feel, OK?