Clean Romances discussion

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Historical Fiction > Can a Guy Write a Romance A Woman Will Enjoy?

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message 1: by David (new)

David Woolley (davidgwoolley) My most recent novel, Compass of God, was released a few weeks ago. During the editing phase of the project, the managing editor called me to tell me that I should write more romance novels. She said, (and I'm not kidding), "You're pretty good at this." She was being kind. I'm not really good at it. I told her the novel wasn't a romance, but something told me I was lying, just a little. So, can a guy write a convincing "love story" that a woman reader will enjoy? And if you've had a look at Compass of God, did I even come close to writing even a half good love story, since this is, afterall, historical fiction. I'd really like to know your opinions and your advice.


message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 18 comments Hey Dave (may I call you that?), I think if the man was a really great author he might have a chance to write a great love story, there are some men that have written love stories before...I don't know what to say.


message 3: by Yue (last edited Nov 14, 2011 11:10AM) (new)

Yue | 22 comments Of course a man can write romances books that woman will enjoy reading! I personally like to read more books from female authors, but if you take a look at great romance books, you will see that there are a lot of really good male writers, like Nicholas Sparks (one of the most romantic movie is based on his novel, The Notebook). Also, there is Madeleine Brent (pseudonym of Peter O'Donnell), who wrote many and great romance books. You can check them out, and read their reviews and see that a male writer can succeed as much as a female author.


message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 59 comments I don't see why not. Romance belongs to both genders, so why can't a man write about it as successfully as woman? I think it is more the skill of the writer than the gender that determines the quality of the finished product.


message 5: by Serena (new)

Serena Casey (serenacasey) | 14 comments One of my beta readers, Gary Sand, wrote a romance called "In Dreams" which is quite good and that I enjoyed. I don't know if I would call it totally "clean," (I just can't recall) but at the same time I know it wasn't explicit when it came to the physical stuff. It is written from the male protagonist's point of view and very convincing, I thought. So it definitely can be done, although to be honest, I usually don't pull a book off the romance shelf if it's an obviously male author name. I should probably be more open-minded! :)


message 6: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tigersue) | 4 comments Madeleine Brent is one of my favorite authors.


message 7: by Regina (new)

Regina Jennings (regina_jennings) | 15 comments I was thinking of Madeleine Brent, too. I didn't even know "she" was a "he" until recently. BTW, my editor is male. He has several historical romance authors that he edits.


message 8: by Arch (new)

Arch  | 116 comments Writing will always be gender blind. So, yes, a man can write a romance book.


message 9: by Beks (new)

Beks (bekster15) | 5 comments Of course, as has already been stated, it is the quality of the writing rather than the gender of the writer that determines whether or not a story is appealing.


message 10: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Thorne (daniellethorne) | 164 comments Surely Nicholas Sparks is a good example of this. I have edited two of author David Bond's romances (a blind author) and I think he's a wonderful writer. Yes, in my opinion, men can write wonderful romance, too. ;)


message 11: by Jessie (new)

Jessie (anne-girl) | 2 comments Actually, most people aren't aware, but several of the most popular regancy romance author were men or husband/wife teams. They simple all used female pen names to make SELLING the books easier.


message 12: by Jessie (new)

Jessie (anne-girl) | 2 comments Arch wrote: "Writing will always be gender blind. So, yes, a man can write a romance book."

True, but can't always sell it with his name. Most male romance authors go by female names. of course, this goes both ways. J.K.Rowlings is styled as "J.K." because the publisher though a female name would be off-putting to teenage boys. Hence the gender neutral JK


message 13: by Lydia (new)

Lydia Jones (Lydia6) | 11 comments Definitely! I echo others: it's the quality of the writing. Personally I don't like Nicholas Sparks at all (although I love films that have been made of his books) but he certainly proves it can be done! :)
www.lydiajones.co.uk


message 14: by Arch (new)

Arch  | 116 comments Jessie wrote: "True, but can't always sell it with his name. Most male romance authors go by female names. of course, this goes both ways. J.K.Rowlings is styled as "J.K." because the publisher though a female name would be off-putting to teenage boys. Hence the gender neutral JK"

I know some male author uses female names. I wish that they would use their name instead. If a story falls in my reading taste and is a catcher to me, I will read it, no matter the gender.


message 15: by Karen (new)

Karen Aminadra (goodreadscomkarenaminadra) | 4 comments Excellent thread!! A friend of mine (a man) emailed me this morning with the same question! Hurrah!
I will keep reading and report back to him...

Also... would a woman read a romance novel from the male perspective???


message 16: by Arch (new)

Arch  | 116 comments I would read a romance book from a male's perspective if the book is in my taste range and a catcher.


message 17: by Teryn (new)

Teryn | 84 comments I think it is fun to see the male perspective. I have read some, but not full romance ones.


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen Aminadra (goodreadscomkarenaminadra) | 4 comments Thanks :-) I will tell me friend


message 19: by Aerykah (new)

Aerykah Interesting... My sis-in-law & I were talking about this just the other day.
I've heard many people claim to prefer male authors over female (or vice versa) without even considering the fact that some authors use a pseudonym.
Personally, I think guys can definitely write romances that women will enjoy. The only problem is that too many women won't read a romance by an author who is obviously male. I say - Come on, ladies, give the guys a chance!


message 20: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Chamberlain (andychamberlain) | 17 comments Well you could try this test for 99c. Here's a short clean romantic tale written by a man for women, from a woman's point of view, and specifically trying to engage a female perspective (and approached with fear and trembling, and due respect)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_...

Does it work? Please let me know!


message 21: by Angela (last edited May 28, 2012 08:57PM) (new)

Angela (angacocks) | 1 comments Tanya wrote: "Madeleine Brent is one of my favorite authors."

This was my thought exactly - I love "Madeleine Brent" novels, especially the romance within them, and this is his pen-name - His name is "Peter O'Donnell. I've personally never read any of his books written as Peter O'Donnell, but I have them on my to-read list; because if he writes those as well as he did the novels under the pen name of "Madeleine Brent" I'm sure that they would be very well written. I can honestly say that his romance novels are some of my favorite romance novels, "Moonraker's Bride" is one of the best romance novels, in my opinion


message 22: by Gerrie (new)

Gerrie | 16 comments I loved "Madeleine Brent's" books. Jude Morgan is a man, and I really enjoyed his An Accomplished Woman, which is a Regency romance reminiscent of Jane Austin. It's written from a female perspective.


message 23: by LAWonder10 (new)

LAWonder10 | 108 comments Many times, a romance novel written by a man is cleaner than when many women write. Some men have a keen sense of romance and caring.


message 24: by Karen (new)

Karen Aminadra (goodreadscomkarenaminadra) | 4 comments Interesting thoughts guys!
I've passed all this on to my friend and he is really encouraged by what you've all said!
I can't wait to read what he writes :-)


message 25: by Kat (new)

Kat (bookbarrio) | 1 comments Yes, I think male authors can write good romance. I used to think otherwise, because I've tried and tried reading Nicholas Sparks, and his writing really does not work for me. Other romances written by male authors usually do not work for me as well, with the exception of Paulo Coelho. I think it has something to do with how they write the female character, and how I relate to the heroine who is supposed to be my avatar. However, I recently just read Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, who is a male author, and it really changed my mind. I really loved it and was surprised to find out afterward that the author is actually male. (I wasn't really familiar with the name Sylvain, and I thought that he was a she before I read the book.) After that, I've decided to give more male authors a chance.


message 26: by Karen (new)

Karen Aminadra (goodreadscomkarenaminadra) | 4 comments I'm going to copy and paste that to my friend :-) thanks


message 27: by Annalea (new)

Annalea (poetsinprose) | 20 comments I WISH there were more male romance writers. Maybe then more men would pay attention to them, and try some of the things in them. There are so many women reading romances; you'd think that the guys would catch a clue about what it takes to be successful with the ladies. lol

There's something about a successful romance written by a man that carries a little more cachet than a female-written romance. Sounds sexist . . . but c'est la vie, no?


message 28: by LAWonder10 (new)

LAWonder10 | 108 comments Some of the greatest romantic poetry was written by a man.


message 29: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 209 comments I completely agree. I wish there were more me writers as I then it would draw attention to it - I don't understand why the guys don't get the hint about what pleases us girls! They really should try some things we read about!


message 30: by Tressa (new)

Tressa (Wishful Endings) | 33 comments Two YA books that were released last year by debut authors that I really liked were by men and they both have major romantic elements: Partials by Dan Wells and Immortal City by Scott Speer. Then if you want some good examples in classics, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, and Westward Ho by Charles Kingsley have fabulous love stories. My biggest thing with men authors sometimes has been that they tend to be more abrasive or crude in their writing and that turns me away. However, there are those that do it very well too.


message 31: by Simon (new)

Simon Wheeler (simonhughwheeler) I think it depends on whether a guy can write a female character that readers can connect with. If the reader doesn't empathize with the character, they probably won't care what happens in the story. So, if a guy doesn't truly understand women, it'd be difficult for him to write a convincing female character.
I believe my characters have been influenced by my being lucky enough to have been brought up surrounded by intelligent, interesting women. In my book, Loosely Translated, Maria is not just relegated to being the love interest of the hero, but rather, stands on her own two feet as the principal character.
An example of a guy who writes great romances: Nicholas Evans, author of The Horse Whisperer. I got to meet him and he's a genuinely nice guy.


message 32: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 14, 2013 09:23AM) (new)

Kenneth opal wrote the female character very well, and it fit with the story.while there is romance between the main guy and the girl he meets.it doesn't take over the story.in fact the romance is very well-written.


message 33: by Jodi (new)

Jodi Bowersox (jodibowersox) | 31 comments Lydia wrote: "Definitely! I echo others: it's the quality of the writing. Personally I don't like Nicholas Sparks at all (although I love films that have been made of his books) but he certainly proves it can be..."

Thank you for saying you don't like Nicholas Sparks. I was so angry at the one book of his I read I nearly threw my new Nook across the room!


message 34: by Jodi (new)

Jodi Bowersox (jodibowersox) | 31 comments Annalea wrote: "I WISH there were more male romance writers. Maybe then more men would pay attention to them, and try some of the things in them. There are so many women reading romances; you'd think that the guy..."

I've often thought this myself--wake up men and read what the ladies are reading to see what the ladies are needing! My husband wrote a great Sci Fi that is funny, philosophical and romantic. I do think that the writer has to know his topic, and if the topic is romance, he'd better have some experience!


message 35: by Beth (new)

Beth Fred (goodreadscombeth) | 3 comments Jodi wrote: "Lydia wrote: "Definitely! I echo others: it's the quality of the writing. Personally I don't like Nicholas Sparks at all (although I love films that have been made of his books) but he certainly pr..."

Nicholas Sparks doesn't actually write romance. It's speculative fiction. That's why most of his books have a strong message. The romance genre requires a happily ever after. But the film adaptation of The Notebook was "romance." That's probably why lots of people like the movies better than the book in Sparks' case.


message 36: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 11 comments Gerrie wrote: "I loved "Madeleine Brent's" books. Jude Morgan is a man, and I really enjoyed his An Accomplished Woman, which is a Regency romance reminiscent of Jane Austin. It's written from a female perspect..."

I have read one book by Jude Morgan "Indiscretion" and I loved it! Despite the name of the book, it is a totally clean romance. One of my favorites!


message 37: by Lara (new)

Lara | 10 comments I absolutely think that a man can write a great romance. Look at "The Work and the Glory". My problem is more that most men write REALLY raunchy sex scenes in their books; at least the ones I have tried that has been the case. So, if you can write a good romance without the smut, woohoo, please share because I would love to read it :)


message 38: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (lyncote) | 18 comments Of course, a guy can write romance. I know some!


message 39: by Daris (new)

Daris Howard (darishoward) | 13 comments I've written a couple. Granted they are different than what perhaps women may write, but I have had women write me on both my Mail-Order Bride and Royal Tutor books and tell me they liked the difference and felt they were some of the best romance books written. And I will add that my books are always clean.


message 40: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Deluca (darlenedeluca) | 23 comments Lara wrote: "I absolutely think that a man can write a great romance. Look at "The Work and the Glory". My problem is more that most men write REALLY raunchy sex scenes in their books; at least the ones I have ..."

I have to agree. I like some male writers, Kent Haruf and John Irving (not strictly romance), but man, the way they talk about sex is often a little crass for me.

Unexpected Legacy


message 41: by CarolynB (last edited Mar 24, 2013 01:22PM) (new)

CarolynB (carolynlb) | 35 comments Daris, thanks for adding that last sentence--that your books are always clean. I went to Amazon and found that your The Mail-Order Bride, is only 99 cents for Kindle, and it has a more-than-four-star rating, so I bought it and I'm going to start reading it right away. (I'll be able to add your name to my new-to-me-author challenge :) I'll let y'all know how I like it.


message 42: by Sheri (new)

Sheri South | 22 comments One of my all-time favorite romances was written by a man. FLIGHT FROM BUCHAREST, by R.(obert) T.(yler) Stevens, was one of the last "clean" romances of the late 1970s. It's set in the closing days of WWI, and has a British officer trying to smuggle a Romanian princess out of the country. *sigh* What more could anyone ask?


message 43: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 37 comments FLIGHT FROM BUCHAREST, by R.(obert) T.(yler) Stevens
Sheri, that one sounds great! I hope I can find it somewhere. : /


message 44: by Sheri (new)

Sheri South | 22 comments I checked it out of the library years ago, but found a hardcover copy on bookfinder.com at a good price. It was also re-released in paperback under the sappy-sounding title IN MY ENEMY'S ARMS, if that helps. Do look for it; you won't be disappinted!


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

I definitely believe so. In fact, a few years ago I recall reading somewhere (in a writer's magazine, not sure which) that half of the romance novels on the shelf were written by men who use pseudonyms. And there are of course big romance writers like Nicolas Sparks. I don't know, sometimes I feel like the guys I know are more romantic than the women. LOL :)


message 46: by C. (last edited Apr 16, 2013 03:51PM) (new)

C. | 289 comments Sorry, but I don't think so.I mean 'come on' men are known for being unromantic!

Isn't that why women love Romance Fiction,because we don't get the romance in real life?

I didn't read every single post here,but I believe there was only two male Romance Authors named,right,Sparks and the guy that goes by Madeline Brent. Personally I can't stand those ANGST-filled tear jerkers by Nicholas Sparks. I read romance to be uplifted not depressed!

Anyway,nope,I don't think men have it in them.I know none of my favorites were written by a man!


message 47: by Shanda (new)

Shanda | 8 comments Annalea wrote: "I WISH there were more male romance writers. Maybe then more men would pay attention to them, and try some of the things in them. There are so many women reading romances; you'd think that the guy..."

I whole-heartedly agree.

One of my favorite romances from last year was The Cinderella Project by Stan Crowe. The cover isn't my favorite but the story is great. Clean, funny, and told from the male main character's point of view. The novelty of it all plus the enjoyable story made it a five-star book for me and I gave it a great review.

Funny side-note: When I was at LTUE in February for my podcasting panel, a gentleman came up and asked to have a picture taken with me. Wouldn't you know it was Stan Crowe. We chatted for a bit and ended up starting a critique group with some other aspiring authors. He is one nice guy, and funny, too. To be clear, I loved his book well before we ever met and started a critique group. I am thrilled at the chance to read his stuff before it gets published. :)


message 48: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 10 comments I'm kind of torn here wanting to be encouraging but truthful. I read a lot and I gave found that I generally do not prefer a man's idea of romance. First of all, usually there is a ton of swearing. Then their feminine heroine is totally stunning, thin, only exercises running full marathons occasionally yet still maintains her sleek physique. She also speaks 12 languages (fluently) and is a gourmet chef (in her spare time). I find these novels exhausting and usually cannot stomach them. I might try that Madeline Brent, however.


message 49: by C. (last edited Apr 17, 2013 01:07PM) (new)

C. | 289 comments Darlene wrote:
[quote]I like some male writers, Kent Haruf and John Irving (not strictly romance), but man, the way they talk about sex is often a little crass for me.[/quote]

LOL!I don't even want to think about that!


message 50: by Megan (new)

Megan Nicholas Sparks? I haven't read any of his books, but they seem to be enjoyed by other ladies. I'm reading Scott Westerfield's Leviathan right now, and it includes a bit of young, innocent romance. I'm really enjoying it.


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