9.13.2006

Mr. Romance

I am a guy and I just finished writing a romance novel. I tried to be very true to the genre (no making fun of the genre, nothing overtly sappy or pornographic, etc.). I figure the novel isn't as good as some in the genre, and hopefully better than others. I'm just now starting to do my research on agents that handle romance.

In your opinion, will being a guy shut me out of the genre, give me an edge as a curiosity, or not make any material difference?



The only thing that matters is how well you write. There are many romance novelists who are of the male persuasion. They can't help it; they were born that way, poor dears. Their novels may come etched in pink and have decidedly un-masculine noms de guerre, but that was a discussion by the marketing department. Here at Snark Central we think pink is the correct color for tough-talking, tammed forces of nature anyway.

21 comments:

Kim said...

There are a few romance novelists out there who are men, but write under a female pseudonym. Mr. Romance might want to consider that.

However, if it's just finished as in 'draft #1', I'd highly suggest editing, revising and rewriting before worrying about approaching an agent.

Anonymous said...

>>will being a guy shut me out of the genre<<

Not if you're Bob Mayer. (Although he does have the advantage of working with Jennie Crusie...)

Allison Wharley said...

Is this a category romance novel? Because if it is, you might want to consider submitting directly to publishers. Many of the romance lines accept unagented submissions - even initial submissions of a partial. (Yes, they judge you on your *writing* instead of your ability to fabricate a synopsis!)

Notice to the Agent Retirement Fund Collection Officers: I did not say 'Don't get an agent'. But perhaps you don't need one *yet*.

Bill Peschel said...

Leigh Greenwood's a male as well. I met him years ago at a conference. Really nice guy.

Jude Hardin said...

Miss Snark is absolutely correct. It all comes down to how well it's written. If you love to read romance novels, and have a passion for writing them, then you're probably in the game (with a pseudonym, most likely). If you're trying to jump on the bandwagon because of the popularity of romance novels, you're probably wasting your time.

Kimber An said...

I feel for you. I'm a woman writing science fiction. One would think that wouldn't be a big deal anymore. I'd say your wife or girlfriend is a very lucky woman! And my husband thinks he's very lucky to be married to a woman who will watch space battles and brain-sucking aliens with him on t.v. too. Yes, revise, revise, revise, but never, ever give up. ;)

Southern Writer said...

My first crit partner was a guy who wrote a chick lit novel, and I thought it was pretty good. I don't know whatever became of it or him. :(

HawkOwl said...

"I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess."

Bella Stander said...

GalleyCat just had a post about this: Men "Cannot Write Romance". There will probably be a follow-up, as readers were asked to submit examples of "serious" male writers who can. I did.

Stephen said...

According to the presenter of an about-to-air series on the BBC, as a man you cannot write romance because you lack insight into the ways of women.

Me, I think she's wrong.

The Queen-a Athena said...

There's always some men at RWA conferences, and not all of them are there with their wives. You might not end up with your picture on the back cover, but you can definitely get published.

And Hawkowl, thanks for giving me an early morning Red Green laugh. Keep your stick on the ice!

RiterLady said...

Mr. Romance,

Check out Tori Carrington, a husband and wife team, or KN Casper, a super Superomance writer. Or FG Gerson, a new Red Dress Inc. author. You'd be in fine company.

Riter Lady

Termagant 2 said...

Yes, you CAN write romance. Just like I can write SF, should I choose to do so.

And don't tell anyone, but my husband reads the occasional romance, not just my books...

I, for one, celebrate your willingness to step out of your pigeonhole!

T2

Anonymous said...

My husband is a romance writer and he just snagged a well-known, reputable agent. It's the writing on the page.

River Falls said...

Call them "love stories" instead of "romance novels" and you could be the next Nicholas Sparks.

If that's what you're going for.

Romance Editor said...

Mr. Romance,
Join RWA if you aren't already a member. While the gender of an author doesn't matter, if s/he's trying to write romance, a membership in RWA certainly does. It speaks of a professional interest in your own writing. And it tells me that you most likely have a critique group and take your writing very seriously.

I don't reject people who aren't members of RWA, but I can't remember the last time I published an author who wasn't.

Anonymous said...

...and the Independent today asks: Gender and fiction: So, can a man create women?
Especially, check out the views of female authors at the end.
http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/features/article1578713.ece

Gabriele C. said...

Lol, I'm a woman and I can't for the life of me write romance.

Nay, it's military historical fiction à la Bernard Cornwell, and steampunk for me. And yes, I have heard nonsense like 'women can't write battles.' Duh.

Good luck with your romance - I think I know who you are. *grin*

bordermoon said...

One of the best-selling romance writers a while back -- in the 1980s, I think -- was Jennifer Wilde. Whose real name was Tom Huff. You would never guess from the writing that the author was male, and he was also a darling man in person. Vanessa Royal (or was it Royalle?) was also a pseud for a man who wrote romance. If you write romance well, no one will care what sex you are in your mundane life!

Kalen Hughes said...

Wayne Jordan. Male romance writer and all around nice guy.

Rob Preece. Male romance writer. One of the 2005 Golden Heart finalists. Really great guy.

They ARE out there.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Top romantic suspense writer in the 1970s and '80s: Madeleine Brent (_Tregaron's Daughter_, _Moonraker's Bride_, etc.).

In real life: Peter O'Donnell, the creator of Modesty Blaise.