The Daily Obsession!-manliness!

I'm querying agents for a paranormal thriller somewhat along the lines of Kelley Armstrong or Kim Harrison. I am male, and all the popular romantic paranormals are by women authors (allegedly). Should I use my initials in my query rather than my name, or just state that I'm willing to use a female pseudonym? Or give all the agents credit for being unbiased against a man in a woman's otherworld?

And if I use a pseudonym, will that cripple promotional activities like booksignings?

Romantic paranormal does not equal paranormal thriller and if you think they do you've got a bigger problem than your name bub.

Since you're obsessing about your name I'm going to guess you mean romantic paranormal since "eeek, I'm a man" is more common among romantic obsessives than thriller obsessives.

Anyway. Quit obsessing.
Write well.
Write well enough to get asked to the prom before you start obsessing about whether the dress makes you look like an East German shotputter.

If you truly think some agent will ditch you cause you're anatomically incorrect, use your initials. It's not like we're not gonna find out soon enough.

And no, touring under the "wrong" name won't hurt at all.


Unknown said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I would love to see some huge, burly guy using the name Sally Louise at a book signing.

Elektra said...

"I don't know about anyone else, but I would love to see some huge, burly guy using the name Sally Louise at a book signing. "

I'd buy the book.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out that a paranormal thriller is not the same thing as a paranormal romance.

Anonymous said...

All the paranormal thriller authors (I'd have called these urban fantasy, but whatever) are female? Really? Ever heard of Jim Butcher?

I'm getting the feeling this guy's not very well read within this genre, which often bodes ill for the writing.

P.S. Butcher's Dresden Files are on the Sci-Fi Channel now...in case you don't like to read.

kris said...

Leaving aside the issues Miss Snark handled so well, I can assure you that many a man has been able to publish in romance. There's a small but growing number of men who attend the RWA national conference every year. Don't let your plumbing discourage you from writing the story you wish to write.

Lisa Cohen said...

"I don't know about anyone else, but I would love to see some huge, burly guy using the name Sally Louise at a book signing."

LOL. Me too and I don't even read this genre.

Anonymous said...

It's called urban fantasy and men write those, too.

You can hang at the bar with Jim Butcher.

He'll be one of the speakers at a big romance convention in Houston, BTW. Men tend to be outnumbered by women a few hundred to one at those events. Apparently he has no problem with that.

Yasmine Galenorn said...

Not only is it called urban fantasy, some of us who write it are put on the paranormal romance shelf, even though romance takes a back seat to the rest of the book...so it does get confusing (and that's the publisher's decision on how to market it).

So I can see why he might get the categories mixed up. :)


Anonymous said...

"Urban fantasy?" Huh. That's a new one. Can we get any more balkanized in this genre?

I suggest the poster check out Charlie Huston's "No Dominion" and "Already Dead" starring hard-boiled vampire detective Joe Pitt. And there's some pretty decent paranormal thriller stuff out there from some chap named Stephen King.

Anonymous said...

i agree with evenly and others. you really need to be up on this/these genre(s) and jim butcher's name regularly appears alongside hamilton's, harris's, and harrison's. whether it's being called paranormal romance or urban fantasy, readers can tell if it's in the same flavor family.

i do think, though, that if you are a guy, your work will be called urban fantasy no matter how much or little romance is in it. but this type of work is really hybrid in terms of genre, so it's a wild world out there in category land these days. even within these new categories, there's a range of approaches to genres. for example, to me, there's a difference between the work of the above women writers and that of, say, tanya huff and kelly armstrong, and i think it has something to do with the writer's treatment of sex and male/female relationships.

but that's grist for some other blog, because i know this aint what miss snark is all about. i'll finish by saying you really need to read widely in this market to be aware of these differences between treatment of genre elements.

Anonymous said...

"Urban fantasy?" Huh. That's a new one.

New, eh. Then how come I had a story in Urban Fantasies, edited by King & Blackford, 22 years ago.

Oh, wait. That was in Australia, so it doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a time I was waiting in a parking lot for the vet to open. A guy in pick-up pulled up and got out. Muscle shirt, tight jeans, and construction helmet. (And a very nice body, but that's another story.) Macho strut - do you need more description? Cradled on his arm, being tenderly petted, was a tiny kitten.

My impression was that he knew he was a man, and so didn't worry about it. If any male is worried about labels because he writes something romantic, don't. Frankly, I like reading from another point of view.

Anonymous said...

I'm in love with that kitten guy.