Saturday, November 23, 2013

Writing a "Leading Man" without having a "Leading Man" - Guest Blog for Mythical Books

Earlier today my guest blog spot is over at:Mythical Books

Do you want to know what the kryptonite is for this romance writer; that one thing that defeats me from my goal of writing?  I’ll tell you.  It all comes down to a man, not just any man, but the leading man.

I thought the worst thing for a writer to go through when she was in the middle of writing a romance was her own divorce.  It turns out I was kinda wrong.  I mean that was terrible and all, but I’m finding that dating and writing are a horrible mix! 

Why?  – you ask.  I have a question for you in reply – have you ever online dated?  Don’t … just don’t.  Unless you want a good laugh or a good cry; in either case I highly recommend a bottle of wine at the ready. 

In the stories I write, contemporary romances where he’s the ‘average joe’ or the ‘executive casanova’, my men are charming, sexy, funny, and know how to make even the most fortified woman bring her walls crumbling down.  Not so much the case in real life.  For some reason, men in my age range (mid-30-ish) seem to all be going through a mid-life crisis where they think selfies and flexing while making a duck lip face will win the heart of the right woman.

Maybe I’m old fashion, maybe I shouldn’t have read all those old Harlequins of my mother’s…you know, from the 1970s -1990s when the men had nice hairy chests and weren’t afraid to take charge.  They were the kind of men who opened doors, paid the check, and didn’t ask to get you naked before dessert arrived.  I think men today hear us women are reading “those” books and think they can’t compete.  Or they are too busy shaving their chests and practicing their next photo op!

Now imagine telling a potential date that not only do you read “those” books, but you write them too!  If I hear ‘I’ll help you research’ one more time I will throttle whomever says it.  Contrary to popular (and inaccurate) male belief - I keep my real leading man all to myself.  I never write him as a character and if I ever use any part of him it will be a small gesture he’s done or a funny scene….not what goes on behind closed doors….or against the wall….or on the counter…man, I hate being single!

So I can do the only thing possible right now and that is to focus on the type of men I think my readers are looking to find.  Speaking for myself and my friends I’ve discussed this with – we want a strong man who knows who he is, who isn’t afraid of a strong woman, respects her and treats her like a lady, and knows how to make her toes curl long into the night.  If he’s 6’3, built like a brickhouse, and drives a truck I’m sold!  I mean, for writing purposes.  I’m focusing on more of the writing the leading man instead of looking for him in real life. I have no doubt the right man will come along when I least expect him too.

Oh, one last thing … if ever you read one of my books and think ‘no way is this jerk for real’ I can tell you he is, because even though my leading man will never be in my books, all those who didn’t pass muster are fair game.  I’m like the Taylor Swift of romance writing, but with more detailed imagery and less of a good-girl image. 

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