Welcome to the Nickel Nasties series! In celebration of my first scathing Amazon review for A Ranger's Tale (1 in 58 ain't bad), I've decided to devote February to the stories that garner so much stereotype and ridicule, but still comprise one of the world's best-selling genres: ROMANCE! I hope you'll enjoy this series. Please leave comments for the wonderful contributors. And...don't forget to check out their books!
There was a line in the movie "DC CAB" where a Hispanic guy with an open shirt displaying his abundantly hairy chest and wearing a gold medallion repeatedly states: "It's tough to be a man, baby." This is especially true when a male takes on the task to write romance. I know. My name's Travis and I'm a closet romanticist.
Men, in general, have to step out of their comfort zone to write effective romance. The male perspective of romance is a chick in a ponytail and wearing a baseball cap. She brings her fella a beer and rubs his back while he watches the football. Men don't require a complex character. A 36-24-35 non-speaking bombshell will usually do the trick.
Women, on the other hand, are less likely to settle for a one-dimensional character. They want to delve into the feelings and thought side of a relationship. When a female character asks her male counterpart, "What ya thinkin'?" the female reader expects a more elaborate answer than, "If I wanted you to know what I was thinking, I'd be talking."
Although I'm working toward it, I don't think I can be classed as a romance writer as yet. I've been told I break too many of the rules. Okay, if you must know, my male MC wasn't completely faithful to his girlfriend, and it probably goes against me that the female MC has lesbian tendencies. And no, that is an intricate part of the plot and not there to set up a threesome. Other than that, it was pretty romantic. He didn't hire a skywriter to spell out "I Love You" in red, white and blue, but they did share a chilidog in the park. Male romance at its finest.
|Buy it HERE!|
I gave my male MC far more inner dialogue than I would have if I was left to my own devices. However, I have learned what women want, theoretically speaking. Oh yes. They like their men to growl and the women to purr. The Alpha male taking control and dominating the vulnerable woman, pulling her ponytail and throwing her to the bed for mad, passionate lovemaking, while she screams, "Treat me like a whore, Batman!" Wait. *Travis lights a cigarette.* See the male problem? It just kind of slipped in there before I was even aware what was happening. I must stay focused.
So, romance isn't all about, umm…it…for lack of a better word, where the woman reader is concerned. Being fiction, she wants an escape from reality. This being the case, the man needs to be considerate. Tough in the face of adversity, yet gentle and caring enough to change a baby's diaper without being asked. He probably cooks and cleans the house when he's not out doing his spy work. He puts her feelings before his own. A male writer must suspend his beliefs from reality and concentrate on the fairytale aspects of love to be considered truly romantic.
I've been reading romance lately to help sharpen my awareness of the female perception of the perfect male. Okay, there is no such thing. Male MC's should have some flaws. I must admit, I do like it when they carry that thick male gene that all men are cursed with. The super hero can be as Alpha as anyone can stomach as long as he's not so in tune with female feelings that he would actually have to be gay to be that understanding. That kind of kills the tingle.
Travis Casey was born and raised in Mid West America, living in eight cities in five states by the time he was eighteen. He joined the US Navy and spent four years in Hawaii, then five years in Scotland before jumping the metaphorical ship. He and his Australian wife moved to Seattle for two years, but returned to the United Kingdom in 1992 and took up residency in the South East of England where he has remained ever since.
His writing career began with writing mostly non-fiction articles on the website helium.com but he was always attracted to those topics under humor and creative writing. Many of his articles got rated highly and it became a hobby as well as an obsession to write. After discovering www.critiquecircle.com he turned to writing fiction. A new genre for him, but he soon found a following of readers and took the plunge into writing comedic novels.
Visit his website at: http://www.traviscasey.net/