Monday, February 18, 2013

Nickel Nasties Series #12: by Travis Casey

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!

Travis Casey

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, ummitfor 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 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 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:


  1. I love getting a guy's perspective on romance! And isn't Critique Circle great? :) Thanks for being here!

  2. Hey! What's wrong with a chilidog? I think that he shared it, shows a lot of sensitivity on his part. I would probably write something similar if I wrote romance. From one guy to another, well done in tackling this female dominated genre. I'm rooting for you, at least during the comercials. :)


  3. Thanks for hosting me, Mysti. It's a pleasure to be here.

    Yes, chilidogs can be quite sensual if eaten right. Thanks for your support, TJ. I can use all the back-up I can get.


  4. Hi Travis, I enjoyed your humorous perspective on romance writing. I'll guarantee you that women also suspend their beliefs from reality to concentrate on the fairy tale aspects of love. How else could some things always come to a...uh...satisfactory conclusion simultaneously. Only in romantic fiction, right?

    Nothing makes me dislike a MC more than cheating on his wife/gf without a darned good reason. Please, try not to break that rule.

    Thanks for an interesting read.


  5. Trust me, Leona. He had a very good reason. Things were out of his control and it was not his intention. Thanks for your comment. Good point about satisfactory conclusions. But we can live in hope, right?

  6. Thanks for sharing the male perspective. I often worry that my MMC's sound a bit too chick-like. And I have to admit, when I'm reading and an MC is verbalizing his love in great detail to the FMC, my mind drifts to my husband and a little snort of laughter and the words "yeah right" tend to escape. (Husband is romantic - just doesn't need to talk about it, right?).

    And nothing says romance like a nice french kiss after eating a chili-dog. But only if they both ate one.

  7. YEs, I have to work at it so my chicks don't sound like builders.

    Thanks for having me onboard, Mysti. I enjoyed it.



***NOTICE*** Thanks to a spam bot infestation, every comment must now be subjected to a full-body search. If you pass, you can skip the anal probing...maybe.