Friday, May 13, 2011

The Men In Our Lives

I was giving some thought to writing about the hero being more than just the love interest of the heroine in our story. In my novel, Two Brothers, Amanda’s brother and father are also heros, playing a major role and wielding a positive influence over her life.

Then sitting in my office yesterday, at my day job, I heard the maintenance supervisor say to one of his men, “…watch it or she’ll write about you in her next book.” I have no clue what was said prior to those words, but I called out to them that I most certainly was taking notes. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard the men around me mention being in my next book.

It got me thinking about the reaction of the men in my life when they found out that I write romance. I have three older brothers, no sisters, and work in a male dominated industry, manufacturing aerospace parts. Only a few close friends even knew I wrote, but when they found out I was getting published, the news spread like crazy.

I was surprised by the reaction. The guys didn’t squirm at the idea of a romance writer or say “Ahh, you write that kind of book.” Instead, I heard things like, “I’m impressed”, “That’s really awesome”, and “I don’t normally read romance, but I want to read your book.”

Now, that's not to say there wasn’t some teasing, too. They wanted to know if they would be able to look me in the eye after reading the story. And I honestly answered, telling them that it would depend on if they had just read a sex scene or not. They also joked about being careful what they said or I might kill them off in my next book. My own brothers wanted to know if I’d written about them.

No doubt, most comments are made in jest. We all know that the majority of romance readers are women and we read because there is a part of us that want, for a little while, to be the heroine.

I tweeted the other day, “Funny how men react when they find out you’re a romance writer. Eager rather than put off.”

Is it possible that on some level, for a little while, they too, the normal everyday men in our lives, just want to be the hero of our stories?


J. Coleman said...

When I was writing my vampire story, my husband asked me one night if he put his hands in the freezer, could he be the hero? I think he was looking to "inspire" me. My life is full of real heroes, and yes, they do "inspire" my characters. My youngest son is actually one of my beta readers! Thanks for the blog and the pictures. I feel really thirsty.

Christina Wolfer said...

It would be difficult for the men around us not to be the inspiration for our characters. Even the bad guys in my story probably come from some of the bad guys who have entered my life at one time or another.

In Two Brothers, the hero is a farmer and so is my husband. He feels very invested in this story because he was my expert on the subject.

Yeah, and I keep coming to my blog just to look at the water boy.

Shanon said...

I believe that the men in our lives love the idea that we fashion our strong, viral heroes after them. No one can tell me that they don't want to be seen as those types of men. I love watching men and their reactions to people and life, especially when they don't know that I'm watching. Very educational.

Calisa Rhose said...

Good question Tina. My husband never really paid much attention while I've been writing, querying, submitting these last few years. Well, other than the 'go write, sell a book' typical comments he hasn't been involved. This last year, however, he's been a great sounding board for the two latest books. He's even helped me plot on the most recent one I started from the outset.
But since I announced my sale the other day- good golly! He's been spreading the news at a very heroic level. I thought he might be competing with my hero for top spot. lol So yeah, I think that even though they don't read as much romance as we do, they hear enough about it to possibly feel a little like it's their place. And most of his calls of my news were to men he worked with in the construction company he'd worked at for 20 years. Men whom I know, and they know me- not as 'his wife'- but by my name. They want to buy my romance book. The women- haven't really said they will.

Renee Vincent said...

Since I've started writing romance for a living, my relationship with my husband has sparked brighter than ever. It's been an amazing road and being a romance writer has helped to benefit our life together. We've been together for twenty years and married for nearly eighteen, and it's so incredible to have a husband who looks at you like you're the only woman he's ever dreamed of. I am so lucky and I can honestly credit romance novels (either the ones I've read or written) for keeping the spice in our marriage.

My husband was never turned off by me writing romance. And he often boasts to people of what I do for a living now. He is so cool!

Great post, Christina, and I love your many candy. YUM!

Krista Ames said...

What a great post Christina and I totally believe the men in our lives play a much bigger part in our stories than they realize. My husband has been so supportive of my writing and even when we are out somewhere he tells everybody, including strangers about my work. I think its awesome and he makes me feel wonderful for his praise but his biggest role is my in-house editor. He is cm awesome sounding board for ideas and even the little things, like if a sentence or a paragraph just needs worded differently. He reads each one before I submit because Ive read it do many times it sll start to blur lol.

Christina Wolfer said...

I agree, Shanon, I think they see themselves as our hero’s and want to know that we see them that way too. I just never gave it much thought until I started noticing the reaction of the guys at work. Like you, I enjoy watching men, enjoy being around them. I’m more comfortable with men, I think because of being raised with all boys.

Christina Wolfer said...

Hey Calisa. You must still be floating on top the world. Congrats again on your recent sale.

My husband has been supportive, but I think until I got the first sale he was reserved, kinda wondering and worrying where it would all lead. Now, he loves telling people I’m published. My biggest surprise has been the guys at work. They seem proud of me, and proud to toot my horn for me. The General Manager even told a table full of customers that they had a published author in their midst. I’ve just been dumbfounded by their support.

Christina Wolfer said...

Renee, it does sound as if you are very lucky. I think that’s something else I’ve found being around other romance writers, the majority of these women have very strong marriages and are very much in love with their husbands. Me included. I’ve been with my man for only ten years, but everyday he makes me feel beautiful.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have our eye candy.

Christina Wolfer said...

That's awesome that your husband is your in house editor, Krista. I wish I had one of those. I need one. Like you, it all starts to blur or the brain knows what it's supposed to say, so that is what it sees. Not the typos. After my short story, I won't submit again without finding someone to proof read

I definitely use my husband as a sounding board for ideas, but I don't think he'll ever read my stories from front to back. He's just not a reader.

Maddie James said...

My ex-husband always used to hitch up his pants in that way that men do, spread a stupid-silly little grin across his face and say to his friends, "yes, boys, I help with the research..."

I usually just quipped back with something like, "And I have a vivid imagination..."

Notice I said ex-husband.

Christina Wolfer said...

Yep, even the ex's of the world can have an influence on character building. The other brother in my story comes awful close to lookin' like my ex-husband.

Madison J Edwards said...

I work in a male domininated job as well - Police Officers. Since the word has spread about my writing, I've been getting quips of 'will I be in your next book', or 'better be careful, you'll end up in her next book'. The flip side, my husband is adamant the book is not about us (I write erotic), but there's a little bit of him in the book. I mean, you have to write what you know... right?
BTW - LOVE the eye candy. Looks like a cool drink of water, and I'm suddenly very thirsty. I wonder where my husband is?

Sandy B said...

Interesting thought. Since our husbands are the most important man in our lives, how can we not consciously or subconsciously keep them from being part of our stories?

Christina Wolfer said...

Love it, Madison. I picture police officers to be so tough and stoical. I'm sure it's only a part of who they are. Funny to think of them being curious about your writing. Men are so much fun.

I agree, Sandy, no way to keep them out of our stories. They're there on some level, just like most of the people in our lives are.