Sunday, February 18, 2007

Male Authors of Romance/Romantic Fiction (2)

I saw an item about Jason Pinter whose novel The Mark will be published by Mira in July 2007. The article points out that
Mira, of course, has been publishing thrillers for years and has a number of male authors on its lists. Still, Harlequin remains overwhelmingly a company by and for women. Its challenge is to reach male readers—but with books that also appeal to its core audience. That’s where Pinter comes in. "The female character (in The Mark) is great," says Marbury. "Most men fall short on female characters."
In my previous post on this topic I didn't list any male romance authors and although I gave some links I thought perhaps I should rectify my omission.

According to Juliet Flesch
The number of men writing romance varies a little from time to time and appears to be generally higher in America than in the United Kingdom or Australia [...]. Publishers interviewed by Rosemary Guiley, the author of Love Lines: a Romance Reader’s Guide to Printed Pleasures, reported that from 5 to 40 per cent of their romance writers were men.
In The Romance Fiction of Mills & Boon, 1909-1990s, jay Dixon identified only two men who achieved success with Mills & Boon in the last years of the twentieth century: Victoria Gordon and Madeleine Ker. In fact, there is at least one more: Roger Sanderson, who writes as Gill Sanderson. (2004: 74)
So that's three:
  • Gordon Aalborg, who writes as Victoria Gordon
  • Roger Sanderson, who writes as Gill Sanderson
  • Marius Gabriel, who writes as Madeleine Ker
There's also
  • Vince Brach, writing as Fran Vincent
  • R. Barri Flowers, who writes as Devon Vaughn Archer
  • Tom E. Huff, who wrote as Edwina Marlow, Jennifer Wilde, Katherine St. Claire and Beatrice Parker
  • Wayne Jordan
  • Harold Lowry, who writes as Leigh Greenwood (and who served as President of the Romance Writers of America for 2 years). In a 2001 interview he said that 'The official number is approximately 1 percent of the RWA membership is male. There may be more published, but I doubt it. Yes, I do expect the number to increase over time. Contrary to popular opinion, men are romantic. We just have more cultural obstacles to overcome'.
  • Peter O'Donnell, whose historical romances were written under the name Madeleine Brent
  • David Wind, writing as Monica Barrie and Jenifer Dalton
Some of these male authors and a few others are listed here. Three male authors of popular romantic novels are:
There have also been a number of collaborations in which a male and a female author have worked together:
  • Frank and Wendy Brennan, who wrote as Emma Darcy until Frank's death, after which Wendy continued writing alone (you can read an interview with them here)
  • Tom and Sharon Curtis, who wrote as Laura London (you can read an interviews with them here)
  • Bob Mayer and Jenny Crusie, whose joint website is here.
I'm sure there are many other male authors of romances, and if you know of any of them please do leave a comment.

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  • Flesch, Juliet, 2004. From Australia with Love: A History of Modern Australian Popular Romance Novels (Fremantle: Curtin University Books).

14 comments:

  1. Hello Laura,

    Great Post! And for me it is personally special.

    While I have authored numerous books, in the past three years I have written three contemporary romance novels (the third to be released very soon). On October 29, 2006 the title of the Post on my blog was, As a Man Who Writes Romance Novels… Here are two excerpts from it (and you’ll notice the title of a previous Post to which I referred):

    After reading my recent Post, Men Reading Romance, some of my friends and colleagues have asked me, “Bill, how can you, a man, write romance novels?”

    and

    From my own perspective, as a man who writes romance novels, I have numerous considerations regarding the question. For example, I’m not convinced that women have the corner market on romance. (As I said in that Post, “…maybe the world is becoming more androgynous.”) I think a lot of men think and feel lovingly and romantically, but don’t express it because in our society men who are romantic are many times considered a wuss or called a girly-man. As I write my romance novels, I just think lovingly – like “what might a loving person say or do in a situation like this?” Then I write it out, and nine times out of ten it sounds and is romantic.

    Please come by and visit my blog (http://drbillsharleywisdom.blogspot.com/) and my Website – which is still being built; please try to be understanding (http://www.emenerbooks.com/Order.html).

    Looking forward to seeing you,

    Bill

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  2. Thanks, Bill. I'll put in the direct link to your blog posts, which should make them a bit easier for others to find if they want to take a look. They're As a Man Who Writes Romance Novels and Men Reading Romance.

    in our society men who are romantic are many times considered a wuss or called a girly-man

    I wonder if, historically speaking, this is a pretty recent (and culturally specific) development. If one thinks about love poetry (e.g. courtly love poetry, the poetry of the Romantics) and many of the classic love stories/novels/plays, they've mostly been written by men. I think people maybe forget that 'masculinity' isn't innate (i.e. it's not exactly the same thing as physical maleness) and that what constitutes 'masculinity' has varied according to culture/era.

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  3. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for adding the links… it would be nice to have some new visitors.

    Excellent points regarding culture and era! For example, during the early 1940s, our country being involved in a World War, it made sense for our young men to have the John Wayne types as their heroes. (And wasn’t Archie Bunker a wonderful follow-up parody on that… the way he treated his wife and Meat Head, etc.)

    On a personal side, I played high school football and college basketball, and never felt a threat to my testosterone level by also being an English major. But I don’t know how many men, then and now, see life that way? I don’t see that much machismo at the university or around my personal friends, but when I hit biker bars when on a motorcycle ride it’s a different story. Interesting to say the least!

    My only conclusion regarding gender issues in loving relationships is that by the time I get it all figured out I’ll be eating soft food through a straw and on a good day rocking, gently.

    Ciao,

    Bill

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  4. Here's another male author: K. N. Casper who's written many Harlequin Superromances.

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  5. I'm not aware of any other solo male romance authors, but Tori Carrington is the pseudonym for Lori and Tony Karayianni.

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  6. R. Barri Flowers11 March, 2007 20:04

    Hello:

    Nice to put a little spotlight on male authors of romance fiction and to see my romance author alter ego mentioned--Devon Vaughn Archer.

    Indeed, there are relatively few of us, but the numbers are growing.

    I have two contemporary romances published to date, with a third, CHRISTMAS HEAT (Harlequin, 2007), to be released in December, with HER ALASKAN LOVER to follow in the summer of 2008.

    Though I am primarily a mystery suspense author, I enjoy writing romances and lending my voice to this popular genre.

    Looking forward to writing more contemporary romances in the future.

    Best,

    R. Barri Flowers w/a Devon Vaughn Archer

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  7. The Romance Wiki has a few names not mentioned here on its list of male authors of romance.

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  8. This is good news for me, as I have been writing a few romance novellas (15000 words) and seem to have a knack with it. I'm eagerly awaiting a publisher's decision on my first submission, which I already had a female check over, and she loved it. My name is all too familiar as its the same as a prolific Crime novelist, so my current work, including my middle name puts me 15 pages behind him on Amazon. (John Harvey btw)
    I am testing some nom de plume ideas for this genre as my real name John Ross Harvey doesn't necessarily sound like a romance novelist, but perhaps Wentworth Vaughn does just a thought. Does it sound too male, perhaps a less gender determinable name like Nahtan Hoj? I'm nearly done 2 more stories, and they are largely romantic comedy, as opposed to pure romance.

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  9. John, I'd imagine that your agent, your editor and your publisher's marketing department would be better placed to help you choose a pseudonym, if you decide that you want to be published under one. I don't have much knowledge about how such decisions are reached, but from what I've read on various blogs, there are a lot of different factors to consider and these may vary depending on exactly what you're writing and the market at which it's targeted.

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  10. I've been writing romance for about 18 years. It is primarily female-oriented but there are a few males.

    For your list, I write as Rob Preece, Robyn Anders and Amy Eastlake. I agree that female pseudonyms are a good idea. There are a lot of readers who think guys just don't get it and won't buy if they know it's a male author. Funny thing, some of these same readers love Nicholas Sparks who writes what I consider pure sap. Then again, Sparks makes a lot more money at it than I do so what do I know?

    Rob Preece

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  11. Thanks, Rob. I haven't read any of Sparks' novels but I have the impression that they're more "romantic fiction" than "romance" since the reader isn't guaranteed a happy ending. Is that right?

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  12. F.D. Caldwell is another male romance novelist who has as of June 16, 2011 completed/published 7 out of his planned 50 U.S. States serial romance novels. His best selling books are all over on: "Amazon.com"

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  13. It's nice to see that man can write good romance novels. I bet you tons of guys read romance novels but don't tell anyone.

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    1. I think you're possibly right, Mike. According to the Romance Writers of America's statistics for 2011, "Women make up 91 percent of romance book buyers, and men make up 9 percent." I wonder how many men read romances that have been bought by women. And how many men buy/read romances but don't think of them as romances because they mix genres e.g. romantic suspense or science fiction romance.

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