Can guys write paranormal romance? June 27, 2011Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Fun stuff.
Tags: Chris Hackett, male authors, paranormal romance, The Observer
This topic came up on Twitter recently. Do you know any guys who write paranormal romance? I couldn’t name a single dude, although a few folks could, but the authors wrote under female names. (Yeah — if you have a fave, post it below!)
So when I got an email from Chris Hackett, a male author who recently has his firstparanormal romance book published at the Amazon Kindle store, I just had to ask what he thought. Can guys write paranormal romance? Why did I ask him? Well, it’s his first book (THE OBSERVER). And second — he’s young — like 21 — so I figure he’s got a super fresh perspective about these things. And finally — he emailed me, which means he’s actively putting himself out there under the scrutiny of paranormal romance fans.
Here’s a snippet about his book — which I have not read:
Gabriel is an Observer: a member of an ancient race that created Earth and humanity. His task is simple. He observes humans from afar and reports any sign of interference from The Fallen, people of his kind who have broken their most important rule: never interact with humans. But when Gabriel becomes fascinated with the young,vibrant — and human — Alyssa, it isn’t long before he justifies breaking the rule himself.
And here’s what Chris had to say when I asked him about his writing, and if he thought men and women write romance differently:
THE OBSERVER is my first attempt at “romance” as a genre, although my other manuscripts have all had some type of romance in them.
When I first thought of the idea for this book, it was mostly science fiction. It wasn’t until I had really fleshed out my ideas that I
realized that it worked exceptionally well as a paranormal romance. That being said, I know about the typical tropes and cliches in the romance genre, and as I started writing I sought not only to make this a romance that had a great science fiction story behind it – a romance that had a plot besides just the romance itself, but is ultimately tied into it – but also to make this a romance novel that really breaks down a lot of the traditional boundaries set by the typical romance publishers.
For example, I wanted a really strong female as the main female lead. I didn’t want the typical “I can’t do anything without my supernatural boyfriend”; rather, I wanted her to have realistic reactions and an independent personality – someone who had a life before the main character came around, and would survive without him. This was also spurred on by the fact that I didn’t want humans as a race to seem incompetent as they so often do – we are a pretty resilient people, and the female lead, being a normal human, represents our race. Therefore, I wanted her to be able to put up a fight against the
Likewise, the book is written from the first person perspective of the male protagonist. I am a guy, so it was easier for
me to see his side of falling in love and courting. I think it is a highly under-represented side of the relationships in current romance novels.
In a sense, I want this to be a new sort of romance – one with parts for the typical romance crowd, parts for those who enjoy romance but despise some of the cliches, and even parts for guys with the inclusion of action and science fiction.
I don’t think guys and girls write differently so much as they think differently, and writing is simply a reflection of your thoughts. Guys want a plot, they want action – they don’t mind if romance is involved, but they want to see the end game and strong antagonists to counter the protagonists.
Girls care more about the characters themselves – their lives, their loves, their dilemmas – and as such
write in a way that reflects this. In a way, I am seeking to combine these two lines of thinking in THE OBSERVER: to have strong characters involved in a forbidden romance taking place among a plot larger thaneach of the two main characters, but in which their interaction plays a huge role.
Chris’ next project is the sequel for THE OBSERVER. It is titled THE ARCHON, but there’s no release date yet.
So what do you think? Know any guy authors who write in this genre? (And thanks to Chris for sharing this thoughts about writing. If you’ve read his book, let us know in the comments section what you thought.)