Romance. It’s the genre that dates as far back as Ancient Greece. Today, the genre has become so complex that is it now broken down into many subgenres. Sometimes it feels as if we are discovering a new ‘type’ of romance novel daily. It is a genre which has historically targeted women readers, written by mostly women authors.
Despite the stagnant nature of the romance genre for thousands of decades, times are certainly changing and we are starting to see a shift in the composition of romance readers and authors. We are starting to see that there are many men who enjoy reading and writing romance novels too.
Very seldom have men taken to writing in the romance genre and have been successful under their own names. Just like women, pseudonyms have appealed to authors because a new name enables them to become someone they aren’t. Think of Leigh Greenwood, Beatrice Parker, Jessica Blair, Madeleine Brent, and Emma Darcy – yep! These female pennames are actually men (or men and women teaming together to write the perfect novel) and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Of course there are a few exceptions – Nicholas Sparks, Dean Koontz, John Greene, Sylvain Reynard and many more male authors have found success in writing romance novels under their own names.
There are many men out there who have declared their love for the romance genre and we want more to follow their lead. An interview with one individual focused on the connection he had with a military romance he had randomly picked up. He claims the romance between the lead lovers helped him to gain insight about women and how to spice things up.
If you are a romance author looking to gain more of a male following, think about making your male protagonists more realistic characters in order to make them more relatable to the everyday man. In the same light, some suggest that taking a unisex author name leaving you ambiguous to readers which might entice more male readers to give the book and genre a chance. The male reader from the interview brought to light how many romance clichés have been overused. To create a unique story and grab some new readers, consider blending a few clichés that you rarely see complimenting each other. Something different might just attract different readers. Similar to our post about romance tropes, the successful mixture of tropes has proved to create a unique telling of the “same ol’ tale.”
Good luck and write on!