Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crossing Over

By Keith Fisher

I was challenged by a friend this week, to read a book by a certain LDS fiction author. I won’t mention the writer’s name to save myself the anger of the fans that love her work. Suffice it to say you would know who it is.

I was reluctant to read the book because it’s Romantic fiction, but it’s also Chick Lit. What is Chick Lit you ask? Its literature written for woman, about women, with situations only a woman can appreciate.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to think I’m a sensitive guy, but I’m a man, and I often think like one. My friend wanted a legitimate reason that I had never cracked open one of her favorite author’s books and I couldn’t think of an answer that wouldn’t insult the entire female population of the planet. (Well that’s probably not true. I’m sure the monkeys in Africa haven’t heard of the author.) I was between books anyway, so I said I’d read.

My friend not only lent me the book she brought the sequel. I guess she figured I needed some intense training, at any rate, I opened the book. After about fifty pages I began to worry about my testosterone levels. After a hundred, I decided it was a good story. I overlooked the exclusively feminine undertones and discovered a story with a moral that teaches people to never take anyone for granted.

Of course the story is like a big soap opera, but so is the bulk of what I’ve been reading lately, not to mention my life. The only difference is the emphasis placed on love and human relationships. With all the sappy, gooey, pathetic tear jerking prose I read this week, I discovered a couple of interesting things. I liked the story and I found a new genre.

As I mentioned before in this blog, the majority of readers who buy LDS fiction are female and for some reason, women love sappy romances. At this point a light bulb appears over my head and I decide it might be profitable to become a romance writer.

Can you see it now? Me at the Super Bowl party in a room full of manly men, someone says, "I didn’t know you were an author, what kind of books do you write?"
I look him in the eye, and with a straight face, say, "Romance novels."

You laugh, but the last time I visited the bookstore I noticed the number of romance novels exceeded most other genres. Closely followed by mysteries and suspense. So I might rethink my genre. Maybe I’ll add horror and re-write an old television show. I could call it Love Transylvanian Style.

Thanks to my friend--I really did like the book. And to all the rest of you, Good luck with your writing, I’ll see you next week.


Don said...

Man, this rings true.

I finally accepted that my story is LDS fiction, but I'm still having a hard time coming to grips with fact that the more I write, the more it sounds like a romance.

Can it be a romance and not be called a romance? I don't know - I gotta work on this concept some more.

Tristi Pinkston said...

It's not unmanly to write a romance. I think a lot of women (myself included) would like to read a good romance written by a man to help us better understand how men see romance. The only romances I've ever read written by men were from the national market and they weren't romances, they were lusts. I'm excited to see what you great male writers end up producing -- I think it will be great.

Keith Fisher said...

thanks for the comments.
I don't know, Tristi, it sounds like a challenge to me. You've read my stuff, do you htink I have a chance to become the next Jackie Collins?

Annette Lyon said...

Keith, great blog--thanks for pointing it out to me. I got a few good chuckles out of it.

Some men do manage to tell love stories--Rob Wells has reluctantly admitted that his books have romance in them (GASP!), although they're also adventures.

Now you've piqued my curiosity--I wonder what genre will come out of you next!