Leigh Greenwood | Writing Romances
March 8, 2012
I'm often asked what it's like to be a man writing romance. I'm never sure how
to answer that question because I don't know what it's not supposed to be like.
I've always been a man, and I've never written anything but romance. To me,
it's a perfectly natural thing to do. I think of a story, set my tush in the
chair, and start typing. Roughly six months later, after periods of inspiration
all too often followed by periods of exasperation, I end up with a book. I
expect that's pretty much how anyone comes up with a book whether it's a
romance, mystery, or action adventure. It must be natural to Nicholas Sparks as
well. He's undoubtedly the most successful of all male romance writers. I've
never been in a position to ask, but I wonder if he's asked the same question.
I think what people are really asking is how can any man write romance? The
underlying implication is that men aren't romantic. I remember one time when I
was at a table signing books and a reader came up and asked when my wife would
be back. Clearly it didn't occur to her that I could have written those books.
Of course I'm aware that there are few men who write romance. So few, in fact,
that most readers are surprised when they see me at a signing. So surprised
that many of them used to walk away from me as though afraid some of my
strangeness might rub off on them. But I've been doing this for more than
twenty-five years. My first book, WYOMING WILDFIRE, came out in 1987. I
came out, in a manner of speaking, in Romantic Times after my fourth book, but
it took me twelve years and thirty-four books before I could talk my editor into
putting my picture in the back of my books. She only agreed then because she
said everybody already knew.
I've also been asked if I purposefully change my writing because my audience is
primarily women, and my answer is no. I believe the reason I've survived this
long is that my natural style fits the romance readership. However, writing
romance has altered and deepened my understanding of real-life relationships. I
think more carefully about many things I previously took for granted or didn't
notice at all. That has been helped by reading romance. There's nothing like
seeing things from another viewpoint. Considering the broad variety of romance
writers I read, that's many widely differing viewpoints.
For those who say men aren't romantic, I encourage them to remember that
evolution has brought men and women to romance from very different directions.
We may use different words, behave differently, even think differently, but
we're after the same thing. Do you think a man who can't ask for directions is
going to ask for love? He won't, but he still wants and needs it. You just
have to understand the language he uses.
TEXAS PRIDE BY
GREENWOOD—IN STORES MARCH 2012
A PRINCE AMONG MEN...
Carla Reece had never met anyone more infuriating in her life. The blond giant
who swaggered up to her door had no right to take over half her ranch - no
matter how stupid her brother had been gambling it away in a high-stakes poker
game. Her new foreman claimed to be some foreign royalty who promised to leave
in a year. Still, a year was way too long to spend with a man who made her
madder than a wet hen and weak in the knees all at the same time.
A HELLION AMONG WOMEN...
Ivan may have charmed everyone in town into thinking he was the perfect
gentleman, but Carla knew better. There had to be a chink in his armor-a red-hot
passion under that calm, cool gaze. But once she finds it, she may be in for
more than she ever bargained for...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is the author of the popular Seven Brides, Cowboy, and Night Riders series. The
proud father of three grown children, Leigh resides in Charlotte, NC.† He never
intended to be a writer, but found it hard to ignore the people in his head, and
the only way to get them out was to write. Visit www.leigh-greenwood.com.†††
Has reading romances changed your relationships? Two commenters will win
TEXAS PRIDE (US / Canada shipping only)
31 comments posted.
Re: Leigh Greenwood | Writing Romances
I like reading stories such as this where the conflict
between such characters seems very real.
(Mary Hay 9:08am March 8, 2012)
Reading about romance is great, but sharing romance is wonderful!
(Marjorie Carmony 9:36am March 8, 2012)
Reading Romances has made me think about my relationships and how I can make them better.
(Beth Elder 10:16am March 8, 2012)
I love reading romance books; however, I am not in any relationship at this time.
(Wilma Frana 10:38am March 8, 2012)
I know my husband loves when I finish a
romance. I am affectionate anyway, but then the
spark is there..I tend to take my time in listening,
responding, and being more gentle in all
approaches with him.
We are a great loving couple anyway. And it is
always quality time spent together, whether we
go for a walk or sit in the car eating from a drive
thru...we have dates throughout the week,
making the little things very grand. Romance
novels help push you through, believing that any
conflict cam be overcome through
communication, patience, and love and you can
male Happily Ever After every day.
(Carla Carlson 10:52am March 8, 2012)
not really. I consider them entertainment but try not to let them change perceptions of reality
(Pam Howell 11:09am March 8, 2012)
I don't really think reading romance changes my relationships, but I love reading romance. It takes me into a different relationship that I don't have and I think this is fun. Leigh's books are just awesome and I would love to read this one. Most of the time I don't read book written by a man but this is on man's books I will read everyone I get my hands on.
(Gail Hurt 11:38am March 8, 2012)
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH COWBOYS!!! WO HOO!!
(Linda Bass 11:40am March 8, 2012)
I read romance as an escape & to relax - that probably has a
positive effect on my relationships.
(Diane Sallans 11:48am March 8, 2012)
I will give your books a try as I usually only read books by female authors - just by chance not through predjudice.
(Barbara Hanson 11:55am March 8, 2012)
Having so many books in the house annoys my husband, but he gets over it.
(Lisa Elwood 12:02pm March 8, 2012)
I will admit to never having read any of your books, but your interview today has peaked my interest. Now I can't wait to get my hands on one of your books. Thanks!
(Robin McKay 12:12pm March 8, 2012)
Thanks for giving your fans a chance to win Texas Pride. I've read and enjoyed other books you've written.
(Anna Speed 12:31pm March 8, 2012)
You are a new author for me and I really enjoyed your column. I'm glad you found a way to deal with "those people in your head"--great image. As to your question: I don't think reading romance has changed my releationships, unless having Hubby say "You read too much" counts.
(G S Moch 1:06pm March 8, 2012)
I do not believe so... love the relaxation I get when reading
(Colleen Conklin 1:09pm March 8, 2012)
Yes, reading romance has added spice to our lives. We are married 41 yrs now and I love Romance books.......adds spice..........
(Joanne Bozik 1:24pm March 8, 2012)
First I'd like to tell you that one of your books was the first romance I ever read and I enjoyed it enough that I started reading romance. I'm snickering now because I didn't know that a man had written it. Don't get me wrong ...I think that's great because the way I look at it is that as far as romance goes (which I love) then we would both be on the same page so to speak. Oh and if you write it then you probably read it and you know how steamy they are so all I can say is lucky wife (haha). I didn't start reading romance until after my husband passed so I can't say if it would have changed our relationship but it sure as hell could have added spice and even more spontaneous to it. I'm down sizing now and my youngest is moving out and she was looking at my books we were packing and kept rolling her eyes and saying 'romance, oh boy' (I used to say that to my mom, "sigh") never know. Anyway, you probably don't come to AZ (too far from NC) for a book signings for I will say Thank You here for the great books.
(Margie Gagarin 2:25pm March 8, 2012)
Romance books have made me more open to new ideas and situations. I've also been reminded how to treat others and and be tolerant.
(Joanne Hicks 3:23pm March 8, 2012)
Reading romance books can be very entertaining and interesting as well as potentially make you stop and think about things more closely. Reading romance novels can also incorporate romance into the lives of those of us who are not involved in a relationship at the moment.
(Chelsea Knestrick 3:42pm March 8, 2012)
If anything romance books remind of what a great guy I'm married to.
(Tabitha Monroe 4:37pm March 8, 2012)
I don't think reading romances has changed any of my relationships.
(Cheryl McEwen 5:04pm March 8, 2012)
Sorry Leigh, romance books are just entertaining and enjoyable to read.
(Rosemary Simm 5:34pm March 8, 2012)
Reading romance books does make me think about my relationship and how I can make it better and add some spark to it. I love to escape and relax with a good romance novel...ESPECIALLY COWBOY ROMANCE...Yippee!!! They're my favorite and addictive! Yours looks great and the cover is terrific (sexy cowboy & gorgeous horse).
(Linda Luinstra 5:41pm March 8, 2012)
Reading romance books hasn't'changed my relations it has supplemented
(Joy Isley 6:17pm March 8, 2012)
I love reading romances,, they make me happy & smiling and seem to be more loving to my family
(Shirley Younger 8:31pm March 8, 2012)
I wouldn't say that reading romances has changed my romances in any way. The one thing that they have done was given me an opportunity to take me away to different parts and put myself in the place of the heroine, if only for a while, so I can forget things that might be bothering me at that particular time. I have had wonderful experiences through the spines of those books, and have shed tears of sorrow, as well as of joy. Perhaps they have helped indirectly in my marriage. Nobody can say for sure, but I have enjoyed every minute that I flipped a page. I am looking forward to reading your book very much.
(Peggy Roberson 9:12pm March 8, 2012)
Reading romance hasn't changed any relationship of mine, but has given me ideas and offered situations that I could fancy.
(Alyson Widen 9:43pm March 8, 2012)
No, reading romance hasn't changed my relationships. Although, I have made lots of awesome new friends that I would have never gotten the chance to know without reading romance!
(Jennifer Beyer 10:34pm March 8, 2012)
Reading romances, while they may be extreme at times, told me to never settle
for anything less than true love. :)
(Hyunjin Jeon 10:54pm March 8, 2012)
I love reading romances, but I don't think they have ever changed my relationships. I must admit though that at this time I am not in any relationship.
(Carol Woodruff 11:06pm March 8, 2012)
I am not surprised that men write romance because it takes two to make a
couple so why shouldn't they. I have read some of your books but not all. I
really enjoy them. I have never been bothered by who writes the books I
enjoy. Whenever I find a good one I look for more by that author. Romance
books have not changed my relationship except that now he waits for me to
put the book down instead of me waiting for him. We are both voracious
readers and a good book is still a good book no matter the writer.
(Sandra Spilecki 11:58am March 9, 2012)
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