Rawiya Erotica

Welcome to Anne Holly

Posted on: January 26, 2012

  Greetings fans. Welcome to Rawiya’s with a guest post. Today I have Anne Holly here on the blog with an informational post. Anne is a fellow writer of my snarky sis, BL at Rebel Ink. Let’s give her your undivided attention. 

Being Him for the Holidays

 

A Guest Post by Anne Holly

 

In 2011, I wrote a series of five holiday erotic romances for Rebel Ink Press. They all featured mismatched couples on a different holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day). One was paranormal, one a cowboy story, one a cougar romance, one a glitzy soup, and one was a comedy, so the series is something of a little subgenre sample pack. One of the greatest challenges, and risks, was two of them, Halloween and Valentine’s Day, were written from the male POV.

 

When one writes “from a POV,” it means that you choose which characters the reader will see through the eyes of, either for a scene or the whole book. That character’s perspective, ideas, knowledge and understanding will control what the reader gets to see, hear, know, etc.

 

Normally, I write novels from the POV of both the hero and the heroine, alternating, because I always hated how traditional romance novels never let you see through the heroes’ eyes. For me, this significantly reduces the romance of the story, since the male character, being all steely and manly (as they always were in the old novels), may as well have been a piece of furniture for all we knew of him. We only saw, and interpreted, his actions through the eyes of the heroine, who was often distraught – being so delicate (read: panicky) and feminine, as they always were.

In shorter works, however, there really is little room to spare if you also want to develop at least two characters and a plot, as well as delineate a setting. So, these holiday stories all had to have a single POV character. In three of them, I chose the female leads, as they were the ones entering the new environment, or the ones with the emotional back story upon which the romance centered. But, in Like Magic and V-Day, it was on the male characters that the stories depended. So, I embarked on a journey of gender-risk.

 

To be clear, the risk was not in tapping into my inner-male (since I am not an advocate of traditional gender divisions, at all, and have never really been defined all that much by my sex or gender). Rather, the risk was whether or not I would write characters that would appeal to women readers, as well as pass the believability for male readers. Often, one hears the complaint that male characters written by women writers are “chicks with dicks,” and aren’t true to male experience. While I find this concern conservative in its narrow view of masculinity, as if there is only one way to be masculine, it was an issue I wanted to keep in mind in order to produce realistic male characters gendered within North American society. Further, I admit I was worried if female readers (the key demographic for m/f erotic-romance) would accept male/female romance told from the male POV, when it is far more traditional to tell such stories from either both perspectives or through only the heroine’s eyes.

 

Well, so far the reviews have been good, and I recently heard from a male reader who embraced my Valentine’s Day book quite enthusiastically, specifically noting how realistic it seemed. I gave a sigh of relief.

 

Writing from the male POV, despite these risks, also has an enjoyable side. For one thing, I find it comes more naturally to me than from the female POV, since romance heroines tend to be more feminine than I could be if you dipped me in estrogen and threw me into a vat of mascara. Further, I find the internal male life, in the American context of repression, to be intriguing. When you write from the female POV, you miss out on a lot of male emotion, simply because most male characters would not feel free to express the variety of their feelings. When writing in the male POV, this issue is resolved, and you have the fun of contrasting what they do and say with what they feel.

 

Finally, part of my fun in writing these stories is seated in subtly sneaking in bits of subversive, non-traditional masculinities. In fact, in V-Day, the hero Daniel, a violin prodigy, laments the way the women around him to find him “too nice” to view romantically, and shakes his head at their desire for big, silent gorillas who treat them like crap. I don’t think this is at all abnormal; I know several guys who are always lumped into the “friends” category because they are genuinely nice, considerate guys, and are passed over for alpha-male bad boys – who, let’s face it, might be a lot more attractive on paper than they are for romantic partners in real life. Perhaps it’s time for the nice guys to rule the day.

 

So, yes, there were risks, but I had a great time writing these stories and the chances seem to have paid off. I suspect I will do more male POV stories.

 

And I’m pleased I had a shot at turning those strong silent types on their ears.

 

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For more information about my Valentine’s Day erotic romantic comedy, V-Day, please see my holiday stories website: http://annehollyholiday.webs.com/valentinesdaytales.htm

 

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Anne Holly is a Canadian writer of romance and erotic-romance, as well as a mother and teacher. You may visit Anne at her blog or website, or find her on GoodReadsFacebook and Twitter  (@anneholly2010). Sign up for her newsletter here. Email: anneholly2010@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Thanks Anne for stopping by and folks, I’m at her blog today http://anneholly.blogspot.com/ with BL for an interview. Also, me and BL are at TRS with our latest releases. Please stop by and join us.  

2 Responses to "Welcome to Anne Holly"

Thanks for having me!

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