Reflections of a Male Romance Writer

Nothing profound here. Just me rabbiting on despite the myxomatosis that some might say affects my brain. Having joined the Romance Writers of Australia last week I wonder where do I fit into their membership and of Romance Writers in general. Because of my track-record, I’m regarded as ‘experienced’. Shades of Jimmy Hendrix. He had an album ‘Are You Experienced?’ from the sixties.

Am I though? Experienced.

I don’t have any credentials as a writer per se – no Degrees in Writerology or Masters in Creative Writing from posh universities. I’m an amateur who’s bee bloody lucky to find supportive editors. My first editor, a bloke at That’s Life encouraged my ‘quirky’ style. My first published story, ‘A Cool, Dark Place’ was about a distraught girl, trying to get over being dumped by her fiance. Her grandmother helped her by trapping the bad vibes in a jam jar in a room then releasing good vibrations from another jar on the shelves, memories of her fifth birthday. Is this romance.? Actually, by conventional definition, it is. Positive uplifting ending. Job done like a dingo’s dinner.

Other stories followed for my Australian market.a They were bout telepathic alien Tasmanian Tigers returning from extinction to make Tasmania a better place. There was infidelity, the Garden of Eden and a few other concepts thrown in. Bear in mind that these were for a Woman’s magazine, usually publishing conventional romance stories; ; boy meets girl, loses girl, marries girl, Cinderella stuff.

The Pastel Blue Kangaroo is on this site for you to read if you wish. I was a womag writer (woman’s magazine). There’s a few other guys in the genre. I met other prolific writers like Della Galton with over 1500 published tales to her credit. She was successful in the heyday of women’s magazines wanting short stories. Nowadays the market has all but vanished. People prefer to read ‘real life’ stories about alien abductions and finding my son in bed with my mother.

Okay. Where am I now. Lots of novels sold, doing well financially, but not one of the top romance writers by any definition. I don’t know who they are as I don’t follow the genre. No time to read many books – maybe one a fortnight. Too cheap to go and buy them in a bookshop. I subscribe to My Weekly and read th novels by my contemporaries, many of whom I count as friends. I write my way – 1st person as a woman. Disingenous perhaps but I never pretend to be a man using a female pseudonym.

Am I happy what I’m doing. Damn right. One novel every three months. No plot notes, no plan, make it up as I go along and virtually complete the first draft then maybe 500 words of revision and grammar/spelling corrections. Then the job’s done.

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