After listening, I was intrigued. When she popped up on my Twitter feed, I decided to write her and ask her to be a guest which she happily accepted.
So, here she is, blogging about a very popular topic. Women Writing M/M
Take it away Cat
“Write what you know” has become common wisdom for writers. But what if you’re a woman writing m/m romance? How do you capture the experience of a man falling in love with another man, and give it authenticity?
The truth is, we can’t. There’s no way we can really know what it means to walk around in a man’s skin, any more than a man can really know what it’s like to be a woman. But, like writers in any other genre, we can research. Then we can ask “What if?”—the most powerful phrase in the English language, IMHO—and let our imaginations take flight.
There’s a wonderful scene in the movie Becoming Jane where the young Jane Austen meets her literary idol, gothic novel author Ann Radcliffe. When Mrs. Radcliffe asks Jane what she wants to write about, she replies, “The [human] heart.”
And that’s the essence of all romance, gay or straight. It’s what we all know and can tap into. That first kiss, first time making love, first heartbreak… they’re universal experiences. Something everyone can understand.
Whenever I start a new m/m book, the first questions I ask myself are: Who are these characters? What are they most afraid of? What do they want? How can I get inside their hearts and their heads?
Some books are tougher than others in this regard. Both the heroes in my current WIP are in their twenties, and I put that decade in the rear view a loooooong time ago. But I remember what it felt like to be at loose ends, with no idea what the future held for me. I remember being at odds with my parents, feeling angry and frustrated at their refusal to take me seriously as an adult. Of course, my refusal to behave like an adult didn’t help, either.
And suddenly I’d found my way into this new book, by concentrating on the broad strokes and common denominators. It can be that simple—but never, ever easy! J
Thank you for that great post, Cat. Here are the links to buy the two books above and where to find her.