Pretty Colors

Interesting post from the brilliant Andrea J. Wenger on the dilemma of whether the term “women’s fiction” helps or hurts the genre.

Women Unplugged

It’s been said women want the same things men want, but in prettier colors. You can see this preference in action at any formal event in the Western world: men dress in dark suits, and women in a full spectrum of colors.

This phenomenon has a profound effect on book marketing.

Author Randy Susan Meyers (among many others) rightly point outs that the term women’s fiction unfairly segregates books by female authors: “Are there not many books written by men and marketed to all genders that include abuse, poverty, divorce, familial breakdown, and other social struggles? … If ‘women’s fiction’ is a marketing device, it’s confusing as thus. Label a novel ‘women’s fiction’ — is the message  ‘not for men’?”

There’s no comparable label for men’s fiction, but from a marketing perspective, men’s fiction does exist. It’s just called fiction. Here’s what it looks like.

Cormac McCarthy's  novel The Road

The colors on this cover are…

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Finding My Own Way as a Writer



Our topic this month over at the Contemporary Romance Cafe is particularly bad writing advice we’ve received. Deciding which advice works and which doesn’t can be difficult, especially for a newer writer.

I had a critique partner who was constantly suggesting that I lengthen my phrases and sentences. If you know me, even a little bit, you know that’s the last thing I need. Instead, I’m working toward crafting tighter, leaner prose and quickening the pace of my passages. So, I mastered the art of the wry smile and gentle head nod whenever he suggested it; letting it go in one ear and out the other.

Yet, there’s the rub when it comes to advice of any kind. A fine balance must be achieved. We must learn to discern between the wheat and the chaff. Not always an easy  task.

Read the rest of the article here:


“Chaos Inside” photo courtesy of Hartwig HKD.


Revisiting My Writing Process

Today over on my blog, The Reese Ryan Diaries, I’m participating in a blog hop dealing with my writing process.  Here’s an excerpt:

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

14:465 Pen & Paper by Matt Beckwith. Some rights reserved.I think my Bad Boys Gone Good series falls at this weird cross between Contemporary Romance and Romantic Women’s Fiction. For me, the story can never be simply about the romance between the hero and heroine. I want to see all of the elements that make these characters who they are. That usually involves family. There is probably a lot more of the heroine and/or hero’s journey in my stories than you’ll find in a lot of romance. And there is always lots of family drama.

On the other hand, the heat level of the romance makes the books differ from most romantic women’s fiction. I’m kind of a genre-bending rulebreaker. But you probably couldn’t tell. ;-)

What am I working on now? Why do I write what I do?

For those answers, read the full post here. Then find out which authors are up next.