When I write, I tend to do so from both the male and female points of view. What makes relationships most interesting to me is how and why we make certain decisions and how we rationalize them. I recall countless hours of conversation with friends as we tried to decipher the perspectives of the other person in our relationships. ‘What is he thinking?’ was almost always the core question behind every single late-night telephone conversation, or marathon confab involving a bottle of wine and lots of chocolate.
My theory? Women are fascinated by romance novels not only because it’s fun to fantasize about being the object of all-consuming love and passion; we also like them because they sometimes provide us little insights into the minds of men, those mysterious creatures to whom many of us are drawn over and over again. I like working out how men think through my writing, and showing their process as they develop attachments and eventually love. In my view, male characters are more well-rounded, likable and relatable when we can hear their thoughts and relate to some of their fears. We can almost fall in love with them on the page because we feel we’re getting to know them just as the main female character is. I don’t mind telling you that I had a monster crush on Shawn in Commitment and later on Brendan in Unsuitable Men (I’m fickle that way) and that was because they were three-dimensional human beings to me.
A greater challenge for a writer is to make you fall in love with the male character even though his thoughts and motives are not expressed, and all the reader sees is how he behaves toward the main female character. I’ve read some of the more popular erotic romances out there today with an eye toward understanding how these writers have crafted men that women fall in love with, without our knowing what they think and why they do the things they do. Some are more successful than others. Some are genius at making you fall in love with men who do awful, awful things and yet pluck your heartstrings for reasons that are difficult to pinpoint. In The Seduction of Dylan Acosta, for the first time, I write only from the female point of view. We don’t know what the main male character is thinking, or how he’s reacted to some of what she’s done, or why he does some of what he does.
I’m looking forward to reading the reviews because I wonder whether it makes a difference. If you’ve read all three of my books so far, let me know what you think. Is it better to know, or not know the answer to the question: what is he thinking?
And . .