So you can read my books

Thursday, March 21, 2013


I was reading a female complaint on MOON CALLED, the first Mercy Thompson urban fantasy:
that there was precious little steamy content ... which was appreciated by this male.
A male complained about RIVER MARKED that it was nearly a third of the book before the action
It brings to mind the conventional wisdom that MEN DO NOT READ BOOKS WRITTEN BY WOMEN.
What do you think of that, by the way?
A study of reading habits showed almost half of women are 'page turners' who finish a book
soon after starting it compared to only 26 per cent of men.
Men are also more likely to have shelves full of books that have never been opened.
If that woman next to you on the train or bus seems unusually engrossed in her e-reader, there may
be a good reason.
Electronic readers, and the reading privacy they provide, are fueling a boom in sales of sexy romance novels, or "romantica," as the genre is called in the book industry.

There is sex in romantica—a lot of it.
Yet unlike traditional erotica, romantica always includes what's known as "HEA"—
"happily ever after."

Men see a problem and want to see action taken to resolve it.  Women want to see empathy evoked.

Erotica on the Mischief Books site is tagged with icons. Handcuffs denote "kinky";

an upraised palm means "discipline."

The HarperCollins imprint says it plans to publish at least 60 e-titles a year.

Then, there's ...

It works like this. Girl meets boy, preferably in a quaint seaside town. Happiness.

They clash. Sadness. Gradually they realize that opposites attract and fall in love. Happiness.

But they cannot be together because of leukemia/difficult parents/war/Alzheimer’s/a psychotic ex. Sadness. They get together anyway. Happiness.

Somebody dies. Huge sadness. But the survivors lead richer, fuller lives for having known each other. Happiness.

Publish, collect millions, turn the story into a film, collect more millions, repeat. Massive happiness.

That’s the algorithm that has fueled Nicholas Sparks’ success for the past decade and a half.

It is a male's nightmare. Where are the fast cars, blazing bullets, and sizzing hot femme fatales?

Which is why I, as a card-carrying/dues paying male, read Mercy Thompson.  Who's she?

Mercedes is a Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington.

Her Native American heritage has gifted her with the ability to take the form of a coyote at will.

She's surrounded by far more powerful supernatural beings, including werewolves, vampires and an assortment of fae.

Her world seems real.  She is surrounded by powerful entities, while she is fragile in comparison.
She survives by wit, courage, and endurcance.

Throughout the first book, Mercy kicks ass. Adam, the love interest, tells Mercy that he values her for her independence.

  He isn't threatened by a strong woman, but finds that strength attractive.

Then he's the one kidnapped and drugged and helpless -
it's Mercy who rescues Prince Charming.

And after being rescued, he turns around and leads werewolves into battle -

he isn't any less awesome or less of a man for needing a woman's help once in a while.

There are three women in the pack besides Mercy. Auriele is the second's mate, but it's
emphasized several times that her air of authority doesn't come from him, but from her job
as a teacher controlling a classroom of teenagers. 

(If you've ever been a teacher, you can relate.) 

She draws strength from her occupation and her own experiences instead of someone else.

There's Honey, who's highly dominant in her own self - Adam says that if she were a man,
she'd be second or third in the pack.

But she chose to mate with a submissive werewolf, sacrificing the status she desires and deserves,
so that she wouldn't have to live with someone who'd try to control her.

What do you think? 
Do you know men who read (besides writers).  Do men read less than women?

Is erotica all that women read?  For a woman to read a book must it contain romance?

Do you read


  1. I don't read the romance novels very often. Too "fairy tale" for me. I'm more the action type, with some of the realities of life.

    My life is more how you describe Mercy Thompson. I try to write characters based on how I live. Once, a family member asked how I write about sex. Very important.

    I write about it as how I view it-a part of life, mostly normal, very little kinky stuff. That's based on my belief of respecting your body.

  2. BTW, I do read nonfiction, all kinds. Some of the scientific stuff requires that I check out other sources til I can gain a bit of understanding.

  3. I read many reference-styled books about entertainment/science... I find I learn more about stuff when it's a short quick passage, I have a really short attention span. I once thought I might just be a "dumb" [not the right word], but I realized I just cannot read novels... though a great short story, yes. This might be why I find I cannot edit my novels, my brain just doesn't hold the interest... I have books I have on my shelf that I plan to read, I just have to stop playing with this string called "life".

    I think I went off topic, but your post seem to invokes my response... which I believe is always your point. Stir us up!


  4. Mildred:
    Like you, I like the romance in my novels (those I read and write) to have realistic feelings and no violence to the partner!

    I think all of us live in a world with teeth -- and we like to read of adventures where the protagonist bears the scars honorably -- and deals out a few of her or his own! :-)

    You may have to find an editor who will edit for you. If you make each chapter like a short story with its own start/middle/end, it may help you edit yourself.

    I read a great many non-fictions myself ... for research, for just fun of learning, or for reading the letters of men and women whom I respect.

    I will wing your auto to you as soon as the work madness resolves ... it may resolve ugly -- wish me luck! :-)

  5. My wife doesn't read erotica.
    Some of the men I know don't read, and those that do often read a mix of fiction and non-fiction. So do I.

  6. Yes, I know men who read fiction and non-fiction by both genders. Not many, mind you. In waiting rooms, women are the ones frequently reading novels.

    Perhaps some women ONLY read erotica, (you read what you need or what you enjoy). But, that's not me, my tastes are more eclectic.

    Romance stories appeal to many females, but women also like wizardry, fantasy, and science fiction. In today's climate, women want to read about a strong female character - she doesn't have to be a superhero, but she does have to use her brain.

    I read some nonfiction books, generally on a subject I want to learn more about. (Art, cities, history, people)

  7. Hi Roland .. no erotica for me .. I just enjoy a good variety of books - I love this post = could be a really good novel!

    I shall get to read properly fairly soon .. I hope .. cheers Hilary

  8. luck sent, no worries... i don't know anyone i trust, so it's a darn trust thing... though i really want to see some of my works to print/ebook... have a safe no trolls kind of day!

  9. No erotica here, either. My husband reads science non-fiction, Game of Thrones-like books, other world. He does not pick up a book that is clearly a "woman's book".

    I read mysteries, Irish fiction, children books, and more.

    If it is well-written and intelligent, the book should be able to transcend gender bias.

  10. I read pretty much everything, except erotica/romance. Poking my eyes out with a spoon would give me more pleasure.

    Good post, Roland :)

  11. Not much for erotica or romance. Its too corn dogged for me. I read man books...girl books. I read a lot of Indie and newbie authors.

    I'm almost done with Three Spirit Knight.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  12. A lot of my fans are men. But I don't read romance myself unless a friend wrote it.

  13. Alex:
    None of the men I work with read. Only one of male friends reads. Reading is a dying art. Most who read Hemingway these days, outside of college, are females. Who would have thought Hemingway would become Chick Lit?

    I'm all for a strong female character which is why I am drawn to Mercy Thompson. Sandra just coughed "Xena!" :-)

    I am constantly reading non-fiction books myself. I am currently reading a book on the history of the Orient Express.

    I hope you get a chance to read soon. If you like urban fantasy, I would suggest Mercy Thompson's MOON CALLED.

    Trolls were about today but it is tomorrow apparently when they will come visiting! Ouch!

    I was drawn to the cover of MOON CALLED and the inside book blurb hooked me.

    I enjoy mysteries and non-fiction myself. Your husband's reading tastes mostly match mine. :-)

    Thanks for the compliment. Yes, if you have romance in your life, reading about just seems tepid!

    I hope you have enjoyed the ending of THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT. The end of reality gets a bit intense! :-)

    M PAX:
    I read mostly Sci Fi, fantasy, and mysteries -- then anything goes with non-fiction. Thanks for visiting and commenting!