Please join me in enjoying this entertaining and enlightening post by R. J. Gould, a male Romance writer. Many thanks to Richard for writing this post for Tessa Talks Books!!!
Confessions of a Romance Author
by R.J. Gould
Confession Number One: I’m a male. Most Romance writers are female, most readers are female, and plots predominantly centre on the female point of view. But Romance is what I write.
Confession Number Two: I’m a coward. An agent once suggested that I use a female pseudonym to increase readership. ‘No way!’ I declared with bold pride, ‘people are going to have to accept me for who I am.’ That evening I considered Rebecca, Rosemary, Rachel and Rita before opting for the compromise of using R J instead of Richard. In retrospect, I regret that decision because being a man writing Romance is worth shouting about. I’ve often been told by female readers that it has provided them with some fascinating new insights into relationships.
Confession Number Three: I did feel a trifle sensitive when my publisher produced a romcom cover and put my novel A Street Café Named Desire into a Chic Lit Lovers bundle. I’m happy to be categorised within the Romance and Contemporary Women’s Fiction genres. However, I don’t think I’m Chic Lit. I’ve been working with a great cover designer to produce covers that I’m comfortable with while fitting the genre. I think I’m there – feedback about my choice most welcome.
Confession Number Four: I never set out to be a Romance writer but writing about relationships makes it the closest fit. Although plot is important, my novels are character-driven, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, trying to make the most of their lives while carrying juggernaut-loads of baggage. They might not be alpha males or females (some being around B or even C), but they all have dreams to fulfil and obstacles to surmount.
Confession Number Five: The reaction that I would most hope for from readers is lots of smiling and even laughter, together with sadness as life events prevent the realisation of the protagonists’ most carefully constructed plans.
My new novel The bench by Cromer beach is set in this beautiful, largely unspoilt, town on the North Norfolk coast. During my first visit there I noticed a line of benches overlooking the sea along the clifftop, all occupied by elderly citizens. One man peering down onto the beach particularly caught my attention and a fictional version of him is featured in this novel. He is one of five lead protagonists whose lives intertwine. Cracks emerge and restlessness grows. If only they hadn’t jumped to conclusions. If only they had expressed their thoughts to their partners. So many if onlys – just like the real world.
The bench by Cromer beach
Five people in a sleepy English coastal town. One year that changes everything.
They seem to have it all. They’re in good health and are financially secure. They live in a pleasant and comfortable town. But as their lives intertwine, cracks emerge and restlessness grows.
For Clive, is retirement the beginning of the end? Can fun-loving Saskia break free from her adulterous husband? Will Andy marry his childhood sweetheart? Is Jamie prepared to change his dishonest ways? Might Ellie’s happy marriage be shattered by temptation?
Heart-warming and heart-breaking collide in this novel about aspirations, expectations and the realities of everyday life.
Visit https://www.rjgould.info/ for a free copy of R J Gould’s award-winning short story The Kiosk.
About the Author
R J Gould is published by Lume Books and Headline Accent and is the author of five novels: A Street Café Named Desire, The Engagement Party, Jack and Jill Went Downhill, Mid-life follies and The bench by Cromer beach. He is a (rare male) member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Having been selected for the organisation’s New Writers Programme, his first novel was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award. Ahead of writing full time, R J Gould led a national educational charity. He has published in a wide range of educational journals, national newspapers and magazines and is the co-author of a major work on educating able young people. He lives in Cambridge, England.
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