Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Girls vs Boys

I have been neglecting my duty as a blogger. I'm sure you're all SO relieved that I'm back at it!

For the first time in my life, I'm home, childless. I just dropped my 3 yr old off for his first day of preschool and now, twice a week, I will have 2 1/2 hours of total freedom! What will I do with myself!

I have vowed to use this time just for writing . . . for the most part. So here I am, chomping at the bit (yes, cliche) to share my experiences and wisdom with the waiting world!

Hmm . . .

Well, that was quick. Guess I'll sign off! Ha ha.

I heard a while back that young and teenage boys rarely pick up and read books by female authors. For this reason, my publisher wanted me to use my initials or "Mel" on my cover. I chose to use MJ Cunningham. Many female writers use initials. Take JK Rowling, for example.

Girls, on the other hand, will read anything. They aren't picky and could care less who the author is. Why is that? My guess is that girls are just more awesome!

Honestly, I'm not sure what the answer is, but maybe boys don't think girls can write a great "boy" story.

Many times while my teenage boy read my manuscript he would turn and say, "A boy would never say this." There were also times when my editor would write in the margins that something sounded too feminine.

So, here's what I think. It's a learned talent. Just as men have to learn to write from a girl's perspective, women have to learn how to write from a guy's. Personally, I think women have it easier! =)

What's your take?


Old Kitty said...

I'm so hoping that now we all know that JK Rowling is a woman and very female that boys/men would not be so picky!

One of my all time YA novelist is SE Hinton (The Outsiders, Rumblefish etc) and what a shock for me to discover SE Hinton was actually Susie Hinton. And yes she was advised to use her initials to be taken seriously.

That's so irritating!! So yes I hope the next generation of boys and men will realised that it's the book/story that's what matters not the gender of the writer.

I am of course aware that there are male romance novelists having to initialise their names too to be more appealing to the romance genre market. So same goes for that too!

Take care

Avenues of Awareness said...

That is interesting MJ. Okay you can't use MJ because that is Micheal Jackson, and THAT is not gonna work. Don't love Mel, either.

I'll think on that.

Back to the topic. I can tell you, that Paul has said several times, "That sounds like what a girl would think, feel or say" when discussing a book. We've listened to quite a few books on tape together, and to be honest I read out loud a LOT to him at night or while we are driving.

I don't know that it has always been a female writer. Now, I am curious.

For me, it seems like the characters (in a good book) take on a life of their own, and they become for me a part of the story. I don't envision "me". as the character.

So, for instance in the Twilight series, I never would have thought of the things that Bella did, as something I would do. Ect.

I have never ever once cared or even noticed who writes the book. I never read about the Author until after I have read the book. I also actually hate prologues and epilogues. I hardly ever read them.

It's distracting. They feel lazy to me. Like there is no way to fit the entire story inside the story.

Another thing that drives me crazy is when an Author tries to write each book in a series independently, so you don't have to have read the first book to understand the second. It's a whole story, and I don't want to read stuff I already know, from the first book, just so the second one will make sense for someone who was lazy and didn't read the first one. SOOOO much repetition.

Okay sorry that was a rant.

I don't know the answer to your query. I only that I never ever ever pay attention to the writer's gender. The only time I even pay attention to their name, is when I have been impressed with their previous writings and am trying to find other things they have written.

I am sure you were dying to know this!

Avenues of Awareness said...

Okay I am not sure if my last comment went through. I will be mad if it did not. As it was a book itself!

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

Hey Lisa! I LOVE your comments. As a writer, I always check out the author, publisher etc... But I didn't used to.

Characters do take on a life of their own, but it's impossible not to have a bit of the author's personality slip in. (usually) With a good editor, inconsistencies are caught.

ALSO...I have a prologue so you better read it! It's vital to the story and you'll be lost without it! LOL

Thanks for stopping by, girl. Love you so much!

Doug said...

When reading Harry Potter, I often thought how it was clearly not written by a man. I would have enjoyed it more without the relationship "fluff"---for my taste, it could have been omitted entirely or portrayed differently.

I'm reading the Hunger Games series now, but I agree with my daughter who said, "It's a girl book!" for the same reason.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

I know that guys hate the romance stuff, but I have to be honest, I LOVE it! he he. I have some in my book so that girl's will be interested. Hope it's not too sappy. I'm sure my editor will want that out if it is. I'll have to fight her tooth and nail for it! LOL

Avenues of Awareness said...

Mel MJ Barthalamew

I actually do read all the author information after I have read the book. I have found that it completely distracts me to read it prior to the book.

Always afterwords though.

I'll read your dang prologue, but only cause you are telling me too.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I don't care if they are written by a guy or girl either. I thought back to what I've read this year though, and I really don't read a lot of male authors. Not that I pick just female ones, the books I read just end up being by a female author. :) I LOVE romance, so your editor better keep it in your book! LOL I'm writing a book with a male and female protagonist, so there is something for both. But, there is romance so guys would probably shy away from it. Even if romance isn't the main theme. Oh well! ;)

Avenues of Awareness said...

I just took a count. Out of the last twelve books I read, 10 of them are male. Two though, of the ten are medical text books.

OK. I have been thinking all darn day about this MJ thing. Seriously that is so not going to work.

What about, M. Ellsworth Cunningham

Its stately.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

You know what, Lisa? I like that...kind of. It's growing on me. M. Ellsworth Cunningham. Freakin' long though! I'll think about that. Good thinking.

Avenues of Awareness said...

It's very regal. Like it's owner.

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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