Today we host the second of this week’s four interviews with male authors who write romance. Author Nico Rosso made his debut this winter with e-book Taken to the Limit. The story got an RT rating of 4 1/2 stars from Reviewer Dawn Crowne who called the story “fantastic”. Today we get Nico Rosso's take on what it means to be a man who writes romance novels.
What type of romance do you write? Sci-fi romance
When did you first get published as a romance author? November of 2010
Do you write in any other genre(s)? I worked as a screenwriter for a few years, but found that the form wasn't the best outlet for my voice. I have written in the literary thriller genre, but haven't yet been published there.
How did you first start writing romance? My wife, Zoë Archer, is a romance author and I learned tons about the genre from her. I found the hopefulness and lack of irony toward the emotions of the genre very appealing and decided to give it a try. It took a few shots at paranormal before I found that Sci-fi was a good way to integrate my style with romance.
How would you describe your writing style? My style in this genre continues to develop, but I feel it has a pretty steady motor pushing things forward with big action, allowing me to create very strong women to fight alongside the heroes.
How does your gender affect your writing? Do you deal with different themes, is your dialogue different, what about characterization, etc.? I don't think my gender affects my writing. Someone looking at it from the outside might think that certain choices I make, or my style, are derived from me being a man, but I think it's just me being me. I write this way because of my experience in and watching the world and how that affects the stories and characters I put on the page.
Is there anything that you purposefully change about your writing (voice, plot, characters, etc.) because your audience is primarily women? I find I make adjustments to my voice when writing romance. Usually, my style can be a bit terse and some have found that it breaks up the experience of reading this genre, so I try to extend the rhythm of the language.
Do you believe that writing romances has given you a different perspective on real-life relationships? I've always enjoyed watching and analyzing relationships as they go by on life's stage, so romance hasn't given me a different perspective, just a very specific venue to explore them. I think my interest in people's emotional motivations is partly what led me to writing romance in the first place.
What reaction do you get from fans when they realize your gender? Because my pen name is masculine, there isn't any moment of surprise from readers after they realize my gender. I have heard from a few people that they haven't read romance written by a man and are curious to try it.
Do you believe that it is becoming easier or more difficult for men to get published in the romance genre? I'm not a longtime veteran of the genre, so I can't speak to the experience of other men in the past. I do think that as the e-market grows there is a lot more flexibility in romance, accommodating not only different sub-genres but also authors of all types, men included.
Any advice you have for men who want to write romance? My advice is derived from something my wife has been saying for a long time: if a writer has a true affinity for the romance genre, then be yourself when writing it. The same goes for men in the field. The readership is incredibly savvy and can recognize if someone is writing purely to get published and not because of their connection to the work. If a man has a genuine story to tell, then get it out there.
Is there anything you want to tell female readers who might be skeptical that a man can write a satisfying romance novel? We're all in this together. The themes and emotions that affect women also resonate in men. When a man writes romance, those aspects may be articulated a bit differently, but it's the same human experience at the core.
Nico Rosso’s Taken to the Limit, is available for download now. You can also check out yesterday's interview with Leigh Greenwood. And be sure to stop back tomorrow when we speak with Inspirational romance author Henry McLaughlin!
Blog Update 3/2/2011: We interview Henry McLaughlin on what it's like to be a male author in the romance genre.