I’m a guy and I write love stories. As it turns out, not all that many other guys do this. Some romance writers with female names are actually men (I’m sure Jerry Springer has found a tawdry way to spin this at some point). Some men include great love stories in novels about other things (thank you, Pat Conroy). But remarkably few men make the love story the central element in their fiction. This seems terribly wrong to me, as though guys have made some universal agreement to maintain a laughable stereotype. Boys think about cars, sports, and sex (not necessarily in that order) and girls think about romance. Really?
When I discovered, well after I’d completed my first novel, The Forever Year, that I was something of an anomaly in the fiction world, I decided to think about what sent me on this mostly uncharted course. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had imprinted romantic love very strongly at an early age. Twice, actually.
The first came from my parents. My parents had an intensely romantic marriage. Not Technicolor epic romance. And not embarrass-you-in-front-of-your-friends romance. But a very real and very deep romance that made it abundantly clear that they lived for one another, that they always thought of one another first, and that they were soulmates long before anyone started using that term. My father was the only man my mother ever dated. My mother was the only woman my father ever loved (he actually dated a little before they got together; in fact, family legend has it that his first crush was on my mother’s older sister). When my father died, they’d been married for sixty-three years (in case you’re wondering, they had me relatively late in life after four other children). Their relationship was very gratifying to watch, even when I was a little kid. And it clearly had a huge impact on me.
As did my sister’s marriage. Thirteen years older than me, she met her husband when I was nine, and they married the next year. This was the first time I got to see head-over-heels in action. My sister went from moderately intense to giddy in an eye-blink – and then managed to stay that way. I spent a great deal of time in their home in my formative years, including an entire summer when she was pregnant with her first child, and they were almost supernaturally romantic. When my sister opened her first email account – decades into her marriage – she chose her wedding date for her address. I think that really says it all.
None of this was on my mind as I developed the story for The Forever Year. But as I think about it now, I realize that I probably wouldn’t have cared this much about love if I didn’t have these two huge imprints when I was a kid. Since very few other guys choose to write what I write, I guess my experience was far more unusual than I ever realized.
Lou Aronica is the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels (all published by The Story Plant) and more than a dozen nonfiction books. The e-book versions of his novels Leaves and Everything or Nothing are available for the special price of $2.99 for the entire month of October 2017.
FREEBIE ALERT: the Kindle edition of Lou Aronica's novel THE FOREVER YEAR will be free on Amazon until Sunday amzn.to/2C2rnAz. Meanwhile, for those of you who like to have a soundtrack to go along with the books you read, you can grab a free download of a song he wrote that was inspired by the novel at Lou's blog: www.louaronica.com/single-p…/…/01/24/Track-5-So-Warm ...
The deeply emotional novel of unforgettable love.USA TODAY BESTSELLERJesse Sienna doesn’t believe that love can last. His parents’ marriage was caring but passionless, and his own romantic history tells him that love can burn bright, but that it cannot burn for long. So when his eld...
Join author Molly Campbell and Story Plant publisher Lou Aronica for a live chat about Molly's novel KEEP THE ENDS LOOSE – tonight, Wednesday, November 29, from 7:00-8:00 ET at the group page The Back Booth (The Back Booth: Talking Women's Fiction) ...
SEASON 1 FINALE. Reich has an illuminating "conversation" with the voice in his head while Dr. Nathan Martin has an all-too-real conversation with the man who holds the secret to the release of the virus.
Amanda meets with a third survivor of the virus and shows him what she's capable of doing. Meanwhile, Nathan Martin has been recommissioned and is on a flight to learn about the mission that has been chosen for him – and that the crisis is much bigger than he could have possibly imagined.
Join the Conversation
mary marcus says:
Hi, I just saw this over half a year late. Thanks for your comment. I actually bought two dresses re...
K Poetzsch says:
Mary, I totally agree with you. I have never felt comfortable in skirts and dresses. Men can easil...