I’ve kept this secret for a long time. I remember feeling it for the first time as a child, but kept it to myself well into adulthood until I could no longer hide from it any longer. Finally, it became too difficult to keep inside, and in the last several years, I began some experimentation. I finally learned to express my feelings and emotions, and it was truly liberating.
I haven’t even shared the secret with my family, not even my mother and father. Not with my closest friends, even though I’ve wanted to so many times. What would happen if these people so close to me realized what’d become of the strong, masculine man they thought they knew?
It was just too hard and too embarrassing. I felt like I’d be judged, ostracized, and laughed at. I just wasn’t ready. Until now.
It’s time for me to come out of the closet. Mom, Dad, brothers, sister, friends, I’m sorry you had to hear it like this, but it’s true.
I am a Romance Novelist. Wow, that feels pretty good.
Seriously though, I have no idea how my transformation came about. Nothing in my past indicated I’d become a romance writer. Granted, I was always a voracious reader and fancied writing a book some day, but figured it would be more in the tradition of my literary heroes, an important work of fiction following in the ink stains of Hemingway, Steinbeck, Rand, or even John Grisham for God’s sake.
Unfortunately, all I could do was write romance. And, while at first it was frustrating, eventually, I was able to reconcile this romantic obsession with my literary snobbery. One day it hit me that many of my favorite novels, even the classics, were at their heart romances. Think of Atlas Shrugged, Gone with the Wind, or A Farewell to Arms. All great novels by famous authors, all essentially love stories.
So I continued to write. Finding my mid-life crisis at 40, I couldn’t buy a sports car or sleep with an undergrad, although lord knows I tried. No, the only thing I could do was churn out romance novels like it was my job.
Now, before you picture the heaving bosoms, cruel alpha males, and ridiculous cover art of the traditional romance novel, I’ve got to tell you, my stories are nothing like that. I tell stories of believable people engaged in daily life struggles, people like you and me. The characters are real, they’re flawed, and eventually, their struggle to find love is either punished or rewarded just as it is in real life.
The end result is the Broken Man series, now available for purchase on this site. I guess if I had to label it, I’d call the series a Reality Romance, exploring a man’s journey to find love and the women who guide him along the path. Regardless of labels, it truly is a gratifying experience to start with a blank page on my iPad and eventually turn that nothingness into an intricate story people around the world can enjoy.
More importantly, writing these stories has also helped to heal the wounds of my past. Some people visit psychologists, many embrace religion, others find their fix through exercise, sports, friendships, work, or any number of ways. I find my fix by writing, and while it might be cliche, it truly is a cathartic experience.
That doesn’t mean I’m always happy with my work. My first novel was so bad I later had it unpublished. I’m also frustrated by my inability to progress beyond the twenty chapter, fifty thousand word, dual point of view format followed in my first three novels.
So, I’m determined that my next novel will not only bring closure to the story, but will also broaden my scope as a writer. I plan on a full length novel of approximately eighty thousand words complete with a multi-person point of view and a more thorough development of characters. Look for it when the inspiration eventually strikes, probably sometime in late 2014.
I guess that’s about it. I hope you enjoy my works and be sure to know, they’re intended for women and men, young, old, or in between. I also encourage you to continue your own search for happiness, whether it comes through writing romance novels, painting, singing opera, or any other activity, even seemingly embarrassing pursuits. You never know where you might find the fix for your brokenness, but when you do, I hope you’ll do as I did.
I hope you will come out of the closet too.