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Ruukah
09-25-2003, 02:14 PM
I've heard it said that most people are subconsciously drawn to books that are written by males. This is why many women now chose masculine pen names. (Example: William Sarabande). Do you think there's any truth to this theory?

rtilryarms
09-25-2003, 09:49 PM
Do male authors tend to be more successfull at what?

emeraldcite
09-25-2003, 11:46 PM
I think that male pen names were more popular a few decades ago in genre fiction when the market was dominated by male writers. I was reading in a DAW anthology about one of their female writers taking a more genderless name (with initials) in order to mask the gender. But of course, can we avoid some of the great female authors over the years in SF/F? I don't think it matters anymore.

if you go to your local borders or b/n, you'll see that there is a nice distribution of the genders in all areas. I don't think people really care anymore (other than romance perhaps). Although, your statement might have been true two decades ago, i think the playing field is a bit more level now.

a caveat: this excludes editors, magazines, and presses that cater to a specific gender, ie. ones that only want to produce 'women's fiction' and the such.

of course, there are no presses that exclusively publish male fiction because that would be unfair. but that's my commentary.

sassenach
09-26-2003, 05:04 AM
Men who write romance almost always (I cannot think of a single exception) use a pseudonym. Might be the opposite in SF/F.

Nora Roberts is the best-selling writer in paperback in the US. Other women, like Barbara Taylor Bradford, Jenny Crusie, Daneille Steel, etc., are also exceptionally successful.

And of course, J.K. Rowling!

PegAlford
09-26-2003, 11:08 PM
The literary canon is predominantly male. That matters a great deal. Think for a moment about the she-he problem. Anyone a member of AFJS-- read the story about she-he in the latest newsletter?

emeraldcite
09-27-2003, 02:31 AM
i agree that the canon is dominated by males (however, this is changing as people begin to recognize the oft-hidden importance of women writers in the past). But there have been a number of female authors of note in the canon. Think Sappho, [a few medieval authors], Jane Austen, George Eliot, virginia wolfe, toni morrison, etc. etc. most of the female authors are just as famous as their male counterparts. But i'm wondering if the question deals more with the current market today, in which case i think being male or female in mainstream fiction is fairly unimportant.

two decades ago, i would have said that being a male matters, but at this point, even the canon is being rewritten (for good reason too)

BellaScribe
09-29-2003, 05:29 AM
There's validity to what you say, to an extent. The degree of "change" in reality does not match your casual optimism, and your quick disclaimer does not address the reality of the present consciousness after hundreds of years worth of shaping.

Jamesaritchie
09-30-2003, 12:22 AM
I suggest anyone who thinks male writer do better should take a look at the best-seller lists, or count the number of novels published by women versus the number of novels published by men. Women hold the upper hand in both cases, and have for a long time.

The literary canon of classics may be primarily male, but there are many women writers in it, as well.

There are times when women may sell better by writing under a male name, and times when a man certainly does better using a female name, but on the whole, women not only write and sell more novels than men, they also make the best-seller list more often.

emeraldcite
09-30-2003, 01:30 AM
does that mean i can start writing novels about maleness and being oppressed of the ruling female class? ;)

DeborahLC
12-17-2003, 04:28 AM
This is an interesting question. I recently interviewed Barbara Kyle, the author of two historical novels and three thrillers. The thrillers were published under the pen name of Stephen Kyle and were very successful, the first thriller having reached the 100,000 mark in sales. The books published under her own name, in her own words, "never found their audience." Makes you wonder. If you'd like to read the interview, it's at www.suite101.com/article.cfm/17807/104982

qatz
12-17-2003, 06:24 AM
i have only two things to say, george eliot.

of course, everyone else has a good point, and certainly these days it should not matter. and if you have a persona like AJ's, all bets are off!

SRHowen
12-17-2003, 06:27 AM
she used initials because she thought it would help sell the book if the publishers and agents didn't know she was a she. After all the main character of her book sis male.

Who knows. Ask yourself do you listen to the male advice or female advice more--I mean if a female writer says one thing and a male says another which advice do you take more seriously?

Also, publishers may be concerned about a woman taking time out for children where as they don't think that about men as much.

We all have ideas about what gender a novelist is when we read a story if the name is genderless--I am often mistaken for being male.

Shawn

qatz
12-17-2003, 06:31 AM
heck, i thought you WERE male, shawn! you make good points. but people like AJ (and, for that matter, dan steele) trade on their femininity and seem to do well. it would be nice if we could just say, yeah, but in this day and age such trivial things don't matter.

but as tillie olsen very cogently pointed out, the literary canon until recently has been not only primarily, but overwhelmingly male. sappho et al were the rare exceptions that proved the rule, and sappho was mercilessly suppressed. we have only a little of her real output left. one very good thing about modern times is that this appears to be changing. but go back to school and see who you read in a mainstream course. :hat

SRHowen
12-17-2003, 10:40 AM
People think I am male because I have a type triple A personality and I am a hard a**ed --well fill in the blank. I also write mostly from a male POV--I do it well as I am sure those men who write under a female name (romance) do it well.

I don't know about others but if I pick up a book, say romance, though I read little of it, and it is written by Mac Steamer--well I might hesitate and decide to read one written by a woman. Same with a first person story told from a male POV--it might seem funny to read an "I" story when the I is male, when you know it is written by a female.

Do men do better? Well, I guess a person would have to do an income survey--across the board how many books are published by women, and then compare how much each gender group makes per book.

Shawn

HConn
12-17-2003, 11:43 AM
People think I am male because I have a type triple A personality and I am a hard a**ed --well fill in the blank.

I thought you were male because you sign your posts "Shawn."

If you glance at the most recent NY Times bestseller list, you'll see it's about 2/3 men. (I didn't do an analysis, because life is too short).

But you know something? The Times won't include religious books on its lists. They also exclude romance novels. Why? Because those books would dominate the list every week if they didn't.

So, sure, in the past men dominated (as they have in nearly everything). And authors use pen names because they are afraid of discrimination. But whether men or women do better depends on the kinds of book they're writing.

emeraldcite
12-17-2003, 11:45 AM
i did an informal survey of major publisher's web pages:

random house: all the books featured in the "fiction section" were by females authors. the books featured in the "nonfiction section" were split between male and female authors: one co-authored text by a male and female, one male single author, and one female single author...

I even refreshed the page to see if the titles were randomly generated, they were not.

Penguin: under featured fiction, there were two female authors and four male authors noted. but under the news section, there seems to be a smattering of both genders mentioned.

those are the only two i went through so far. also, a quick peek at the nytimes bestsellers list may also reveal how well gender are selling, but it also depends on how many books are out by big names like king, steele, rice, cussler, grisham, etc. they tend to top the list and stay there for awhile.

AJSearle
12-17-2003, 12:03 PM
I'm not sure really. As a writer I want to say no, of course not. But then as a reader I know how I am. I tend to read more male authors of science fiction and fantasy books. Horro is pretty evenly mixed. Romance from women. So I'm not really sure which sex is more successful generally but I think divided into genre that men tend to find success more in some than in others.

AJ

emeraldcite
12-17-2003, 12:49 PM
on the other hand, in a different genre, what is the ratio of male to females in the field of romance...i'm sure it's not equal.

tammay
12-18-2003, 07:02 AM
Hehehe... talk about stirring up a hornet's nest...

Seriously, though - I don't think that this is quite true. The feminist side of me wants to say, absolutely, it's a malecentric universe we live in and so of course anything created by men is going to be more valued - but the realist side of me says probably not. An example that I can think of is the many romance novels and chick lit written by women for women which are highly successful. I don't think that any genre really exists today that you can say is more successful than another because it has predominantly one gender or the other writing in it.

Historically, it's hard for me to say if this is also true - depends on your definition of "successful". I think (and others who know more about literary history can correct me if I'm wrong) that there was a whole branch of "lady novelists" coming out in the 19th and early 20th century that were very successful but were not taken as seriously as their male contemporaries. So if successful to you means commercial appeal (i.e., what the masses buy, which is the impression I got from your original post), then, no, male writers are not more successful than women writers, IMHO.

Tam

emeraldcite
12-18-2003, 08:51 AM
i agree tam: historically, it was a male-centric worldview. but i think things have changed significantly. women have breached most 'men's clubs.' just look at the niche markets: how many 'malelit' markets are there? um...none. there are few works, especially an entire genre, that is male exclusive, because women have an interest in things that were once considered 'male.' on the other hand, there are few men that read romance, and probably even fewer who read 'chick lit.' things have changed, and the pendulum now swings the other way...

MaadScientist
12-23-2003, 06:44 AM
Gonna weigh in from sort of an odd angle here. I've bemoaned to the staff of SmokeLong several times that while we get a significant number of submissions from male writers, we publish far, far, far more female writers than we do male. Dunno why that is exactly, except that the overall talent level for women submitting just seems to be higher (that, or their styles are more akin to what we like).

That said, it seems an awful lot easier to rattle off a couple dozen well-known male authors than to do the same with women. Not quite sure why that is, except for slowly overcoming the male gaze.

Illandur Stormcrow
12-23-2003, 07:19 AM
Female fantasy/sci-fi writers do seem to be the minority...

Barbara Hambly, Janny Wurts, Anne Mcaffrey, Mercedies Lackey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Leigh Eddings (though she writes with her hubby), of course J.K. Rowling...

That was about all I could think of off the top of my head whose works I had read (I am a fantasy nut, can you tell?).

I think I have read alot more male writers of Fantasy.

vstrauss
12-23-2003, 10:33 PM
>> Female fantasy/sci-fi writers do seem to be the minority<<

Not any more. Many of the top fantasy sellers right now are female. Tor has had special success breaking out female authors. Go to the bookstore and count the new releases...I think you'll be surprised.

- Victoria
www.victoriastrauss.com (http://www.victoriastrauss.com)
www.writerbeware.com (http://www.writerbeware.com)

aka eraser
12-24-2003, 02:11 AM
Robin Hobb is in my top 3.

StephanieQueen
12-27-2003, 12:38 AM
I am writing a thriller militaristic-type novel in a style similar to Tom Clancy. I'm female, but should I use a male pen name for better sales?

James D Macdonald
12-27-2003, 01:38 AM
I'm female, but should I use a male pen name for better sales?

That's a question to take up with your editor after your book's sold.

StephanieQueen
12-28-2003, 08:18 AM
What factors would the editor base that decision on do you think?

James D Macdonald
12-28-2003, 12:22 PM
What factors would the editor base that decision on do you think?

Their experience selling the kind of book you wrote, and what the market looks like right then.

William Blake Bradbury
03-30-2004, 10:59 PM
Anyone fretting over the supposedly diminished role of female writers need only reflect on how Sylvia Plath is the most imitated, researched, mythologized and glorified writer of the 20th Century:hat

Jamesaritchie
03-30-2004, 11:48 PM
Publishers and agents knew Rowling was female long before they bought anything. The initials were for the readers, not to sound male but because they could attract both male and female readers.

But there is no gender gap in writing now, except in romance fiction. If there were a gap, it would probably favor females.

But the real gap is simply between novels that readers want and novels they don't. Stephen King also didn't sell well at all when he tried another male pseudonym. It's meaningless.

kithling
03-31-2004, 12:43 AM
I actually tend to read more books by females than males, although the longer or more intense books/series I enjoy are by male authors, with the exception of Anne McCaffrey.

As to male Romance authors - I don't believe I've ever seen a male name on the cover of any of them. Maybe the guys who do write in that genre take female names. :D

pina la nina
03-31-2004, 01:49 AM
As a reader, I tend to prefer that the narrator or protagonist are the same gender as the author. Just finished Francine Prose's Blue Angel and her protagonist is a middle aged man and it irked me, a bit. It's not that I think the crossover can't be done, and it can work very well, but when the characters have sex, go through puberty, or get really deep and personal sometimes it can ring fake or forced.

Another example is Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides, where the protagonist hits puberty and wonders why her friends are bleeding every month. A reviewer on Amazon.com pointed out that most girls in the 70's, no matter how square their parent's were, read Judy Blume's "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" and had a clue about such basic anatomy. Maybe a lot of guys didn't and so might write a character who was that clueless, but to a female reader it sounds like the character was bizarrely ignorant.

I haven't read much romance but my guess would be that many of the protagonists are female and some of the readers might be inclined to have the same prejudices I do.

sfsassenach
03-31-2004, 02:29 AM
They do, or take non gender specific names like "Leigh" or "Pat". I also know married couples who write romances under a pseudonym.



FYI, Dean Koontz wrote romances for Harlequin, as did uber-agent Donald Maas.

pdr
04-01-2004, 07:43 AM
Everyone has heard of Shakespeare but who has seen or studied Aphra Benn's plays? Jane Austin's work survived because her male relatives saw that it did. In the past women's writing was regarded a quaint side line to that of the literary greats, the all important men. Think of all those male names people like the Bronte sisters had to use to be published.

I use initials and a 'is this name male or female?' Christian name because I have found that new markets treat my writing with a little more respect. It means the difference between being told that my story is a little too female for the market, or that as a female I shouldn't try to write from a male point of view. I have had all these things said to me by editors of 'respectable' magazines. Using my initials means I don't get those comments any more and I do think I get more work published because the editor reads with a mind on the story not the author!

I have found that publishers and editors (generally speaking of course) are slightly prejudiced towards male writers.

emeraldcite
04-01-2004, 07:58 AM
but who has seen or studied Aphra Benn's plays

i have...

sfsassenach
04-01-2004, 08:26 AM
Think of all those male names people like the Bronte sisters had to use to be published.


Like Charlotte? I'm confused by your comment.

Nora Roberts, Sue Grafton, Danielle Steel, Janet Evanovich, Mary Higgins Clark...to name a few, seem to be selling a few books.

pina la nina
04-01-2004, 08:53 AM
The Bronte sisters were published originally as Currer, Ellis, and Action Bell, first initials corresponding with their female initials respectively.

Weird names even for men of the mid-1800's? I have no idea.

sfsassenach
04-01-2004, 09:31 AM
As Johnny Carson said: I did not know that.

Jane Austen alsways published in her own name, though, right?

pdr
04-01-2004, 10:10 AM
Good for you, Emeraldcite, but could I guess because it was in a 'Women's Studies' class or you had read or heard Dale Spender?

Jane Austen's first book was Northanger Abbey and it came out, I think but someone else will know for sure because I can't access my reference books right now, as an anon or under some pseudonym. She had a powerful patron in the form of the Prince Regent.

I bet your Universities, like ours, are still teaching classes about the emergence of the novel form and using only Smollett and Fielding as examples or maybe greatly daring and heading back to Cervantes but I bet they never mention all those Medieval writings by various women. Ah well, perhaps one day...!

Meanwhile using my initials means I don't get patronizing comments about my female writing!

emeraldcite
04-01-2004, 10:21 AM
but could I guess because it was in a 'Women's Studies'


actually i read her in an enlightenment after dark class. we focused on particularly raunchy texts of the time. it was fun.

pdr
04-04-2004, 04:30 PM
I can imagine the giggles, Emeraldecite! So why isn't her work read and revered in the way Marlowe, Johnson, or Shakespeare's are? Her plays were more popular in her lifetime than Shakespeare's. And they're good.

Interesting to look back at your own American writers of let's say the 1920s-40s period. Check the reviews and see how many men and women were well reviewed and hailed as promising, and sold well etc. Now check to see how many are still in print. How many are female, how many male?

SheriHomeschools
04-09-2004, 05:51 PM
I loved this question as I have been thinking about it myself :) I plan (pray..) to be published under initials like Rowling as well. I am female :thumbs but tend to be drawn to male writers. I loved the Stephanie Plum series and some other female writers :D IMO there are a few drawbacks for MY reading pleasure for each sex. FOR ME, female writers tend to go on and on about emotions, questioning the entire relationship kind of stuff. KWIM? Male writers tend to curse more (not just damn, but vulgar cursing) and tend to be too sexual and manly. By manly I mean their characters seldom have a believable softer side? :hat BTW I have not had enough coffee and got up too early to write, so my thoughts are not coming across...don't beat me up :) :ha :coffee

maestrowork
04-09-2004, 10:05 PM
When my book comes out, RUSH out and buy it! My protag doesn't go on and on and on about emotions; he's manly yet sensitive (soft on the inside). He does swear a little but only in certain situations. And there's only one scene that is anywhere near explicitly "sexual."

How's that for self-promotion?



p.s. speaking of vulgarity. I know most writers don't think twice about using the F-word or the S-word. But what about the C-word? I used it in my book (but in a very, very appropriate context) and one of my betas was taken aback by it (but she didn't really have problems with it). None of my other readers had problems with it. So, what are your thoughts -- if it's used in the right context, would you be offended by the C-word?

emeraldcite
04-09-2004, 10:28 PM
I can imagine the giggles, Emeraldecite! So why isn't her work read and revered in the way Marlowe, Johnson, or Shakespeare's are? Her plays were more popular in her lifetime than Shakespeare's. And they're good.

Interesting to look back at your own American writers of let's say the 1920s-40s period. Check the reviews and see how many men and women were well reviewed and hailed as promising, and sold well etc. Now check to see how many are still in print. How many are female, how many male?

actually if you follow print, women writers are huge right now, in critical terms. it may take a good bit before they move up there with some more well-known writers, but then again, how many playwrights are well-know outside the ones you mentioned. I'm sure you could say Shakespeare and people will nod their head, but if you say Beckett or Miller, they'd shrug and say who?

I'm not making the argument that there's equality in success (historically speaking), but I think comparing anyone to the big names like Shakespeare and Milton is like comparing the success of any female CEO and Bill Gates.

I think that now things are smoothing out, although that doesn't solve our problem of whether males are more successful. I think success is measured in how close to sales you are to king, grisham, or critchton, but again, i don't know if those with blockbuster success is fair to compare to because what happens to them is magic. You could say, look at the major success of Steele, Rice, and Rowling -- all popular women writers. it could then be said that in comparison to writers like Steele that a guy can't catch a break in romance (or whatever she's writing now).

i think it would be more fair to compare writers to successful authors, not mega-bucks names. the only fair way to compare is to put out the same book with a very male name on it and a very female name on it, then watch the sales. but even this method could not be carried out. you'd have to do an equal distribution in all regions, populations, etc so that you could accurately compare the work. but still, even then it could be skewed by stimuli that we can't even begin to comprehend. i hate statistic. so untrustworthy.

well, that's my spiel. lol.

SheriHomeschools
04-09-2004, 10:30 PM
When my book comes out, RUSH out and buy it! My protag doesn't go on and on and on about emotions; he's manly yet sensitive (soft on the inside). He does swear a little but only in certain situations. And there's only one scene that is anywhere near explicitly "sexual."

How's that for self-promotion?

It's fabulous dahling! :thewave
speaking of vulgarity. I know most writers don't think twice about using the F-word or the S-word. But what about the C-word? I used it in my book (but in a very, very appropriate context) and one of my betas was taken aback by it (but she didn't really have problems with it). None of my other readers had problems with it. So, what are your thoughts -- if it's used in the right context, would you be offended by the C-word?

If I'm being totally honest (best Simon C. voice here...) I have to say yes. ;) I always find that word offensive and it always tears me out of anything I am reading and wonder why anyone would purposely use it...author or otherwise. I mean, it's a vulgar, ugly word..there are only a few that are that horrible, IMO. I have to 'understand' if it slips out..(but I really don't..) so if an author chooses to use it..ick. That is one huge strike against them for me. :hug

sfsassenach
04-09-2004, 10:41 PM
F*** depends on the genre and writer, and for some people, is an all-purpose expletive.

As far as I can see, C*** is always used in a perjorative way. [And frequently by mysogynists].

maestrowork
04-10-2004, 01:45 AM
As far as I can see, C*** is always used in a perjorative way. [And frequently by mysogynists].

And THAT, my friend, is the context.

I don't use that word lightly. But in my book, I feel that if I use anything else, it's not truthful to the characters and not "real" for the context. So far, only one readers was taken aback (but she wasn't really "put off" by it) so I take it as a good sign.

Vineland
04-10-2004, 06:25 AM
Personally, I (shamefully and regretably--I WILL fix this problem soon, once I find...well, read on) shy away from female authors. I've found this problem with other male-dominated writing groups. For some reason we feel that females tend to write for females. I know I'm wrong. The problem is, that men might feel a bit secluded from the popular female authors, such as the author of "The Lovely Bones", a tale about rape and such of a young girl (the author herself was raped...) The only other I can think of is Anne Rice...and her along with all these other female horror writers, it feels like they all write about SEX and vampires. I dunno. Danielle Steel should be shot. Now I feel odd saying that because she's a woman. If she were a he, I would feel comfortable saying that. Oh, what a tangled web we've weaved.
Book-sale wise, women authors are doing phenomenal, but I challenge anyone to say that the readers are not female dominant. I just can't seem to find a great female author yet. When I do, I'll be happy. I just don't want any book where anyone "enters" anyone else.

Gala
04-10-2004, 07:32 AM
I tend to favor male authors, though I do give the ladies a chance now and then. I have a strong male side, hence I identify with masculine writing.

Daniel Steele once saved me at a hotel in Mexico where there was nothing to read but one of her books left behind in the lobby...I got into it. But maybe it was the sea and the palm trees.

I've enjoyed several of Patricia Cornwell's books; maybe cuz her ex hubby is her critiquer.

I'm reading The Good Earth by Buck, and wondering where I've been all my life that I never read it before.

Yeah, it's literary; it was also mainstream and won awards in it's time. But my God, the language is like music! The story, the characters, setting, history. I am in awe and humbled by her talent. She was also a humanitarian. That's reflected too.

At a friends recommend I fell in love with East of Eden by Steinbeck. (note both of these authors won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I've not been taken in by many of the books winning awards, but I always give them a chance.)

I don't tend to the literary reads, either.

maestrowork
04-10-2004, 07:48 AM
I read Sula in college and fell in love with Toni Morrison's writing.

I don't seem to be able to read modern day female authors, though -- many of them do tend to ramble. I'm probably going to piss off a lot of people here... but I picked up "One True Thing" by Anna Quindlen at the airport on my way to New York. For some reason, I just couldn't get past chapter 3. I had to put it down. It's not as if the writing was bad -- it just kind of went on and on. Some male writers do that too -- I guess I just don't have to patience.

SheriHomeschools
04-11-2004, 01:54 AM
The only other I can think of is Anne Rice...and her along with all these other female horror writers, it feels like they all write about SEX and vampires.

Ooh, no...Evanovich is good. Her Stephanie Plum series was EXCELLENT and totally good for a male reader..but the series has gone long..way long. (Her car can only get blown up so many times.) IMO..men don't read women writers because female authors tend to make sex more..emotional..more what women on Oprah are always SAYING they want from sex. (tenderness, staying a while after...whatever...) Male writers TEND to be more..uh..like men would be asking for on Maury. "Okay, that's done. Make me a sandwhich while I turn on the game...." kwim?? Women usually (IMO) don't care to see a woman treated like a waitress, sex slave, etc. even in fictional novels. I hate to read a man's book and read the f word as if it were a verb...kwim?? I don't like romance novels much myself, either! I don't like the ramblings of romance by female authors. "He gently cupped her _____ as he gazed into her eyes.." ICK! Now I'm rambling...

SheriHomeschools
04-11-2004, 02:01 AM
I've enjoyed several of Patricia Cornwell's books; maybe cuz her ex hubby is her critiquer.

Uck..I can't stand her. I read one of her earlier novels (she is big here in VA) and it was good. So I got another...read half..got one more..read a few pages. She is always blatantly going on and on about money and there are a lot of that type around here. KWIM? (Yes, I'm poor and jealous to some extent:b ...) Her main character..the coroner??...geez!:smack "Checks her time on her ROLEX" or "She drives up to her sprawling estate in her Mercedes (enter some really high end model number here..) while grabbing her Gucci bag." lol :money

I'm reading The Good Earth by Buck, and wondering where I've been all my life that I never read it before. Yeah, it's literary; it was also mainstream and won awards in it's time. But my God, the language is like music!

Have you read Cold Mountain? Amazing handle on the english language, soooo brilliantly written IMO.

maestrowork
04-11-2004, 07:01 AM
Yes, Cold Mountain is beautifully written. I wonder how long did it take Charles Frasier to write that.

Vineland
04-11-2004, 01:22 PM
I think female authors indulge in sex. They love writing about it. Can't figure out why...probably because the females are much more sexual than they put out to be. Personally I hate reading more than a page about sex, and many female authors love to write a whole @#%$ chapter about it.

spooknov
04-16-2004, 12:23 AM
Had to ponder on this one for a few minutes. In the field of romance, I would have to agree that the female gender tends to be more openly accepted. I personally choose not to read mushy books even though I am a female. I go straight to the horror/fantasy section when book shopping.

On that note, I would have to say I find the horror genre is mostly dominated by either males or non-specific gender names. As a female in this particular genre, I find it somewhat sad that it seems to be perceived by the general public that men write better horror than women, which is untrue, IMO. V.C. Andrews would be a good example. I was unaware of the gender when I began to read her works, but she has a way of capturing the audience in the moment.

I hate to admit bias, but I think that most people, whether they are willing to admit it or not, have an opinion of the author based on the gender before even beginning the book. I do not believe that only females can write romance, or only males are capable of scaring the pants off you with a good thriller, but I can understand why authors choose to use non-specific gender names.

Samueel
05-05-2004, 02:11 AM
Are you kidding me?!? :jaw

Yeshanu
06-11-2004, 05:34 AM
If females like to read female authors because the sex is more "emotional," and male readers like to read male authors (for the opposite reason) then it stands to reason (if there is any such thing as reason) that female authors will be, in general, more successful simply because most book buyers are female. (Apparently a large book chain has noticed the fact and has launched a campaign to reward males seen reading a particular book with prizes :shrug )

Personally, I read authors of both genders (my main genres are romance and fantasy) but I tend to prefer female authors, not because of the sex, but because the characterization of females in novels written by males is often waaaaaaaay off base! :head

So guys, unless your initials are JRRT, if you want me to buy your books, you'd best have strong, realistic female characters for me to relate to. :snoopy The gender of the name on the cover doesn't mean nearly as much to me as the realistic portrayal of the characters inside the book.

Ruth

maestrowork
06-11-2004, 07:14 AM
Same can be said about male characters in books written by females...

SRHowen
06-11-2004, 10:02 AM
I happen to write male characters so well that most--anyone who doesn't know my gender--assumes I am male. Even without the name.

Shawn

Yeshanu
06-12-2004, 01:05 AM
Maestro,

But males are so simple that anyone can write them well... :evil (Just kidding.)

Really, I don't like stereotypical characters, whether male, female, gay, straight, princess or beggar, cop or theif, and my preference is for authors, male or female, who can create memorable characters who are true-to-life.

Ruth

maestrowork
06-12-2004, 04:15 AM
I like to write against types.

LiamJackson
06-17-2004, 11:02 AM
Barbara Hambly
Kate Kurtz
Katherine Kerr
Deb Doyle
C. J. Cherryh
Barbara Hambley
Margaret Weiss
Susan Cooper
J. V. Jones
Mercedes Lackey
Ursala LeGuin
Anna McCaffrey
Andre Norton
Melanie Rawn
Jennifer Roberson
Mary Stewart
Janny Wurts...

...to name a few highly successful female scif/fantasy novelist. I think females are well represented in brick and mortar stores. Hellacious writers, each and everyone on the list, above. (And few vampire stories in the entire lot.)

I don't think it much matters if you're a man, woman, or an androgynous gerbil, as long as you can tell an engaging story and keep the readers turning pages.

Gala
06-17-2004, 12:13 PM
...

Risseybug
09-06-2004, 03:02 AM
And then there is the Mother Godess of fantasy writing (at least in my opinion) Marion Zimmer Bradley. I :hail to her greatness.
She was one of the founders of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) I participated in the group for a while when I had the time. I was so sad when she died.
But I digress....

Her books are part of my permanent collection.

Going back a bit... I was considering publishing under initials too.
Which do y'all think sounds better..

Christine Norris
OR
C.M. Norris ??

Just playing around with it a bit.