About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why Do Men Write Books About Women Sleuths?

Why Do Men Write Books About Women Sleuths?

I not only write books about a female sleuth, but I also read them. I buy new eBooks and I  trade eBooks with my friends. Frequently, I find myself asking, "What idiot wrote this?" The usual reason is that the book was written by a man. I find this amazing, strange and odd. How could a man believe that he could write as a woman? We're different, other than biologically, in the way we do things, in the way we approach problems, in the way we think, in too many ways to list. Ladies, you know what I mean. Guys, if you don't, you'd better learn.

I read a review on Goodreads that said that women characters were two-dimensional in a male author’s work and are stock characters. Could this be because men do not know how to portray the complexities that dwell within the female physche? I ask this question because I have read some good books by males who seem to portray women as this one-dimensional dimensional human being. Do men actually see women as one-dimensional? I can’t believe this is true, but the books I have read tend to support this.

As I see it, the answer could be two different things. First, the man could be 'a woman in a man's body,' if you know what I mean. But, even so, in a man's body, there are many differences. Strength. The perception of people around. Not the same. Not at all. Second, is the arrogance of the uninformed. If the man is a teen, then uninformed is the right word. If the man is thirty or more, he's old enough to know better. Women don't look at things the way men do just as men don't see things as women do. Before age thirty, this becomes obvious for all but the thickest heads.

Some men who write about women sleuths partner with women. A wise move. I have no problem with these partnerships. In fact, I have a writer friend who edits my books and frequently recommends changes based on his knowledge of the male psyche. As a married woman who has spent half a lifetime in a "man's" job, I believe I know men as well as any woman. But, I don't believe I could write for a man and have it be convincing. At least not to men.

The greatest advice I've seen about writing is to 'write about what you know.' I hope that more male authors will shed their arrogance and a bit of their false testosterone and admit some ignorance about the females of the species.  Come on guys. Give it up. It's way past time.

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