Monday, November 11, 2013

A Man in a Woman's World: JM Bray

A few weeks ago I got an email from an author asking if I was available to take part in a blog tour for his upcoming release. I checked out his book and saw that it was a NA Romance with a sexy man on the cover, so naturally I HAD to host it. JM seemed like a really nice guy, which led me to asking him if he would share what it's like to be a man in woman's world, that is, the world of romantic...
fiction. He was a little afraid, but I talked him into it. Check it out below, and be sure to check out Tearing the Shroud. I have that bad boy sitting on my kindle right now. Can't wait to read it!

In the spirit of honesty, when Megan suggested the theme for this post my heart pounded and I started to sweat. “Being a man, in a woman’s world – Romantic Writing” brought a vision of my saying the wrong thing and having mobs of laptop-wielding Xena: Warrior Writers clamoring for my execution. I’m still hoping that doesn’t happen.

**Stands at the front, his hands twisted in a knot on the podium.**

‘Hi. I’m JM, a guy who writes Romantic Fantasy.’

I’d like to categorically state that whatever minuscule apprehension I’ve felt in no way compares to the belittlement, mistreatment, and unfair practices that women face on a daily basis. Have I been uncomfortable or guarded my comments? Yep. Does that make me understand what women go through in “a man’s world’? Not in the least. It doesn’t even get close.

By and large I feel completely accepted, even praised for my willingness to enter what most people consider a female arena. I’ve learned that I though my instincts for spinning a romantic yarn are good, there are certain expected points to hit or build-ups to provide. While a guy might say, “Honey, I told you I love you when we got married. If that ever changes I’ll let you know.” That’s not going to cut it for most women. In editing Tearing the Shroud, I added whole scenes to help provide the progression needed. I’m glad I did as it made the story stronger and much more romantic.

Amusing things happen with the assumption of my sex. Part of that is my fault I admit. Using my initials rather than my name doesn’t give much information. “JM” could easily be Judith Melinda and many female writers do the same so they are not pegged as female. These moments have never been anything big. In general I’m simply forgotten. I don’t mean that I’m being pushed aside or intentionally excluded. I’m just ‘not remembered’ or assumed to be female and in a way that’s usually a good thing

As I said at the start, it’s insignificant compared to what women face, and can be as small as the questions posed:
“So ladies, what’s the best way to…”
“How are you gals handling…”
Or as large as a recent a blanket email about a convention and the conversations that happened. It gave me several new ways to refer to my dangly parts…my favorites were ‘trouser python’  and ‘throbbing manroot.’ That reminds me I need to try the second one out on my wife…the phrase, I mean.

In some ways, it’s like having the password to a secret world where all this amazing stuff gets shared. I’ve learned about Manspiration. Posts of semi-clad hunks with huge trouser pythons outlined in tight underwear, prominently displayed between their spread legs. This is accompanied by comments of how the hotness (hawtness?) of each guy spins the author’s mind into a whirl of steamy sex scenes to write. I don’t find it offensive, not at all. I get it, they are good looking guys. Again, though, I didn’t join in by posting Femspiration of a buxom, round bottomed, thong-wearing young woman bent over and pointing her luv muffin at the camera. I figured, perhaps incorrectly, that my post would not be well received.

Recently a flurry of Facebook posts by women writers discussed the effect of their monthly cycles on writing. It included how horny they got due to stages of ovulation, whether it pumped their creativeness or squashed them flat, how moody they were, among other things. I wasn’t uncomfortable. However, though I found it interesting and informative, I didn’t chime in because I was worried that I might say something wrong or offend someone.

I’ve heard it said: A man shouldn’t make comments about a woman’s monthly cycle…period! Being married and having two grown daughters, I’ve bought my share of feminine products and did so without complaint. After all, the only other male in the house was our dog, Sparky, and he got neutered. With that in mind, I figured discretion was the better choice, but it did make me wonder what the reaction would have been if I’d started the post.

I’m privileged to get a peek behind the curtain and I’m taking frantic notes. After all, knowing what type of men turn a woman on or that x-number of days before their period they are easy to arouse or that many women want their heroes to have a space shuttle between their legs are handy tools for a Romantic Writer.

Now, how can I include a throbbing manroot in my work in progress?

Check out JM's recent release Tearing the Shroud! I have total cover love<3

Genre: Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy, New Adult

Publisher: Escape Publishing (Harlequin AU)
Fall in love, be possessed, hunt a sorcerer and save the world — and Vincent thought calculus was tough.1984 — Vincent expected college to be about freedom and girls, but then the nightmares of sorcery, monsters and other worlds began. Not even the surprising attention from his dream girl, Julie, could shake them.Before he's even nailed his second date with Julie, he's possessed by Coleman, a warrior from another realm. Coleman is hell bent on defeating the monstrous Kafla who threatens to tear into Vincent's reality, changing both his and Coleman's worlds forever. They have one chance to stop them: Vincent must allow Coleman to share his body and wage war against the sorcerer.Now it's up to them, the women they love, and Vincent's rag-tag bunch of role- playing and gaming friends to save the world, or see 1984 descend into the apocalypse.
Buy on Amazon

J.M. Bray lives in Southern California with his college sweetheart and their two dogs. After a lifetime together, they are happier than the moment they met.
When not writing or working his "day job", he loves to cook, play the guitar, and travel with his wife. Every chance he gets, he races an old Porsche named "Tuffy" at tracks in the southwest.

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Twitter: @jmbraybooks




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