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September 30th, 2010

Men who write like women

Writer/actress Felicia Day commented over on the GoodReads site that she suspected the writer of a book she'd just finished (Unclean Spirits, by M.L.N. Hanover) was a male, and it turns out she was right.

When I asked her about it, she told me she could definitely tell, but couldn't say why -- just a gut instinct. (Yes, she actually replied to my comment, just as Amber Benson did to my comment on her Twitter some time ago. I don't expect we'll end up hanging out together, sipping coffee and discussing characterization.)

This is something I've thought about from time to time, as I've written three novels I call romantic comedies -- in other words, romance novels, written by a male. It's more common than you might imagine, but it's far from unheard of. Emily says it's okay; I write like a girl, anyway. Um ... thanks? :-)

Storm Chaser would be shelved as a romance, and the novel I'm working on now is from the POV of a teenage girl, so I'm curious: How many of you can tell whether a writer is male or female, and why? I mean other than their names, of course! If you see initials instead of a first name on a book cover, there's a good chance it's someone working in a genre that's usually thought of as appealing mostly to readers of the opposite sex.


Oh, I almost forgot: My internet presence will be sparse over the next few days. Emily's feeling under the weather (nothing serious), so we're going to stay warm and comfy at home as well as, if weather and health permits, spend some time at the Kendallville Apple Festival and hopefully visit with Charis, Vinny, and the twins.

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