Should A Man Write Chick-Lit? A Guest Post by T. A. Williams, Author of Dreaming of Florence

Dreaming of florence cover

It is so lovely to welcome back T.A. Williams, author of Dreaming of Florence, to Linda’s Book Bag. I’ve met Trevor on many occasions and he’s such a wonderful person that it gives me great pleasure to support his latest book.

Previously on Linda’s Book Bag T.A. Williams has written about how much of himself goes into his books here, and on why he writes books for women here.

I have also reviewed Trevor’s Chasing Shadows here, Dreaming of Venice here and To Provence, With Love here.

Dreaming of Florence was published by Canello on 8th January 2018 and is available for purchase here.

Dreaming of Florence

Dreaming of florence cover

Fresh pasta, red wine, fine art… and love? Find enchantment this year in the magical city of Florence

When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!

Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?

Should a Man write Chicklit?

 A Guest Post by T.A.Williams

Wikipedia defines Chicklit as, ‘…genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly.’ It seems to me there is a potential conflict here. That word issues all too often has nothing to do with humour. We all have issues and few of them make us laugh. Issues can involve work, relationships, health…. You name it, there are issues connected with it. So, as an author setting out to write about issues in a lighthearted way, I knew I would have to tread lightly.

The next problem I had to face was to what extent women readers react differently in the face of  issues, as compared to men. My own experience tells me that when it comes to the big stuff, our reactions are strikingly similar. I cried when my mum died. I cried when I had to take the old Labrador to the vet to be put down. When my business hit a bad financial patch, my wife and I were equally worried for the future. When our daughter got a place on a round the world sailing voyage, we were both concerned for her wellbeing. So, I would suggest, we all react the same way as far as the big stuff is concerned. We maybe show it in different ways, but that is as much to do with upbringing and conditioning as gender. The days of the Victorian father who hurrumphs quietly and returns to his newspaper after receiving the news of his son being eaten by cannibals are long gone. Emotions are closer to the surface nowadays for men as well as women.

The small stuff is a different matter. I acknowledge that. Shoes to me are things I put on my feet to help me walk. They are not objects of desire to be hoarded and cherished. And we all know, boys like toys. I freely admit it. Take a look in my shed. I still have wetsuits from thirty years ago and enough pieces of bikes to build a new one. But even there, that’s as much down to personality as gender.

That leaves the prickly subject of emotions. Women are moody. Women are touchy and neurotic. Men are feelingless, football-obsessed morons. Need I go on? We’ve all heard it before. But I don’t buy it. Stereotypes abound, but that doesn’t mean they are generic. I know some miserable, apparently emotionless women, and some soft-hearted men. We shouldn’t assume each sex always reacts as the stereotype dictates.

So where does that leave me? I’ve been writing for years. I write all sorts, from historical novels to thrillers. We writers have to draw upon our imagination as far as plot and characters are concerned, so why not use this same imagination to think ourselves into the heads of our readers?

My books are mostly written from the perspective of the main, female, characters and Dreaming of Florence is no exception. Debbie is no shrinking violet. When her whole world feels as if it’s falling apart, she takes a deep breath and gets on with it. I would like to think that her reaction is the same as mine would have been. Does that make her more masculine or me more feminine? I don’t think so. I think it makes us human. That’s what we all are, after all.

(Well said Trevor!)

About T.A.Williams

TAWilliams

T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.

You can find Trevor on FacebookGoodreads and Amazon. You can also follow him on Twitter and visit his website.

There’s more with these other bloggers too:

Tour poster

15 thoughts on “Should A Man Write Chick-Lit? A Guest Post by T. A. Williams, Author of Dreaming of Florence

  1. Thanks to Linda for hosting me on her blog and thanks for the kind words. I’ve written all sorts, but I genuinely enjoy writing “romance”. Maybe it’s because there’s so much bad stuff going on in the world at the moment. Thanks again to all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks very much to Linda for hosting me on her blog and thanks to you all for the other kind words. The way I see it, when I was writing some of my historical stuff and trying to get into the head of a thirteenth century knight on horseback, it’s pretty obvious that human beings – irrespective of sex, age or era – all fear the same things, love the same things and aspire to the same things. Simples… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an interesting question, Linda. I see no reason why a man can’t write this sort of novel if he takes the time to do the necessary research. I think most men find women issues overwhelming and to different and so they probably wouldn’t attempt a book like this.

    Liked by 1 person

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