Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Heck Yeah! Meeting Men on the Internet

I have been meeting a lot of men online lately and they all want one thing – to talk about books.
 

Not what you were expecting? Well, I gotta tell you this is a new experience for me, too. Not meeting men, of course. I’ve known a couple in my life, I just don’t remember them very well since I’ve been married like forever (think Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and if you haven’t seen it, stop reading this and get thee right now to Netflix).

Since marrying I’ve also met some neat guys. They repair my car, my plumbing and take care of my yard.

What makes these new guys so amazing is that they are (get ready) readers of fiction. Before the internet, I didn’t believe they existed. I assumed all men were like my husband and read history (tons and tons of history) or magazines and newspapers and owner’s manuals. Of course, there were always the aberrations like the men who read Tom Clancy or David Morrell. But I’m a little suspect of those readers. I have it on good authority that the publisher lays down a thin layer of testosterone on each page during the printing process. That’s tantamount to carrying a ham hock in your pocket to make a dog love you.

The men I’m talking about read MY fiction - and I'm a woman author. I think my books are pretty thrilling considering I write legal thrillers. There’s always a good murder (and I’m talking really good). There are fight or flight scenes. There are sex scenes (okay, maybe not real sex scenes. My mom reads my books, after all. She loves a creative murder but sex? Not so much). There are bare-knuckled-intellectual smack downs in my fictional courtrooms that men would love. I could see how some of this would attract male readers but my books also feature women leads and emotional entanglements. I figured that took me and a whole lot of other authors off their radar.

The cool thing about all this is that these guys not only love to read fiction, they are like book mechanics now that I’m E-publishing. Not only do they point out a problem with a file, they happily help me fix it. I’m assuming they are happy to help since the dialogue between us continues over weeks and months and, in some cases, years. I know about their children and grandchildren, we swap travel stories and suggestions for good reads. I get a little jealous when they don’t add ‘but your work is so much better’ to their recommendations but I get over it.

So, here’s a big heck yeah! to all the guys who read fiction - my books and yours. Knowing they're out there on the internet has sort of changed the way I write. Now I swipe a little more testosterone on those pages just to say thanks.

Rebecca Forster

As an advertising executive I marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym, did business in China before there were western toilettes and mucked around with sheep to find out how my client's fine wool was made. Then I wrote my first book. . .visit me at http://www.rebeccaforster.com/