Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hear Them Roar

Barrie Summy has declared today as October Ovation. She has urged bloggers to talk about a person or people they admire.

I'm going to bend the rules a might and talk about an entire gender. The female gender.

As a writer the question I most often am asked is ... "What do you write?"

Even though my last project was a humorous mainstream novel, my usual answer is women's fiction, and that reply generally brings on raised eyebrows and a dubious, "Really?"

I've had other writers ask me why I write women's fiction given that I'm bucking the norm and the odds.

To them I answer "I can only tell the stories that come to me."

But I have given the subject a lot of thought and now realize that the reason I write stories with strong female characters is because the females in my life have always been stronger and more reliable than the men.

I was raised by a single mom. Now that I have became a parent myself I am stunned by the sacrifices and hard work she put in to raise me and my brother. I also owe my love of reading to her as she insisted my entire life that I read something at all times. She didn't care what but if I dared say I was bored she'd drive me to the library and say the world is yours. Find something you like to entertain yourself. Back then I wasn't even smart enough to realize I was learning something in the process.

As a young boy I also had my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother to learn from. They both taught me more than they'll ever know. I miss the old days of Sunday dinners and they way the two of them were the center of my family's universe. I learned what grief really felt like when my great-grandmother passed away and to this day I can't think of her without smiling as she spoiled me in ways no one else ever has.

My grandmother is still alive and as feisty as ever though in declining health and relegated to a nursing home. I am thankful for the treasure chest of memories I have from the days when she was stronger. I visit her often and wish that I could do more.

I am fortunate to have a good many female friends over the years. I can truthfully say they have never let me down the way many of my guy buddies have though I have a few rock steady pals of the male gender as well. And writing wise all of my mentors are women. Thanks ladies, you know who you are.

That brings me to my lovely wife Jennifer. First off it takes a saint to put up with me. Sure I'm a likable and lovable guy here on the blog, but trust me it ain't all T-bones and smiles living with me. She gives me time to pursue my crazy dreams of becoming an author, she takes great care of me and our boys, and she doesn't make me eat lettuce.

Why do I write women's fiction.

Because most of the time women are a hell of a lot more interesting than us hairy knuckled men. Heck all of us have the exact same motivation for everything we do.

So to all the females of the world ... I salute you!

And visit these other bloggers who are taking part on October Ovation.

Through the Tollbooth
Ellen Booraem
Stacy Nyikos
Maureen McGowan
Elizabeth--About New York
Jason--Scribblings of a Madman
Becky Levine
The Adventures (and Misadventures) of Amy
Sandy--Peaceful Heart Stained Glass
Gabe--Gabe's Meanderings
Shari Green
Debra--From Skilled Hands
Welcome to the Patti-O
Patti Abbott--pattinase
Beth Yarnell
Barrie Summy
Larramie--Seize A Daisy


Patti said...

you love your females the way i love my males...nice.

Nnairda's said...

Cheers to the women!!! Great post!


Monnik said...

Aw, nice post Travis. I feel pretty warm and fuzzy about your gender too.

Michele said...

Fantastic tribute, Travis.

I've been fortunate to have the people in my life that I've had and still have, as well--both genders.

Kristen Painter said...

It's good to be appreciated! Seriously tho, men are pretty cool too.

Rick said...

I might add that it takes a hell of a secure man to write strong and inspiring fiction about women. I, too, salute you.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Wonderful post, Travis. The women in your life are very lucky to have you.


Charles Gramlich said...

A very fine tribute, especially to your mother. My own mom was a single mom for me part of my life, since my dad died when I was 13. It is amazing to me as well how much sacrificing she had to do for me.

Cloudia said...

Aloha and Thank you, Travis, for drawing our attention to the human treasures in our own lives, and reminding us women about the awesome power we can bring to the healing of ourselves, those in our lives, and the entire world. I am humbled that you have become a follower of my blog. Right back atcha! Soons I can figure out how, I'm putting your link on my blog too.
Sure would like to send you a signed copy of my little novel "Aloha Where You Like Go?" too- couldn't access your "contact" email for some reason.
Glad I stumbled on your little community here.

Amy said...

That's so nice Travis! The women in your life raised you well. I'm glad you have a sweet wife too!

gabe said...

Hey! I admire a man who appreciates women. Thanks.

Karin said...

Ah, that was so nice! If ever you need a plug for a book, just ask me. I'll put you on GoodHousekeeping or BabyCenter quicker than you can say PMS.

Karin said...

Hey, Karin is my sister. that's me - Andrea! We have the same web address for our new blog. Sorry about that. It's me!

angel, jr. said...

Great post!

ORION said...

Very cool post- i love reading women's fiction written by men!

Georgie B said...

Excellent post Travis. That is the best answer anyone can come up with for why they write what they write.

Barrie said...

Nothing to argue with in this post, Travis! Ha! Thanks for joining in.

Shari said...

Great post - thanks! And nice to discover your blog through this October Ovation thing. :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

You rock! I bet you're not even squeamish about eating quiche. The influential women in your life deserve a prize. They done good! :)

Shauna Roberts said...

How sweet! Sounds as if your family provides many heroines to draw on for your books.

Anonymous said...

Very nice. yeah, women rock!

pattinase (abbott) said...

All women love a man who loves women. Works out great, doesn't it. Terrific ovation to the women in your family.

Larramie said...

Travis, you are one smart and fascinating man to realize the true nature of women and not shy away. ;)

Hilary said...

Sounds like you're very lucky to have such strong women in your life.. and they you. Nicely done.

David Cranmer said...

Travis, Excellent. A nice touching tribute to women.

Josh said...


the walking man said...

Travis are we twins. Separated at birth perhaps?

Suzanne said...

Hey you!!! Of course I'm still here. What? Thanks for always dropping by and yup, I love hockey too!

Well, I'd write a whole hell of a lot, but there are actual writers here and I'd hate to embarrass myself, so I'll just say, you're a terrific guy and I admire the hell out of you. Thanks for loving women. And thanks for this post. Beautiful.

P.S. Gotta go back and check my spelling and grammar before I post...
P.P.S. Yup, they both suck! ;)

Melanie Avila said...

I'm a little late but love this post. I'm sure you face a lot of questions choosing to write women's fiction, but it sounds like you have more than enough background to write truthful stories.

Maureen McGowan said...

What a fabulous post! And good for you for writing the stories you want to write and not letting gender get in the way.

Ray said...

Travis - combining this and Joe's story together - wish you luck. If your writing is anything like your blogs then it's easy on the eye and draw the reader in to your world.
There are two Western writers that I know of (Lee Floren and David Whitehead) who write women's books for Mills & Boon. So you could say that it isn't anything unusual.