Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Women's Fiction? Yes, Please.

Let's talk Women's Fiction.

What is it?

The Romance Writers of America organization defines women's fiction as, "a commercial novel about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending with regard to her romantic relationship."

Okay I can live with that definition.

So how exactly did I become a Women's Fiction author?

That's a little harder to pinpoint, but I can tell you it wasn't easy. I never opened my eyes one morning and said, "Hey I think I want to become the next Nicholas Sparks."

And no offense to Mr. Sparks but I don't want to be the next him. I want to be me. Sure I want to write books his audience wants to read, but I want to be me. I want somewhere someday there to be a literary agent or editor that tells an author, "You are the next Travis Erwin." Start growing your goateess now you would be male Women's Fiction writers."

I began writing seriously after taking a college class with Jodi Thomas. I'd always been a lifelong reader and thought I could write a compelling story but meeting her and talking to her I for the first time believe a country boy from Amarillo, Texas could make a go at being an author. 

For those unfamiliar with her work, Jodi Thomas is a  Hall of Fame member of the Romance Writers of America. She is the person that I can credit for launching my passion to be an author. Here is a picture of the two of us taken a  few years back.

I learned a lot about the business and writing from Jodi. Including the fact I'm a Women's Fiction writer. She challenged us to write the first 50 pages of a novel in that class. I did. She read them, liked them and told me "I never guessed a big scrapping guy like you would write women's fiction." 

Guess what Jodi. Neither did I. I simply began telling the story in my head. Funny thing is that story I began oh so long ago has a new title ... a shiny new cover ...and most importantly a release date. yes that book I began 13 long years ago has become TWISTED ROADS.

I doubt any one paragraph is the same. Heck some of the characters are not the same. The book that comes out oh so soon is far better than the stuff I handed Ms Thomas to read but the same emotions the same quest for personal growth and emotional reflection are there. They are there in nearly everything I write. Yes even the Feedstore Chronicles. The growth in that book was my own and I'm obviously not a woman so while that book was not women's fiction I am most proud of the reviews I recieved like this one ...

5.0 out of 5 stars Resilience and true Grit-a coming of age book deeper than the cover, November 10, 2011

J.Smith (Seattle, Washington) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Feedstore Chronicles (Paperback)
This book is hilarious. It is also deeply moving, proving one can not judge by a comedic and clever cover. Erwin shows immense depth as a writer, and the story would be funny and worth reading even if he didn't manage to convey the true challenges of being raised by a single mother in a dusty Texas town without whining. Mr. Erwin writes a captivating story, and I was unexpectedly moved and inspired by the prose. A great read, and one I highly recommend. 

That's who I want to be as a writer. I want to delve below the surface so while I might not have intentionally became a Women's Fiction writer I embrace the term. Am proud to wear the title. No I'm not the typical women's fiction author and that has made it tougher to get to this point. But I feel my work can stand on its own. So now that I'm actually going to have a novel out there in the genre I think the fact I'm a 6'5 nearly 300 hundred pound Texan with a twang in his voice and boots on his feet is a good thing. it gives me the ability to stand out in a crowded field of talented writers.

I am the same writer I have always been. I hope to make you laugh, cry, and cheer along with the characters. I hope to make you feel as if you learned something about not only my characters but humanity as a whole. About what makes all of us tick. About what it is like to fight and struggle and get back up again. To fall in love all over again.

That is why I write. That is why we live.


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Patricia said...

Well, I'll admit you're the first male women's fiction writer I'm going to follow. I'll have to go back and make sure I can subscribe to your blog, but I'm assuming that's a given. I enjoyed reading your definition of being a writer and a WF writer.
Welcome to our world and I'm now going to see how if I can get your book on my Kindle.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Your original Blogger profile description of yourself as a Texas good ol' boy and a women's romance fiction writer was what first attracted me to your blog a few years back. I thought -- WTF, I gotta check this out! I love it when someone upsets my stereotypes and preconceived notions. You are indeed a good writer of humour, depth and sensitivity, Travis, and I look forward to reading your new book!

Old Kitty said...

I loved your original blog blurb of yourself and was totally drawn by it! Big guy writing romantic women's fiction - or something like that! LOL!!

Huge congratulations with this review of your Chronicles book! Take care

Angie said...

Hey, we all write down the stories in our heads, whatever they are. Congrats on the great review. :D


Karin Huddleston said...

I took my first writing class with Jodi, also. A.G. Howard was in that class!

I'm so very proud of you guys!

All 3 of you really inspire me and motivate me to get writing!

Charles Gramlich said...

The Feedstore Chronicles definitely had a lot of strength in its characters. I'm looking for more of the same in your new one.

G. B. Miller said...

Interesting spam ya got there big guy.

I really enjoyed reading The Feedstore Chronicles, and I'm looking forward to acquiring your latest.

And after reading your description of what women's fiction is supposed to be, mine misses it like Scott Norwood.

Or Jim Kelly, I forget which.

the walking man said...

Uhhh OK I now know I will not be able to write women's fiction. Or be 6'4" and 300 pounds or wear boots unless they come in orthopedic styles.

But yes you will stand hand and shoulder above your peers Travis and no matter who you;re compared to you're still going to be you.