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
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.