On Why Men Like Romance Novels  

Posted by Heidi in

There has been a bit of a contretemps at my house. A bit of a disturbance, an imbroglio, if you will. It seems I have been dwelling too much on my soon off-to-real-school-dom Little Guy and not enough on The Spouse, the Big Guy, or the Middle Child. Even the dog has complained. (I know, I know, but she’s really smart.) (Really, really smart.)

Personally, I feel that I have not spent enough time dwelling on my book, my baby, of sorts, my piecing together of words that somehow warranted forthcoming publication. (Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind, a Jane Austen era romantic comedy is out December 24th—woo hoo!) How it all happened is enough to boggle the mind. I fear, however, that it if I were to go into it too deeply, it might further offend the “others”.

So, here’s something that might answer both dilemmas. (How I wish these were the worst my dilemmas get.) Some years ago when I wrote Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind (though, at the time, it was called Ginny Kissed Me—and for a long time after that it was called Darling Buds of May which was sooooo appropriate—you’ll understand when you read it—you are going to read it, aren’t you?) I asked The Spouse to read my manuscript.

He said, “Sweetheart, I will read it when it is a book.”

I’m not sure if this was his way of expressing his confidence in me (yay Spouse!) or if it was his way of getting out of a bad spot (boo!) (and boo hoo!). Either way, it was hat-eating time when I was presented with a bound copy of Miss Delacourt at the Avalon publisher’s party the first of this month.

I didn’t ask him if he was going to read it, instead I left it lying about in strategic locations. I even employed a little reverse psychology by pointing out that it was an uncorrected copy. “You don’t want to read that! It has mistakes in it!” He is, after all, an elementary school teacher. They don’t like mistakes in books or elsewhere. In fact, The Spouse gets really low when his students don’t do well on their tests. It really rends his heart.

But lo and behold, he picked it up and began to read, just a little each night, a savoring, of sorts. Sometimes he would read to me and sometimes I would read to him. I (kind of) insisted on this because I wanted to hear him react to it, to know if he laughed at all the right spots and felt the love in all the right places, to know if I had painted enough of a picture to get the idea across, specifically, in very specific, specific-like ways.

And, you know, last night, when we finished it and I read the last page aloud, the romantic, amusing, witty and dare I say, somewhat passionate conclusion, I could see that he got it. He really, really got it.

My cup runneth over.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at Saturday, August 23, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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