Hey readers. A. W. Clarke here. I was asked an interesting question by someone at work this week. “Did you find it hard, you know, being a man, writing a book about love?”
I was surprised to hear her ask the question, but I didn’t take offense. Instead, I smiled and explained to my co-worker that writing my romance novel was both a challenge and a compliment to my efforts. I’ll let you in on my intentions, however not without tossing a few statements around first…
I’ve had the pleasure of making several friends throughout my life, both during school and in the workplace. Most of my friends are acquaintances, with whom I shoot the breeze. But of these, only a significant few do I keep as close friends. Even less, maybe one or two, are the closest of my friends, whom I trust with my most important life details and decisions. In fact, having a very close and trustworthy friend can be that pillar you can lean on as the years go by, as life’s roads dip and turn.
Having said this, it’s important to state that a slight majority of my friends are female. I have been out for a beer, and worked on my car with some of my male cohorts, but I can also share a drink and talk about life with a few of my female friends. Without sounding haughty, it’s been during my thirties that I’ve noticed something I wish I had known all my life. When tapping into a female’s mind, one can often garner answers that are rooted deeply in her heart.
To explain my statement, consider for a moment the following painting by the famous Leonardo Da Vinci:
The Lady of the Dishevelled Hair is a masterpiece. It bears different symbolisms to different people. But when I look at it, the image explains so much about why I have a deep trust in the female soul. The lady in the painting seems to exude a deep feeling of peace. She displays a sense of innocence and truth within her that I believe is perhaps genetic in every woman’s heart since the dawn of humanity.
Hence, it is from a woman’s deeply rooted sense of innocence that may lead her to communicate thoughts and beliefs from the heart with great compassion and conviction.
Now, that being said, let’s not disregard the male counterpart! Many of my male friends also have deep feelings, passions and beliefs. When it’s time to vent or get advice on gentlemanly topics, my good pals are there for me. Life would certainly be void without the accompaniment of both sexes.
But I feel what’s made me grow as a person of respect, is having had a presence of both male and female intellectuals in my life. I think it would be safe to resonate that when the boys are together, the atmosphere can grow either tense or jovial with specific topics. Men discuss life side to side, with little emotion and little to no eye contact. When women discuss life’s trials or successes, they may sit closer, with more eye contact, or share a condoling hug.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because from my standpoint, when I was younger I was more naïve, and failed to really understand and consider the complex and valuable thought process of the females I knew so little about.
But, you learn a few things through relationships… Then you learn more through having a sister…Then a few more from your mother…and certainly a few more from a few good female friends you can trust…and then that’s when you can finally paint the picture, and see how beautifully a woman’s heart works!
It was now at this point, that I wanted to challenge myself and write a story that spoke of a woman’s true love for a man who struck fire in her heart.
Now some people may paint me as naïve, but I beg to differ. I’ve had a few men in my circle of friends who confessed their relationship strategies as purely sexual. Some, however, have not. Conversely, a majority of my female friends can be read by their hearts…they seem to have it in the right place, and think with those hearts as the foundation of their relationships. They have stated that although important in a relationship, love is not based entirely on sexuality. Love…lasting love, is far more complicated and intertwined with elements of trust, sacrifice, character, and so on…
So, with my writing challenge well underway, I attempted to write a love story from a woman’s perspective. Throughout the book, Victoria has several personal reflections, constantly evaluating the validity of her actions. I have to admit, I really enjoyed composing Victoria’s personal struggles. These could have been the hard part for a man to gauge. I did have my share of questions during the writing process, whereby I consulted more than one woman per situation. This way, I could produce a realistic and feasible outcome for Victoria’s roller coaster ride through three specific relationships. Furthermore, writing about her different reactions to numerous relationships mirrored a strategy that is so important for all of us to go through- life’s best lessons are learned through experience!
What gave me the confidence to write a love story from the female perspective was a combination of what I know about the female heart, as well as what I was spoken to me by many female hearts. No man completely knows what a women wants, but the journey unto that understanding, and into the heart, is a deep and powerful one.
Many of those who read my book have enjoyed the dynamics of Victoria’s ride and congratulated me on my writing style. It was at this point that I found my challenge a success for the most part, and a real reward. I am currently working on my next romance novel which I expect to touch the heart and mind of readers even harder, and take the relationship in an unusual, powerful direction.
So, what was it like writing Hooked? Being a guy writing through a woman’s heart and mind, it was an enjoyable ride. I am surprised more men don’t do it. And for future authors, keep in mind. There is a fine line between a powerful, passionate romance, and a graphically lascivious porn. Before you begin to type that first page, think about the audience you want to connect with.
Those who think with their hearts, capture the hearts of others.