I’m very happy to have debut author K.A. Stewart here today to talk about writing a make protagonist. I reviewed A Devil in the Details earlier today.
When my agent made that first phone call to discuss representation, he confessed to me “I wasn’t sure, until I talked with you, that you were actually a woman” because apparently the male voice in my book sounded so realistic. (In case you’re wondering, I took this as a huge compliment.)
Consequently, one of the most frequently asked questions I get about my series is “How do you, a woman, convincingly write a male character’s voice?”
Well, for starters, I was never a girly girl. I was happier climbing trees and shooting my bow than I ever was playing with make-up or doing my hair. My Barbies were all Amazons, and they took Ken hostage. True story.
As I grew up, my anti-girly tendencies continued. Sure, I have a few girly quirks now. I’m fanatic about doing my nails, and a shoe sale will get me out of the house faster than you can say “lace-up boots”. But for the most part, I’m more comfortable on the “guy side” of things.
The result of this tomboy tendency is that I have a lot of guy friends. A LOT. I even married one. And, like any writer, I love to observe. After all these years, “my guys” have become accustomed to me, enough that they’re totally themselves, even when I’m hanging around. (If you now have an image of me in some kind of hunter’s blind, frantically scribbling notes as I watch the Wild Male in his Natural Habitat, you’re not far wrong.)
I watch my hubby and his buddies interact. I know that no, men don’t really think about their hair that much, until they think they’re losing it. They do think about sex that much. They’re not big huggers, at least with each other. Nobody knows what Manolo Blahniks are, much less how to pronounce it, and nobody drinks mango daiquiris. Things like that.
Beyond the topics of their conversations, I listen to their speech patterns, their word choices. Their vocabulary changes when they think there are no women around. They say things they’d never in a million years say in front of their wives, their mothers.
I listen to what they really think about certain subjects, certain situations. People go on and on about “men are from Mars, women are from Venus”, but it really is true! There is a fundamental difference in the way men and women react, especially in social situations.
And when in doubt, I ask my hubby. You often hear the phrase “Would a guy really say this?” around my house. He gets the most credit for making sure I have everything just right.
Of course, there will always be someone out there saying “That doesn’t sound right! Guys I know don’t do that!” And they’re probably right. My fictional guys – Jesse and all his merry band of miscreants – sound like my guys. Someone else’s guys probably sound very different. Guys from the Midwest may have completely different motivations, attitudes, and experiences than men from New York, Russia, Mars, or Middle Earth. Their voices will be different. Doesn’t mean they’re inaccurate. If we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place.
Thanks so much K.A.! Penguin has kindly offered to giveaway a copy of A Devil in The Details to one lucky commenter. To enter tell us – Have you read an urban fantasy with a male lead character? Any favorites?
Open to US/Canada only through Friday July 9th.
I'm so crunching my brain here…*crunch crunch some more* I'm going blanc here as I look at my shelves. There all girls on my shelves o_0
Honestly, I don't think I have read an urban fantasy with a male MC. Time to change that!
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher counts right? I read one book, and it was sooo good. I will be finishing the series soon.
I just bought the first Harry book..need to read it!
Sullivan McPig says
Fallen Angel by Margaret and Liz Weis. I quite liked that one I must confess.
(not from the US or Canada so don't enter me)
Barbara E. says
I can't recall any UF books that I've read with a male lead character, but I do have on my TBR shelf Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books and Anton Strout's Simon Canderous books, so I will be reading some soon.
It's funny how there isn't too many lead male characters we have read. I'm very interested in this book. I had good guy friends throughout school, so I'm interested even more now how this book reads. Thanks for the post. This book is now on my wishlist!
Jennifer Estep says
The Dresden Files is the only UF series that I can think of with a male character. Oh, and the series by Rob Thurman, the name of which escapes me at the moment.
I've been thinking about getting this one. The premise sounds cool.
Robin K says
Does Acheron count? Or is that paranormal? I think Sharie Kohler's the Moon Chasers is also very male lead or at least more balanced.
I don't think I have. I can't remember any.
Don't think I have red a UF with a male lead character.
tori aka ggs_closet says
Master of None. The Dresden Files. I luvs me some Harry (and Bob).Chimera by R Thurman. Unshapely Things by Mark del franco.
Hmmm, there are more I've read but can't think of.
I think there needs to be more authors writing from a male's point of view in UF. It's different and enjoyable. I have no problem relating to.
Great guest post!
No, I don't think I have read any at all. But this book sounds good though.
Bethany C. says
Yes! Rob Thurman's Cal and Niko!
Now that you mention it, I don't think I have!
meredithfl at gmail dot com
I really don't think I've read any, but this one sounds really interesting.
Most of Sherrilyn Kenyon books have man as lead Characters but they may just be Paranormal don't know.
humm… Urban fantasy with a male lead, the big one I can think of is the Dresden files. The hubby has read the first book, and it is sitting on my nightstand in my TBR pile!
Does a Stephen King novel count as an Urban Fantasy? Actually I have a couple one is The Stand cause that has urban settings. Then "American Gods" by Neil Gaimon.
John K says
Like everyone else, I've just read The Dresden Books with a male main character. However, Kelley Armstrong did give Lucas some "screen time" in Personal Demon, and I really enjoyed that.
I've also got Sandman Slim up next on my TBR, so there's that male main character too.
JR Ward & Sherrilyn Kenyon focus on male characters, but JR Ward's new Fallen Angel series has a continuing male character as focus. Other than the first book of the Dresden Files, which I recently read, I can't think of much urban fantasy with a male character as lead that I've read. Other genres, yes. I wonder what I'm missing …
Someone mentioned Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden and while I do adore him, my favorite is Cal Leandros from Rob Thurman's series that starts with Nightlife.
tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com
I've read the same as the others. Rob Thurman, Jim Butcher, Mark del Franco. There may be others, just can't think of any right now.
Martha Lawson says
No, I haven't!! I'd love to be entered to win this one.
mlawson17 at hotmail dot com
Fiction Vixen says
Nope, never read and UF with a male POV. Looking forward to reading this one! :)
Ryan G says
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and The Secret Histories series by Simon R. Green both have great male lead characters. I tend to like both series because I can relate to the male voice more.
Thanks for the giveaway.
Does JR Ward 's covet count? I liked it. And the first book in the Dresden files was very good. Those are only two UF with male leads that I can think of.
This one sounds good. I'd love to win it.
I really like the Cal series by Rob Thurman. The Dresdon Files is good too. But the Cal series is one of my favorites.
Great post KA – thank you! Please don't include me in the giveaway (I live outside North America) but I did want to answer your question :)
I just finished reading Unfallen Dead, which is part of Mark Del Franco's Connor Grey series. And the main protagonist is…Connor :)
Nope, I've never read UF with a male lead but this book looks great! Great interview Mandi. :)
I have recently gotten into books where the male takes a more primary focus. For too long the female has taken the center role and the male was there to support and save her then fall back. I support the tren that both the male and female can be strong central characters without taking away from the storyline in anyway.
Everyone has said most of the ones I thought of: Dresden, J.R. Ward, Cal & Niko. But a couple I loved and want to read more of are the books by Mario Acevedo and Anton Strout. Both are UF series!
Honestly, I don't think I have read an urban fantasy with a male lead before…
cwilliams127 at gmail dot com
Harry Dresden/Dresden Files by Jim Butcher is one of my most favorite series. I love them!
Finally! A Male Protagonist that SOUNDS like a true male. Love to get my hands on this. =)
akbabcock at gmail dot com
I really don't think, that I've read a UF with a male lead. I would really like to try one.
I love the Cal Leondros books by Rob Thurman.
I have the Dresden books on my TBR pile! That is the only one though!
I have the Dresden books on my TBR pile! That is the only one though!
K.L. Townsend says
I'll be very unoriginal and go with Harry Dresden as he's the only male I've read so far, but I'm itching to branch out and read more.
Books and Bane says
If Stephen Kings works count then all of them…lol.
I've got the first Dresden book, but it's buried in my TBR pile. I also have Charlie Huston's book, Already Dead somewhere in the pile. I really should sit down and read one or the other of these.
Cassie C says
I believe all the books that i have grabbed all have a female for the lead character.
Harry Dresden of the Dresden Files is my all-time favorite (for you with the books in your TBR pile, get cracking!).
Off the top of my head, there is The Devil You Know by Mike Carey, A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski, Master of None by Sonya Bateman, American Gods/Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman.
And then there's YA UF; Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan is a favorite there.
Chimera and also the Cal Leandros series, both by Rob Thurman.
I haven't read any UF with a male leader character. This book sounds great.
Sarah N Fisk says
Like many others, I've read The Dresden Files!
sarah.n.fisk (at) gmail (dot) com
i have master of none on my tbr shelf, and i read the dresden files; that's it for me. i'm looking forward to reading your series, k.a., as i think i need to add to my list of uf men! :)
k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com
Well…Im not sure if it counts as Urban Fantasy…more like paranormal romance…by Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series is all male leads :) yumm…But i am really looking forward to this book…I hope I can win a copy!
So far I haven't read any UF with a male lead
throuthehaze at gmail dot com
Same as above with Harry Dresden, and Cal and Niko. Recently started reading the Mark Del Franco books.
Other than the BDB book? nope. This sounds really interesting!
I honestly dont think i read an urban fantasy with a male lead character. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com
Amy Dolejs says
Oh, the Dresden Files, of course. That was the series that got me into urban fantasy!
The famous Dresden Files and Connor Grey…wish I could find more UF with men leads.
Lisa R says
Unless JR Ward's BDB counts or Joss Ware's new series, I don't think I've read one either.