Friday, July 5, 2013

YA Guy Hosts... Cait Greer!

Today, YA Guy's got the fabulous Cait Greer, author of EYRE HOUSE, talking about male POV in YA/NA. And to sweeten the pot even more, Cait is offering a copy (print and ebook) of her new novel! Better enter while the contest's on--it lasts only until this coming Monday!

Two giveaways running on YA Guy at once--it certainly doesn't get any better than that!



There’s a strange stigma that surrounds the Male POV when it comes to YA/NA. A lot has to do with the audience, or what is perceived as the primary target audience for YA and NA. The general perception seems to be that YA and NA  are only written by girls, for girls. Never mind that there are a number of successful male YA/NA authors, and even more guys who read the categories.

So while most of us likely disagree with both of those statements, the fact is it doesn’t matter. Those are the perceptions of the industry.

When I first started sending out Eyre House, I ran into two things. First, because I wrote in first person, and Evan’s name isn’t mentioned until almost halfway through the first chapter, everyone assumed he was actually a she. This wasn’t because the voice didn’t sound male. I even had someone ask if Eyre House was a f/f romance, because the main character sounded so butch. (Which means, I may have to write a girl like Evan sometime… hm…) But it didn’t matter how I tweaked it. No one thought Male POV. Even when the query specifically said it was.

Honestly, while I found it annoying, it didn’t affect me much. I loved the story I was telling, and knew it needed to be from Evan’s POV. So I kept going.

Until I was told by a literary agent, in a comment on a public contest entry, that while she loved the premise and the voice, Male POV was just too hard to sell.

This from an industry professional. On a public forum. Telling me that it basically didn’t matter how good the story was, Male POV wasn’t a viable sell.

As a side note, this isn’t a slam on that lit agent. Agents MUST pay attention to what will sell, and she was simply telling me what the reality of the industry is.

The truth is, the need for more diversity in both YA and NA is just as much about strong male leads as it is about race and alternative relationships. We need more Male POV, and the only way to change the industry perceptions is to write more of what we want to see.

Caitlin is the author of EYRE HOUSE, a New Adult Male-POV retelling of JANE EYRE. She writes YA and NA, from contemporary to sci-fi/fantasy. You can find her on twitter as @Cait_Greer. EYRE HOUSE comes out on July 9.


When eighteen-year-old orphan Evan Richardson signed up to work at Eyre House, on the sleepy tourist getaway of Edisto Island, SC, he never expected to find himself dodging ghosts. But Eyre House seems to have more than its fair share of things that go bump in the night, and most of them seem to surround his employer’s daughter.

Back from her freshman year of college, Ginny Eyre is dangerous from word one. She’s a bad girl with ghosts of her own, and trouble seems to follow her everywhere she goes. But living or dead, trouble isn’t just stalking Ginny. When her ex-boyfriend is found murdered in the pool, Evan knows he’s got two choices – figure out what’s going on, or become the next ghost to haunt Ginny Eyre.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

19 comments:

  1. It doesn't sell until it DOES, and then everyone will be looking for it. Fingers crossed EYRE HOUSE is the breakout that starts a trend :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's true - it only takes one breakout to start a trend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lead the way, Cait--I'll ride that trend!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cait- so glad you stuck to your guns and listened to your characters. This is going on my TBR list- sounds like a fantastic read (I loved Jane Eyre when I read it in HS.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. So many aspects of the fiction market baffle me. I had no idea male POV was so stigmatized in YA lit! What about Harry Potter? Didn't that sell... a lot? Weird, the world is. I totally agree that we need more character diversity in literature, especially YA. EYRE HOUSE sounds like a great read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do know from my own experience selling SURVIVAL COLONY NINE that some agents and editors are leery of male YA; though I didn't get quite the response Cait did, I was told by a couple agents that my book would be a "tough sell." Turns out it wasn't really--it sold 3 or 4 months after my agent started subbing it. Harry Potter would probably be classified as "middle grade," where male narrators and characters are more abundant (the thinking, I guess, being that boys stop reading in high school). But as my experience and Cait's suggest, we have to keep plugging away if we're to overcome these preconceptions.

      Delete
    2. Joshua is right about Harry Potter, it started out as Middle Grade - which, oddly enough, sells Male POV just fine. Adult has no problem with Male POV either, especially when it comes to spec fic, it's just YA & NA that it's become a real issue.

      Delete
  6. It's really sad that male POVs are hard to sell. I, for one, enjoy reading books from male POVs and wish there were more. I just hope this all changes because it's important that both genders are represented equally.

    Also, just want to say that I'm really excited about reading Eyre House. Jane Eyre is my favorite novel, and I love the spin you put on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raven, welcome to YA Guy! It's great to have you as a member. I think male-POV YA will catch on if good books like Cait's get out there. In the end, when we read quality writing, we don't say, "Oh, that was male POV" or "that was female POV." We just say, "that was excellent--give me more!"

      Delete
  7. I've also heard a stigma exists against females writing from a male POV. Did you experience that Cait?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not specifically, but I suspect that was part of the stigma. Which is funny, because you don't see guys writing YA or NA and getting knocked for writing in Female POV!

      Delete
    2. I will say this, though--I wrote a YA novel with female POV, and an agent told me I'd better use a pen name (reverse S. E. Hinton) so my readers wouldn't know I was a man!

      Delete
  8. Frustrating! But, as Amalia says, things don't sell until they do so while it is topsyturvy I am hoping for great success for you! :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Mia! I hope books like Cait's and blogs like YA Guy will help change the industry's mind!

      Delete
  9. I totally agree--we definitely need more male POV's! The best part of books is getting into someone else's head, and that includes members of the other sex :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now if only I could make that work with my wife....

      Delete