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.