Friday, 25 March 2011

A Man Writing Romance by Kenneth Rosenberg + Giveaway

Today I have a special guest at the blog: a man romance writer! Yes, you read that right. They exist, even if they are quite rare like the proverbial Thai white elephants ;-) So of course the very first question that pops into our minds upon hearing of them is how come they as men like the romance genre? And why did they decide to write a romance novel instead of let's say a thriller or sci-fi? (yes, gender prejudice exists very much in literatary circles too...) Anyway, fortunately for us, a man romance author accepted to answer these questions and tell us the truth about whether men like romance.

Please give a warm welcome to Kenneth Rosenberg!

A Man Writing Romance? Really?!
by Kenneth Rosenberg

It’s no big secret that romance is a woman’s domain. Women write them, women read them, and men, in general, stay far away. So how is it that I, a man, came to write a novel in this genre?

The truth is, I never really set out to be a romance writer. I graduated from UCLA and decided that screenwriting was where it was at. I’d always been a story teller and after interning at one of the studios my senior year I decided to make a go at writing for Hollywood. I wrote a script, and then another, and then another after that. I entered contests and contacted agents. Nothing seemed to work.

At some point I decided to make a switch, and started writing novels. The first one was a thriller, and it wasn’t very good. The second was a serious drama based on a true story. It was better. The third was a romantic comedy. By the time I’d written five novels they all had one thing in common; nobody wanted to publish them.

Through all of these years I’d had my heart set on making my living as a writer, but I still had to pay the bills. I worked all sorts of jobs, from furniture mover to handyman, dive master, merchant seaman, journalist, snowboarding instructor and many more.

Finally I decided that I was tired of writing things that I never sold. I’d had enough of putting years and years into a project that nobody ever seemed to read. Whatever I wrote next, I was going to sell, no matter what.

I did some research online and found some interesting statistics. They said that out of all novels published, five percent were literary, 15 percent were mystery, and a full 30 percent were romance! What’s more, I read that 70 percent of all readers were women.

Now I had it all figured out. Besides, I’d always had a soft spot for romantic stories. When other guys say, “That movie is a chick flick,” I always secretly think, “Oooo, I want to see it!” Of course this is an embarrassing revelation. I’m a guy, after all! But I knew that writing a romantic novel was something I’d enjoy.

No Cure for the Broken HeartedAlmost immediately I set to work. I came up with a storyline about unrequited love. I threw in some exotic world travel. When I was finished I was sure a publisher would pick it up. I was wrong.

I contacted every single agent I could find in both the U.S. and the UK. I wrote to all the editors of all of the publishing companies that had any chance of publishing this type of story. Every single one turned me down.

In the end, I pretty much gave up. My novel sat on my hard drive for the last two years, unread and unloved. Finally, I saw an article in Newsweek about how some independent authors were finding success online. I could do that, I thought. Why not?

So I put my book up for sale by myself. Within six weeks it was the number one selling romance on Amazon in the UK. Reader reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Sales are picking up now in the U.S. as well, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Now I’m fast at work, revising my romantic comedy, Sweet Ophelia and the Tinsel Town Blues. I hope to have that up in a few more months.

So that’s it. I’m a guy, I’m writing romance, and really I couldn’t be happier. Thanks to Stella for inviting me to tell my story here on Ex Libris!

Kenneth Rosenberg is a California writer whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Surfer Magazine and other publications. Kenneth attended UCLA where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.

When he is not writing, he spends his time surfing, snowboarding and traveling the world on a shoestring. No Cure for the Broken Hearted is his first novel.

You can find Kenneth at his website,


Kenneth generously offered a copy of his first novel No Cure for the Broken Hearted to 2 lucky commentators (1 ebook copy to an international reader and 1 ebook or paperback copy to a reader living in the US).

No Cure for the Broken Hearted

To be entered all you have to do:

1) leave a comment/question for Kenneth
2) leave your e-mail address or a way for me to contact you if you win AND
3) say whether you are an international or US reader!

That's it, good luck!

ETA: You don't need to be a follower of the blog to be entered BUT you MUST do all 3 above to be entered, so don't forget to state whether you live in the US or are an international commentator! Thanks!

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends Friday 8 April 2011.

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