Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday Talk-Time with Wayne Jordan

This Thursday we spend some time with Wayne Jordan (yes, a male in The Pink Heart Society!) Wayne shares his insights into romance with us. Over to you, Wayne!


I have a confession to make. I hate the color pink. So why am I a member of a group called the Pink Heart Society? Call it a temporary lapse in judgment or the fact that I love romance fiction more that I hate the color pink.

I’ve been called “An Oddity”, but I prefer to call myself “A Rarity. I’m a rare breed of individual who not only reads romance, but writes in the genre. But that’s not what's rare. I’m a man - a 44 year old man who loves and adores category (series) romance.

So what makes an academic male with a B. A. in Literature and Linguistics and a M. A. in Applied Linguistics desert the “proper” literature that my academic colleagues tell me I should be reading? In my early journey into academia, I was told that I needed to turn my back on the “trash” I continued to devour.

As you can see, I’ve refused. After all these years, I’m still addicted to the world of romance fiction. Call me a romance “ho”, and I’ll smile say “Thank you” and go back to reading the latest Silhouette Romantic Suspense (aka Intimate Moments). Just ask my friends of the eharlequin.com boards.

I grew up on romance. I remember as a young teenager being transported to exotic islands and countries I could only dream of visiting. Series romance made this possible. Since I live in a British colony, Mills and Boons were the order of the day. In my fiction world, I was transported to Greece by Anne Mather, to Holland by Betty Neels, to Australia and to Italy by Violet Winspear. I learn about other countries, their cultures and their people. And I learn about love and relationships.

I read about strong Alpha male heroes and I wanted to be like them. In my erotic dreams, I’d say something a bit mean to my heroine, she’d slap me in the face and we’d end up in a passionate kiss, before leaping into bed for some heart-pounding, pulse-racing love making. She disappears and a few years later, I’d discover I was the father of Wayne Jr. Oh, how proud I was of those stories I weaved in that horny teenage brain of mine.

Today, I write contemporary and category romance for the Kimani Press, the African American division of Harlequin Enterprises. Those same stories I created provided the foundation for the stories I now write. It’s those beloved authors who inspired me to write, along with the black romance authors who struggled to be published in the mid-eighties and have made my way forward a easier one. Authors like Brenda Jackson, Kayla Perrin, Donna Hill, Rochelle Alers, Beverly Jenkins, Felicia Mason and all those great women whose footsteps I’m not worthy to walk in, but who continue to be gracious to young upstarts like myself.

As with all good things, change is necessary and the world of category continues to change with the time. I am a part of that change.

So, I’m off now, to dream of a feisty modern heroine who slaps me in my face, and who tells me as I pull her to me for that passionate kiss. “A kiss? You must be kidding. I’m not that desperate. Maybe in Chapter Five when you decided to act like a real man instead of a jerk!”

And they lived happily every after…


Wayne received 'the call' 2 days before Christmas in 2003, and lives on the beautiful island of Barbados.

He'd love you to visit his website and blog.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Wayne.

24 comments:

  1. Welcome Wayne! So nice to see you here!!!

    You know what? I would hazard a guess that most males have those very same dreams and have no idea that they could be dreaming a romance novel!

    Ally

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  2. Great to "meet" you here, Wayne. I told my sons they should be reading romance novels so they'd know what women were thinking! Obviously you figured that out for yourself!

    Anne

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  3. Such a great article, Wayne! I had never seen a male author's name on a Harlequin book before, so kudos to you and a fabulous gift to the rest of us, especially those who consider this a 'woman's world'. I'll make a point to look out for your work.

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  5. Wayne,

    Thanks for your post. I found it very inspiring as I'm in a similar situation myself. I'm an avid reader of M&B and about to launch myself whole-heartedly into writing my first (a historical). I have no embarrassment about reading category romance as a guy - after all, for every sexy hero there's a sexy heroine to boot!

    Having just completed a BA (Hons), I've always been aware of the divide between literature (i.e. what you *should* be reading) and popular fiction. But, given the choice, I'd pick the latter every time.

    It's great to know that the dream came true for you.

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  6. LOL I hate pink too. We have to blame Trish for the pink in the Pink Heart Society!

    It's lovely to have you here.

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  7. Go for it Gray! There is no rule saying guy's can't read and write category romance or gal's can't read and write sci fi.

    Popular fiction is popular as it speaks to the things that bind us - whether it is love, or fear, or laughter or tears...

    And how many of the best romantic movies we talk about every Friday were written or directed by men?

    Hmmm? Vive le difference!

    Ally

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  8. It's so great to see more men writing romantic fiction because the best kissing scene I've ever read in an hm&b was in one of Roger's (Gill Sanderson) medicals!

    And Wayne, I love your covers, they rock!

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  9. Great interview, Wayne. I missed your call story...so belated congratulations!
    I love your courage in the face of your collegues' comments...

    Carol

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  10. Welcome Wayne!

    There is a small but honourable list of male romance writers with, as Amanda said, the UK's Gill Sanderson amongst them. But there's plenty of room for more - I'm happy to see lots of men prove there's romance in both sexes.

    Many congratulations on your success - I hope you're just at the start of it.


    Kate

    PS I'm holding my hand up as another who's not keen on pink - though - hang on - looks down at the top she's wearing - Nah! This is *rose* - dusty rose - it says so on the label ;- )

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  11. I love to find men who write romances :-)
    This was a great post Wayne...brought a smile to my face. Going to check you site now :-)

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  12. Thanks for all the kind words. One of the thing I've realised is that romance authors are the greatest. One of the greatest things is meeting all those authors I've adored for years when I attend RWA. I attended in Reno and Atlanta so many of you may have seen me. I'm also the Host of the Kimani area on the eharlequin Community, so you'll find me hanging out there or posting on the boards of my other favorite lines (Intrigue and Intimate Moments).

    Anne, you're one of those great authors who's work I've loved over the years. I still visit your website often. The first books I read of your were QUICKSILVER SEASON and A CHANGE OF RAINBOWS. I think it's still awesome that you're till writing the quality books you have been for years.

    I'm glad you enjoyed my post and I was able to place on your face. That's the most important thing I want to do as a writer.

    wj

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  13. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the masses - well done.

    For all of those who haven't read Wayne's books, you're missing out on great, well-crafted books.

    Proud of you, Wayne. Just think, a new generation of romance readers are becoming loyal readers for life, just like you did with all those M&B divas back in the day.

    Congrats!

    Michelle M

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  14. Wayne, wonderful post. I've seen batches of young teen guys reading M&B too! And that was in the late 80s--you are not alone.

    And Kayla Perrin is one of my favourite writers, I find myself nodding in agreement with the insights her characters have.

    Tessa

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  15. Michelle

    Thanks.. Coming from a talented author like you, that's a compliment I'll treasure.

    wj

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  16. Tessa

    Yes, isn't Kayla talented. I remember reviewing her first book years ago and not she's a bestselling authors.

    wj

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  17. I had the opportunity to meet Wayne at RWA in Atlanta and Reno and not only is he a great writer but he truly is a perfect gentleman with a fabulous accent!
    Kate
    (the RWAOnline English Tea person!)

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  18. Great post, Wayne! I think it's wonderful that you both read and write romance.

    I know of several male romance "readers" and it's no surprise to me that I like them immensely -- they seem more genuine to me. (And they have happy marriages too, which might be an interesting thing to study). :)

    And I agree with Amanda, your covers are great.

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  19. Awesome cover, Wayne, and a great blog post. You rock!

    I'm proud to say I knew you when. LOL

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  20. Ellen: Thanks for the great comment. I'm sure the ladies are partical to the SLOW MOTION cover since it featured the man with abs I wish I had but don't, so it's not my favorite. :-)

    However, the cover of EMBRACING THE MOONLIGHT is perfect since it perfectly sets the mood I wanted for my sophmore effort.

    wj

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  21. Cheryl:

    It's really nice of you to stop by. Of course, you know that I love your work. I can't wait to read your THE LAWMAN'S BRIDE!

    wj

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  22. Welcome to the PNS, Wayne. We met online via RWA Outrech a few years ago and I'm delighted that a man with the courage of his convictions has had such great success.

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