I’ve welcomed a lot of special people to this blog over the last three years, but today’s guest is particularly special. Jim Cangany is a friend and an author and a man who writes romance novels. I think that makes him pretty unique in the rather woman-centric world of romance writers. I’m excited to read his debut novel, Fallen Star, releasing on June 14 from Uncial Press.
A lifelong resident of the State of Indiana, Jim is proud to call himself a Hoosier. The youngest of eight children, he grew up in a household full of books and people. Thanks to the influence of his older siblings, Jim gravitated toward fantasy and sci-fi when looking for something to read. He wrote his first story at age fourteen. A school project, The Magic Coin was a fantasy that involved a king, some bad guys, and, not surprisingly, a magical token. These days, Jim writes romance on the sweet end. A believer that the world has enough doom and gloom, he likes stories with a happy ending, regardless of genre.
Take it away, Jim!
Follow That Dream
What the heck is a guy doing writing a romance novel? You know, that genre that people like to stereotype as stories by women for women. Even more to the point, does a guy even have any business writing romance? After all, from what I’ve read, we carriers of the Y chromosome make up all of one, maybe two, percent of all writers of romance fiction.
While I can’t speak for the other guys writing stories of beating the odds, falling in love and living happily ever after, I can tell you why I write romance. And like a lot in my life these days, it all goes back to May 1, 2009–the day my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. We went through a lot that summer, but Nancy came out the other side fully recovered, thank heavens.
We both learned something vitally important in the process, though. We learned we only get one go-around in life, so we need to live it to the fullest. Take chances. Don’t be afraid. Follow that dream. And so it was that when I started writing a few years ago and found the stories in my head are contemporary romances, I chose to embrace those stories.
When it comes to romance, I don’t think it matters whether you’re a man or a woman banging away at that keyboard. I think that because, in the end, I believe we’re all searching for love, looking to make a connection with that special someone. You know who I’m talking about–that person who makes your palms sweat, leaves you tongue-tied, and won’t get out of your head.
So those are the stories about which I write. They’re stories of the heart. Does it “seem weird” that I’m part of the one or two percent of men who write romance? Not in the least. Maybe it’s because I’ve always worn my emotions on my sleeve that I’m comfortable writing romance. I’ll leave it to others to decide whether or not I write it well. I’d like to think so, but at the end of the day that’s your call, not mine. And I’m okay with that.
I’m okay with that because I know I’m following that dream. And in following that dream, I’m living life with no regrets.
So how about you? Do you have a job or a hobby that leaves you way outside the norm, like a guy who writes romance, maybe? Tell me about it. Let’s embrace that individuality together while we follow our dreams.