Oh, that title should raise some eyebrows. Am I worried that men might take offense and respond? Not really. Men don’t tend to read my blogs, my FB page, my Coming Attractions or my Christy Chronicles. With the rare exception they don’t buy my books. They are not my target audience.
Out of 1,257 FB friends, 215 are male. Some of those men “friended” me when I was acquisitions editor and they wanted publication. Some are men from foreign countries looking for lady friends. Some are authors who sought my promotion and then dismissed me after I gave them publicity. The rest are actually friends from my former time in law enforcement, the American Legion, high school, relatives, Misters in Crime, the Posse and Novel Spaces. With the exception of the last two groups, I seldom hear from the others.
Women have always been social. We talked while pounding laundry on rocks in ancient times. We’ve been belittled for our cafe klatches in the ‘50’s when women didn’t work, got the kids off to school and took a housework break to talk over the kitchen table. Before men became enamored with cell phone technology, women were the ones who dominated the telephone lines. We gossip, we bare our souls, we commiserate. We are the shoulder to cry on, the person to bitch to, the sisterhood for support, the ladies who lunch. We talk. And now we Face Book and blog.
While men may not read my blogs, I do read theirs. They are usually focused on their expertise, intent on schooling the rest of us and putting their knowledge on display. Often, they are trying to sell me something, a book on how to get rich with my writing or buying their services for mass promotion. It’s a one-way conversation.
That’s not “social.” Defined by Webster it’s time “passed in pleasant companionship of one’s friends or associates.” It’s checking in for no other reason than we care about their daily lives. We share on Face Book funny memes, recipes, craft tips, cat videos, kid photos, anniversaries and books we love.
My Coming Attractions column promotes primarily female cozy authors. At first, I was afraid I was being prejudiced. But I noticed that when I gave male authors kudos, I seldom got thanked in return. Even the most well-known women mystery writers appreciate any free publicity. Maybe it’s because we’re still behind men at selling books. While women buy books written by either sex, men in general don’t buy fiction or anything with a female byline. Just ask J.A. Jance who used her initials and for years men believed she was a man writing edgy fiction. I was even told early on to spell my name “Sonny” to garner more readers. Not gonna happen.
In my mysteries I write about drugs, sex and murder. I couch it in a strong female friendship between two women as well as astrology. Male readers are pretty skeptical about horoscopes and planetary predictions; women are much more open-minded. If men read my books they might gain insights into female logic (or, illogic) and intuition as well as the role women are thrust into within the law enforcement workplace. They would definitely learn how my area became the meth capitol of THE WORLD while I was working at the Sheriff’s Dept. I write about the San Joaquin Valley of California, an oft-overlooked section that covers the whole middle of the state. I know my stuff.
So, I will keep on writing blogs and the women who follow me will keep on reading and responding. We are a loyal community. And, we are social with a capital “S.”