When I dreamed up the Fitzpatrick family for my Cotillion Ball series, I knew that I wanted a lot of children. Not only was a large family accepted as commonplace in the 1800s, but many children also meant I could have an ongoing series for several years. In a family of nine children, the chances were good that there would be children of both sexes. As I set up my family, I included three boys and six girls. I began writing the first book, about one of the girls, attending the newest rage to hit high society in America, The Cotillion Ball.
It wasn’t until the third book that I had to face the rather scary idea of writing from the perspective of a man—Basil Fitzpatrick, a devil-may-care young man who has had a comfortable life handed to him. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of male friends over the years, and I consider my brother one of my best friends, and thought I could write a believable character, so I took on the challenge of writing the world through Basil’s eyes. I entered his world precariously.
What I didn’t expect was how much I’d enjoy it. Up to this point in the series, Basil had been an annoying young man who didn’t believe in true love. He partied with actresses and singers, and enjoyed a beautiful woman on his arm, but that was it. Once he left them for the evening, they left his mind.
But he wasn’t prepared for Temperance Jones to walk into his life. She had to be a woman unlike any he had known before, and from the moment they meet, his fate is sealed. He just doesn’t know it yet. He thinks his aching heart is the result of heartburn from his diet but never goes to the doctor about it. He is unsure of himself, but doesn’t want to show it to the world. He faces his darkest fears about his inadequacies only after all other options are gone. And he nearly loses the woman he adores because he’s afraid to love someone so much. Typical male.
As authors, we’ve all seen the workshops about writing the male POV. The take-away from such classes is pretty standard: Their speech patterns are different, more clipped than a woman’s. They’re very uncomfortable discussing their feelings. They don’t appreciate being told what to do. But my advice? Talk to men and more importantly, listen to them. It’s more fun than sitting in a workshop, and may spark a new romance or at the very least, a new idea for a story!
Banking on Temperance, Book 3 in the Cotillion Ball Series, is available now. For more information on Becky Lower, visit her website.