Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Meet Scott Eagan, a Male Agent in Romance

Welcome Scott Eagan, and thank you for participating in “romance month”. We’ve been talking to and about male romance authors, but you have a little different perspective in that you are a male agent who specializes in romance.

How did you come to the decision to be a romance agent?
When I first opened Greyhaus Literary Agency, I looked at representing a lot of different genres. After looking at the market, I realized there were a lot of benefits of focusing in on just this genre. At that time, there were few agents who were this focused. With this market always shifting, I felt that trying to keep track of trends, editors and lines of just the romance and women’s fiction market was going to be tough enough.

I also believed that focusing my attention this much allowed me a chance to better work with my authors. I was able to really study the genre and know all the angles of it.

On a personal level, I just love this genre. I like the fact that we get the chance to explore human emotions and situations. I love the fact that we can watch a relationship grow. I guess I am also someone who just loves the Happily Ever After.

Do you think you have a different/better perspective in choosing and marketing in this genre?

I think my perspective is the simple fact that I have taken a lot of time studying the genre. Much of this comes from my undergraduate work with literature. I just like to see what makes a story “tick.” I do not think that my being a male in a predominantly female market makes me any better at marketing this. It all comes down to the education and the time I spend with it.

Do you represent any male romance authors?
At this point, I have not signed any male authors.

Do you have any statistics on the percentage of romance novels written by men (and in which sub-genres), and are any of them on the best-seller lists?The only number I have seen comes from Writer’s Digest. It is true that the majority of folks reading romance novels are women. According to the 2009 Romance Writers of America Reader Survey, women make up 90.5 percent of the romance readership, with men holding down the other 9.5 percent.

What do you think is the difference in writing/style/theme etc. between male and female romance writers?


I think this all comes down to understanding a different point of view and being able to communicate it. Essentially, it is simply a matter of gender communications. Because the romance novel is a branch of women’s fiction, the focus of the story is really examining the growing relationship through the female lens. For many males trying to write in this genre, they simply struggle with having that perspective being authentic. I do think this is one of the reasons why so many of the men portrayed in romance novels tend to look like caricatures and don’t seem real enough. This is just a tough genre to write and make it authentic and true.

I think the biggest difference I have seen in the submissions that come across my desk is the focus. Men tend to focus on a lot of the external elements of the building relationship, whereas the women tend to really bring the story internal. They focus more on the feelings, thoughts and emotions. We get to experience those. For men, they talk about those feelings, but the sense of really experiencing the emotions simply isn’t there.

Scott Eagan draws on his extensive background in education, writing and literature to assist the writers at Greyhaus. He has a BA in English/Literature, a MA in Creative Writing and a MA in Literacy.

Scott is also a writer (done mostly as a hobby) and is an active member of the Romance Writers of America.

Outside of his work at the agency, he continues teaching writing on a part-time basis, works as a stay at home dad and continues to be active in community work including assisting the University of Puget Sound Alumni Program.

Scott’s family keeps him amazingly busy. He is a USA Swimming Official so you can frequently find him on the deck of a pool with his oldest son. At the stables with his oldest daughter and their off the track race-horse that she competes with in jumping, or at the dance studio with his youngest.

Interview by Heidi M. Thomas. Heidi is a native Montanan who now lives in North-central Arizona where she blogs, teaches writing, and edits. Her first novel, Cowgirl Dreamsis based on her grandmother, and the sequel, Follow the Dream, won the national WILLA Award. The next book in the series is Dare to Dream, and a non-fiction book Cowgirl Up! A History of Rodeo Women, is also available. Heidi has a degree in journalism and a certificate in fiction writing.

7 comments :

  1. I do include include internal dialogue i my books, and have to restrain from including too much of it. Otherwise, there's not much left to the reader's imagination.

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  2. Great interview. Thanks for stopping by, Scott.

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  3. Very nice interview, Scott and Heidi. I'm amazed that you've never signed a male romance writer. Your perspective on how the different genders write is interesting. Also, I'm surprised there's almost 10% of romance readers that are men. I wouldn't have thought it that high.

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  4. As a male representing in a female-centric field, did you encounter much resistance?

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    1. I really don't find any resistance. I have really worked hard to establish a strong relationship with the editors and agents who I work with. They know if they get a project from Greyhaus, it is going to be something with potential.

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  5. Thanks to Scott for participating in our theme this month, and thank you all for commenting. I've learned quite a bit about a different point of view on romance.

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  6. I also found the different focus of male and female romance writers to be interesting. It seems to support my belief that many men may be uncomfortable with the vulnerability that comes with allowing themselves to "feel" deeply. As we women know all too well, experiencing an emotion is far different from discussing it. Great post, Heidi and Scott.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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