This is admittedly going to be a completely chauvinistic post. I apologize to men in advance.
I have been reading the works of a lot of Indie authors over the past year, about half of them have been written by men. I have been totally awestruck by the sensitive side of these many male authors.
I suppose it is in part because I’ve tended to read hard core thrillers when I have read books by traditionally published men. Perhaps the sentiment has been edited out before publishing. I don’t know, but I welcome the softer side of male authors.
The most recent read has been Jason Halstead’s The Dark Earth. The deep love of the hero, Eric, for his daughter, Jessica, took me into the story deeply connected to the characters.
I have previously praised the following writers for their writing, but I just realized that the common ingredient has been their sensitivity:
Dannie C. Hill’s In Search of a Soul is so imbued with Hill’s obvious regard for women that a female reader cannot help but fall a little in love with his hero. Douglas Durian.
Will Bevis’ short story, The Killing of Train Man Brown, is a treasure of observation, the kind that rips your heart out. A young boy's tenderness for a man who is essentially an outcast is remarkable.
Finally, Bert Carson always writes stories steeped in issues of honor, but not just the traditional male concept of bravery in the face of danger, but that deeper "everyday" kind of honor that guides lives lived by a sense of it. I really enjoyed Fourth and Forever, for the values it illustrates.
I’m fully aware that many authors, male and female, strive for a protagonist that is cool, reserved, unflappable and I appreciate those characters, too. I’ve just been struck by the plethora of male authors whose main characters freely display deep feelings and tended to pull them out of the pack, personally.
I will keep my eye open now for traditionally published men, like Pat Conroy, who do create openly caring male protags. That is if I ever get around to reading those books with the long list of Indie books I have loaded on my Kindle!