Friday, May 23, 2014

Author Kate Moretti’s Binds That Tie Tour {+ Giveaway}

Binds-That-Tie-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalI’m delighted to be participating in author Kate Moretti’s Red Adept Publishing (RAP) Virtual Book Tour for her latest release, BINDS THAT TIE.

Kate joins us today to talk about writing the male point of view. In addition, Kate is hosting an awesome giveaway for five e-Book copies of her New York Times bestseller, THOUGHT I KNEW YOU, and an array of other goodies to celebrate this release. Please see the end of the post for giveaway items and details.

Here’s a brief description of BINDS THAT TIE

Love ties. Murder binds.
          Maggie never felt as though she belonged until Chris Stevens showed her what true happiness meant. Ten years into their marriage, miscarriages and infidelities have scarred them both. Despite their perfect-couple image, Maggie can’t look at Chris with anything but resentment. When a charismatic stranger offers the opportunity for a little harmless flirtation, she jumps into the game.
          But charm soon turns to malice, and a deadly split-second decision forces Maggie and Chris onto a dangerous path fraught with secrets, lies, and guilt. With no one else to turn to—no one she dares trust—Maggie will ultimately learn just how binding marital ties can be.

BINDS THAT TIE is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. You can also find it on the Author’s Page on RAP and the Book Page on RAP. You can also read an excerpt from the book by clicking HERE and scrolling down to the excerpt button.

Please join me in welcoming Kate to Thoughts in Progress as we learn more about ‘Writing the Male Point of View.’

BINDS THAT TIE is a story told in alternating point-of-view between a husband and a wife. For half of the book, I had to master something I’ve been trying to do for the past twenty years. I had to understand men. My father, my neighborhood kids (all boys), high school boyfriends, and later my husband. I’ve been confounded by the male mind for over half my life. Since I spent over half the book in Chris Steven’s head, I needed to really understand how a man thinks. Scary stuff, right there.

I started with basic motivators. Ultimately, Chris wants security. He wants to love Maggie and be loved in return. He wants acceptance for his past mistakes. He wants to provide for his family. Those were easy.
Voice was a bit harder. I needed Chris to sound distinctly different than Maggie. Women tend to speak passively, sometimes almost apologetically. Women are more likely to focus on being well-liked than getting what they want. I made sure that Chris was authoritative and direct. He tells his cellmate to “Go lie down, take a nap” or to Maggie, “They’ll think I did this. They’ll think you’re defending me.” Whereas if Maggie had uttered these lines, she might say, “Can’t you just take a nap or something?” Men tend to speak in short, staccato sentences, using as few words as possible. Women like to over-explain.

Some of defining voice and point-of-view and making Maggie and Chris distinctly different was relying on some stereotypes, while still maintaining subtlety. Chris definitely swore more than Maggie. He was harder, tougher, and he said “dude” once in a while. Those were easy ways to “man it up”.

When dealing with Maggie, I had to be careful. Men think about women differently than women think about men, I know this much is true. Countless self-help books are dedicated to the topic. Women think
about love, men tend towards sex. Men are more tactile, they crave touch. When Chris speculates on the troubles in his marriage, I had him focus on the lack of casual contact: a hand on his arm, a peck of sticky lip gloss on his cheek. When I had Maggie think about Chris, I had her recall specific memories or relive happier times in her mind. When Chris thought about Maggie, he frequently thought of her appearance: the smell of her hair, the curve of her waist, the long lines of her legs.
I frequently asked myself if I was writing Chris true to life. I compared him frequently to my husband. Is this how my husband would think? Act? React? Sometimes it didn’t work because Chris was a troubled character battling his past and my husband is more of a go-lucky kind of guy. But I’ll admit to channeling my husband’s tendencies when crafting dialogue. I used to joke that he had a maximum word count each day. Very few women find yes and no to be acceptable answers. 

When in doubt, I picked my husband’s brain. Would a man say this? Would a man think about this? Sometimes the answer was yes, sometimes no. I posted my draft on a writer’s website and sought out male readers to point out where my writing tended to be too feminine. 

That’s not to say I removed all feminine characteristics. Chris feels endlessly guilty about a mistake he made in his past, over a decade ago. I had a few male readers tell me that they didn’t believe he’d still be carrying guilt. They said that men compartmentalize too much, that he would have justified his mistake by then. I thought about it and decided to leave it in because I believed this was part of his personality. Chris was raised by a hermitic mother, he’s been in prison, he’s accustomed to isolation. But ultimately, he craved companionship and more than anything else, he deeply loved his wife.

I’m not going to say it was easy to write a convincing man, but I think women have an advantage when writing men that men writing women don’t have. Not to go off on a sexism in literature rant, but women will easily read a male main character while men tend to shy towards male writers and male main characters in writing. I have spent a lifetime reading high-octane thrillers: Lee Childs, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz, James Patterson. I think I learned everything I need to know about the stereotypical strong, silent type from Harry Bosch. Most men do not read women’s fiction, chick-lit, or book club books. Not to say that these are the only books with female main characters (The Millenium series comes to mind, but no one will tell you that Lisbeth Salander is a typical female). 

For Chris Stevens, I channeled some Harry Bosch, some of my husband, and a little bit of Chris’ own unique personality, added a dash of profanity, and a driving motivation to be ultimately free of his demons. Despite his flaws, I think I developed a bit of a crush on him.
Kate, thanks for sharing this outlook on how a woman can write a male point of view. I believe your right about women having an advantage over men when it comes to writing the opposite sex’s point of view.

Now let me share a bit of background on Kate for those who aren’t familiar with her.

New York Times Bestselling Author Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.

Kate enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like. Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway.

For more on Kate and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also learn more about Kate, her writing and her latest book when you stop by the following bloggers participating in her tour.

May 19: Interview on The Gal in the Blue Mask
May 19: Guest Post on Bryan W. Alaspa
May 20: Review on The Gal in the Blue Mask
May 21: Review on Tome Tender
May 21: Interview on Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews
May 22: Interview on Chick Lit Central
May 22: Guest Post on Omnimystery News
May 24: Guest Post on The Gal in the Blue Mask
May 25: Guest Post on Babs Book Bistro
May 26: Guest Post on Big Al’s Books & Pals
May 27: Review on The KariAnnAlysis
May 28: Review on Laurie Here
May 28: Interview on The KariAnnAlysis
May 29: Interview on The IndieView
May 30: Interview on Manuscripts Burn
June 1: Interview on Elizabeth Corrigan, Author
June 2: Guest Post on Like a Bump on a Blog
June 3: Review & Interview on The Book Faery Reviews
June 4: Interview on Zigzag Timeline
June 5: Review on A Novel Review
June 6: Review on Big Al’s Books & Pals
June 8: Review on The Top Shelf
June 8: Review & Guest Post on Cresta L. McGowan – Trying to Find the Writing Life
June 8: Interview on Kboards


This amazing giveaway is for the following items:
5 e-Book copies of New York Times bestseller ‘Thought I Knew You’
2 Red Adept Publishing (RAP) T-Shirts (M, L or XL)
2 RAP Tote Bags
2 RAP Can Koozies
2 RAP Magnets

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today to learn about Kate’s latest release. Do you ever wonder if that ‘perfect couple’ you know are really as happy and content with each other as they seem? If you're a writer, do you find it difficult to write from the other sex's point of view?

*This post contains affiliate links. Rafflecopter code: a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sounds like you got it right. We are of few words. Read somewhere in a book that men use less than half the words of women in a day. Would we carry guilt that long? Possibly. Regret? Sure.
    You should've been there when I attempted my first female character...

  2. Kate, thanks again for stopping by and sharing this look at writing the view point of the opposite sex. Wishing you much success.

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Kate.

    Kate - Thanks for sharing some of the background for this book. It's not always easy to write a character of the opposite sex; thanks for sharing how you went about it. I wish you success.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.