Where Have all the Women Gone?

Long time no blog!

It’s over two months since Lord of the Rams was launched. Most of the feedback I’ve received in that time has been pretty positive. One question that has cropped up once or twice from those who have read the book is “why aren’t there many female characters in it?”. Whilst there are quite a few women featured sporadically in the book, many make only cameo appearances, the events/people aren’t connected and some of them aren’t perhaps the most admirable of characters (likewise with many of the male characters). But I made a conscious decision when I began writing the book that few female characters would feature in it. The reasons were many:

Lord of the Rams is a memoir more so than an autobiography – i.e. it focuses primarily on certain aspects of my life (my friendships with a number of lifelong male friends) rather than my whole life as it were. The danger when writing a book about your life is that you could fall into the trap of including everyone you know – male and female – in the story. That wouldn’t make for a very interesting book, and so I decided only a certain number of my friends would feature in the book – and for the most part these were the people I’ve known virtually all my life (almost all of whom happen to be male; female friends have mostly come and gone over the years). This has meant rolling some characters into one and omitting other close friends, but one could still argue that there are a touch too many characters in the book – however, that was a sacrifice I was prepared to make to keep the story as true to life as it could be. Adding female characters for the sake of it would only have complicated things further.

Of course I could have a told the other type of stories about women that one might expect to find in a book about a group of lads growing up through school and college – but I felt it wasn’t my place to do so. There are books aplenty like that on the market and I wanted to take a different approach. Furthermore, such stories would have left me more open to a libel suit or more likely to hurt the feelings / unnecessarily shame some of the characters who feature in the book – all of whom have been fully supportive of this project but may have felt differently should I have dragged their storied love lives into the book.

As a way of cloaking the facts, I could have changed more characters’ names than I did. But, as anyone from a small community in Ireland will tell you, it wouldn’t take Jessica Fletcher to work out who was who! And again, I wanted to keep the story as real as possible – I’m proud of the fact that about 95% of the events in the book happened exactly as written – sometimes the truth can be as funny as any fiction one might conjure up.

As it is, take Lord of the Rams for what it is – a humourous account of growing up in Ireland that doesn’t tell all but perhaps doesn’t need to! Ironically, most of the readers of Lord of the Rams thus far have been women – most of whom seem to have enjoyed the book :-)

And, finally, please keep the feedback coming via email (info@lordoftherams.com) or by leaving a message on this blog.

Until Later,
Ronan.

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