photo by Natalie Duvall
EXCERPT from "Powerman Writes Women's Fiction: On Writing What You Know" by Matt Duvall in Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction:
When I tell people I'm completing my MFA in writing popular fiction, they're generally impressed. Then they ask, "What do you write?" That's the question I dread. I try to be clever, saying something like, "grocery lists," but this is usually met with blank stares. So then I respond, with a mumble or a cough, "Women's Fiction." This response gets laughs. But why? Is there a reason I shouldn't write Women's Fiction?
Ok, I'm a man. I can prove it if I have to. I'm around six feet tall, weigh about 215 pounds, eat chicken wings, drink beer, and watch cage fighting. I train in martial arts, run half marathons, and used to be a pro wrestler. So why is it so funny for me to say, "I write Women's Fiction"? Is there some reason I shouldn't?
Matt Duvall was a professional wrestler who appeared on national TV shows and was included in Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine's Top 500 wrestlers for 1996. He completed his MFA at Seton Hill University, which is also where he met his wife, Natalie. His short fiction has been published in a number of venues, including Chizine, The Ultimate Unknown, and Eye Contact. When he's not teaching high school students, Matt practices Krav Maga, runs half marathons, and tries to avoid mowing the yard.