Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kristine Cayne Guest Blog and Review: Robert Downs "Resurrecting MANfiction"

Hello everyone! Today, I'm featuring Robert Downs, the author of Falling Immortality, on tour with Making Connections Book Tours. I'm very excited to have Robert join us to tell us about his book and the resurrection of the genre he calls MANfiction.

Resurrecting MANfiction
If you listen to the tabloids, or maybe even your female author friend, or you conduct an Internet search, you’ll quickly discover that about 80% of readers are women. Does this mean real men don’t read? I’d respectfully beg to differ, and I have no less an authority than Stephen King standing in my corner with his ear pressed to the back of the nearest paperback. But I would argue MANfiction does need an injection of strength, in the same manner that a strong male lead will attack any and all comers. It’s not exactly on life support, but it does need a group of male authors standing at the front of the line trumpeting its praises. Because male readership is in the minority, you have otherwise intelligent male authors running in fear, or cowering away from the term. Yet, you don’t have female authors shirking the term chick lit.

More than anything, I’d say this boils down to a lack of understanding with your average male author. Sure, many of his readers are female, but men enjoy grenades and fistfights with the same zest that women enjoy romances and strong female leads. This isn't to say women don’t enjoy action either, as any Lee Child or Robert Crais fan will tell you. I’d even go so far as to say women are not turned off by the term MANfiction, if it’s written well and marketed properly, but it shouldn't be treated like it’s a dirty word, because it’s not. It’s just a way for the average reader to quickly identify what she (or he) will be spending her hard-earned dollars on, and in the end, that’s good marketing for everyone.

Robert Downs is the author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator. A sample chapter of his MANfiction mystery debut, as well as other interesting information about the author, or his main character, can be located at his website.

Title: Falling Immortality
Author: Robert Downs
Series: Casey Holden

Genre: Mystery
Available: Amazon


Debut, hard-boiled mystery fiction for men. Stephen King’s son describes a fitting genre as MANfiction (the opposite of Chick lit). Casey Holden, former cop, current PI in Virginia Beach, VA, screens his clients the way he screens his women, based on whichever drop-dead gorgeous woman happens to waltz through his door first and manages to hold his attention.

So when Felicity Farren, widow-at-large, struts into his office asking him to solve the two-year-old murder of her husband Artis, she intrigues him. When Casey starts digging, he learns the murder isn't what it seems to be and he doesn't have a big enough shovel to unearth the truth. And to top it all off, his former rival at the police department, Greg Gilman, is determined to disrupt his investigation. Casey's challenge is to learn what really happened to Artis, and why Gilman can’t seem to remove his head from his butt. And he’ll need all of his wits to complete the task.

About Robert Downs

Robert aspired to be a writer before he realized how difficult the writing process was. Fortunately, he’d already fallen in love with the craft, otherwise Casey might never have seen print. Originally from West Virginia, Robert has lived in Virginia, Massachusetts, and now resides in New Mexico.

Kristine Cayne's Review
Falling Immortality is the fast-paced, humorous tale of police officer turned private detective Casey Holden. Casey is a quick-witted, irreverent man with a knack for getting himself into tight situations. The mystery is well-crafted, with each new clue revealed in an unpredictable manner. The more Casey learns about the case he's trying to solve, the less he knows, and we fully share in his struggles.

I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Casey's best friend and former partner, Ian Jackard. Ian is Mr. Ordinary, the perfect foil to Casey's Mr. Extraordinary. Unlike in most male-oriented novels, the men in Falling Immortality actually talk to each other about their lives, loves, and loses, albeit in a very funny and manly way. Whenever Casey and Ian are together, we're in for some great laughs. Here's an example:

"I'm in therapy because of you."

"No, you're in therapy because of your ex-wife." Ian's ex-wife was ruthless--she beat her hubby three times that I'm aware of. The relationship lasted a whopping ten months, and now ten years later he is still in therapy. Go figure.

"You don't look anything like my ex-wife," he said.

"I know. I look better."

And here's another of my favorite excerpts. It depicts Casey's character perfectly.

"I'm very selective in my relationships," I said. "I like to have a woman for each arm. It's a good thing I don't have three arms."

I heard Ian grin: he didn't laugh. "That's one more than most guys have when they're lucky, and if they're not, it's two more. Monogamy has never been your strong suit. In fact, I bet you don't even know what a monogamous relationship is."

"I have a different definition of monogamy," I said. "And it's served me well." My cup of coffee stared up at me with pleading eyes.

My only criticism of the book is that while I got to know and understand the male characters fairly well, I didn't feel the same about the female line-up. Even at the end, Beverly, Alexandra, and Dragon Lady remained enigmas. And perhaps this is due to the fact that Falling Immortality is the first in a series and the characters will continue to be developed as the series progresses. I look forward to reading the upcoming installments in the Casey Holden, Private Investigator series.

All in all, I give this book 4 of 5 stars.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us, Robert!

Readers: what do you think of MANfiction as a genre? Have read any other books you think fit the genre?

Happy Reading!


  1. Men don't Read? Ladies, *real men *read.

    1. Yep, real men do read, Dale! And that's exactly Robert's argument. Falling Immortality is a great addition to this genre and it also appeals to women :)