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The Psyche of Men in the Words of Pamela Stevens – Author of The Reluctant Courier

Pamela Stevens The Psyche of Men in The Reluctant Courier
Photo Courtesy: Pamela Stevens

By: Seraphina Quin

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has raised, yet again, the age-old question – is the world we live in rigged in the favor of men? What we saw was one of the most unexpected Oscar snubs in the history of the industry. This stifling of the entire point the movie tried to make only further reinforced it.

But not all men have to answer for the domineering patriarchy that seems to have taken hold of our society.

Efforts have been made to challenge the notion that all men favor themselves over women. We see it in other movies, television series, songs, and books. And there is one book in particular – a new release, whose author may have inadvertently or knowingly set the record straight yet again. 

It’s not all men. 

We give you Pam Stevens and her amazing novel – The Reluctant Courier. 

Once you become a reader, you set yourself on the path to becoming a writer. And that’s what happened to Stevens. One day, she decided she could do it and wrote The Reluctant Courier. But she never got the chance to publish it. Now at 70, having seen the world and lived a life full of rich experiences, she is bringing The Reluctant Courier to us – and we couldn’t be happier because we are introduced to Steven Hoyt, the Congressman, who just might be the ideal male role model the men of today need.

It is through Hoyt that Pamela delves into the psyche of men – how most are often misunderstood and the rest have to walk down a preassigned road, forbidden to take the road not taken. 

We spoke to Pamela, and she enlightened us with her responses. 

How would you describe Steven Hoyt, the Congressman, as the male counterpart of the book? 

The Reluctant Courier is a female-led suspense, mystery, and romance novel. While Sandra Stanford (the heroine) never fails to take center stage, Steven Hoyt is her male counterpart who brings more life to her story as the protagonist’s love interest. However, Hoyt has a life of his own. Pamela says Hoyt is the strong, silent type – honorable and hardworking – willing to go the extra mile. Now, these are often traits most men pick up themselves, while the rest are expected or forced to. These seem to be the definers of what it means to be a man – however, this is not necessarily the case. He is willing to do whatever is necessary to protect his country or someone who is in his protection. Men do not always need to be protectors or think they must do it alone. With her writing, Pamela breaks these stereotypes.

And Hoyt is the perfect example. 

Hoyt keeps secrets. Do you believe men are generally secretive in real life? What do you think this tells us about them?

Who doesn’t want to be the good-looking, mysterious person in the room? However, Hoyt is not the kind of secretive you may think. His overly protective nature compels him to keep harsh truths to himself so that the people he loves and cares for deeply may be spared the consequences of knowing them. We often associate secrecy with men – bringing their fidelity into question. The thing is, human beings make mistakes – it’s not just men. Women can be just as unfaithful. 

What do men and women have in common here? They are human. 

Men are protective of those they care about. Sometimes, they keep secrets to protect them or keep them from worrying. 

And we hear you, Pam. 

Just like Steven, men can be protective of their loved ones. And it’s fine. 

What are Steven’s strengths and weaknesses?

Men are taught that their strength defines them. They cannot show weakness – to be weak is to err. More often than not, this is the kind of behavior we see in our men today. In their attempt to be strong, powerful, and devoid of any weakness or flaw, men come across as dominating, territorial – and, to be frank, a little unsupportive in championing women. 

So, we asked Pamela to list Steven’s strengths and weaknesses. As we read through the book, his strengths become very obvious. He is loyal, dedicated, and willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. It matters not what the world thinks of him – so long as his actions protect his loved ones. However, it was the one weakness she pointed out that really had us thinking. 

His weakness is he cares too much. To protect himself, he builds a wall around himself. 

This is again something a lot of men today do – in order to abide by societal norms and to resemble the man in the picture people have painted of “the ideal man,” men build walls around them to keep any emotion from escaping. They want to be seen as strong, independent juggernauts who remain deeply unaffected by intimidating odds and this indifference, they believe, is a show of their strength. 

Men must break these walls down and allow themselves to be vulnerable. 

How would you describe Steven’s transformation from his first appearance in the book to the end?

He becomes more vulnerable, more open, stepping out into the light. Steven’s character grows as we read through the book. It is not just because of Sandra but because of his character arc. He confronts his demons and realizes that he need not be so tough all the time. We see the walls he has built around himself broken down in future chapters. He opens up to Sandra and shares his feelings with her – and what does that make him? Weak? No. He becomes a better version of himself. 

And isn’t that what all of us (not just men) should focus on? 

Some key moments in the book where Steven’s character stands out?

Don’t worry. We won’t be spoiling the book for you and neither did Pam when she answered this one. There comes a twist in the novel where we see a mix of Steven’s good qualities pour out. Let’s just say that it is a life-and-death situation. He blames himself for the incident – it is nearly his undoing.

So, real men do not need to wait for a life-changing situation to come knocking at their door to decide to be a man! Our actions, no matter how big or small, are what define us. And it is okay to self-blame – it is natural. However, if we really are at fault – we must take responsibility. 

And finally, we asked her:

Do you have a message for your male readers?

Be honorable, be strong. It is not a bad thing to be masculine. So there you have it! 

Men aren’t as easy to understand as popular opinion may have it. They are just as complex as any woman, and they are allowed to be. They can be tough, not tough, smart, not smart. It is the psyche of men to remain indestructible all the time. 

But with Steven Hoyt, author Pamela Stevens proves that men can be vulnerable if given the room without compromising being their best selves. 

Discover more about Steven Hoyt and the role he plays in The Reluctant Courier – now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other leading digital bookstores.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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