This is my first question on here, so bear with me, if you will.
My question is in two-parts:
a) When writing in first-person, is it wise to choose a main character of a different gender to yourself (the author)?
b) What are certain pitfalls to watch out for when attempting to accomplish this?
I realize the first part of the question may be more a matter of opinion, which is why I included the second part to make it more concrete. I was also going to ask whether a male author (like myself) should try writing a female character from first-person's, but I thought let's make the question applicable (and hopefully useful) to both genders.
I'm also not looking for a discussion on the pro's and cons on first-person writing as opposed to third-person as there are a few good questions on that on here already and I've read quite a number of books in both styles that I liked and didn't like for various reasons.
I know there are some authors who have pulled off writing different-gender main characters in first person, such as Robin Hobb with her character FitzChivalry Farseer in the Assassin's Trilogies. I personally enjoyed these books and felt that she pulled off a male character fairly well.
The only real male author successfully accomplishing this that I know if is Stephen King's "Dolores Claiborne" which is also noted in another question on this site. To my knowledge it is also fairly widely held that men should not write first-person female characters.
The only obvious pitfalls I can think of for male authors is not to become sexist or to impose too much of a "male-fantasy" onto your female character. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.