Friday, October 26, 2012
I Need a Hero
Oh yes, I certainly do! What reader doesn`t? What woman doesn`t?!?
A strong, handsome, fearless man to sweep me off my feet….
I feel swoonish. Is that a word? Well, if it wasn`t it is now! Since I write in a genre that has the word ‘romantic’ sitting right in front of its literary partner ‘comedy’ I spend a lot of time working with heroes. I have to invent them, decide how they`ll look, how they`ll walk, how they`ll love, and how they`ll speak. I have to name them and build a story around them. I must also whip up a lover for my heroes. I love my job!
I`ve heard it said that there is a stereotypical hero for romance novels. I beg to differ. I like to think (or at least I hope) that my heroes are a little less cookie-cutter than many others. Make no mistake they`ll have you dabbing at your mouth with a napkin while fanning your face, but they are not the typical leading man that Hollywood or Fabio has made folks think romantic heroes in books have to be. My guys are funny, which is why they`re starring in romantic/comedies I suppose. They may look good and make a woman fan her face but they have wit also, because women love men that can make them laugh as well as dig gouges in the headboard during nookie.
I`ve found many men in novels that have stolen my heart: Vishous, Bones and Jamie Fraser just to name a few. Phew….Is it warm in here? I`m hoping to make it a bit warmer so maybe we`ll want to open a window or two. Since we`re chatting about heroes I thought I would introduce you to some of mine. The men that you`re about to meet are from three of my favorite storylines. Each one is different and yet they all share that gift for banter that makes me smile then melt into a puddle.
Let`s start with the hero of my Gods & Goats trilogy, Ares. Dave Batista is my chosen candidate for Ares if a movie is ever made out of my books. Mr. Batista is spot on perfect for playing the god of war.
Ares is not your standard hero. Actually, if you read back through Greek mythology Ares was kind of a jerk. He`s portrayed as being barbaric, crude, bloodthirsty, ignorant, whiny, and somewhat stupid. Ares was easily defeated by his sister Athena at Troy. He was outwitted by giants who held him captive in an urn. He was humiliated and laughed at by the other gods when he was caught in a net while canoodling with Aphrodite. Yeah, Ares was the black sheep of the Olympians.
I wanted to change that perception of the war god. I wanted to dig into him a bit just to see what made him tick. Sure, my Ares still loves a good battle. The more bloodshed the happier he is, BUT, there is a softer side to my Ares that has never really been explored. Ares is a man that loves his children deeply. He is also a man that worshipped Aphrodite for centuries so we know he gives his heart totally. Also, Ares is damned funny in a rather childish way that I think makes him endearing. Ares in my books can go from fighting a Chimera clad in full golden battle gear and roaring loud enough to shake the mountains to whispering a poem penned by Sappho into Libby`s wee ear. That is my kind of hero!
Now this is my second hero. A totally different kind of man yet with a killer sense of humor that his co-worker just can`t seem to resist. After finding this image in a Facebook group I belong to (I have fun groups on Facebook!) I knew I had found Gerard Williams. No wonder Maggie Owens, the host of Paranormal Private Investigators, has trouble keeping her mind on the job! I`ve no clue who this stunning man in the image is but he is exactly how I see Gerard, right down to the dreads and the perfection of his lips. Gerard is a modern man so his humor is different than Ares` is. Gerard is sharp and clever and quite aware of how to use what he has to get a woman he wants. Yes he is younger than Maggie Owens and he does not care. Go Cougars!!
I love writing the dialog for all my lovers and Gerard and Maggie are no exception. Someday I hope to find some time to give them a run at a novella. I think they would set the pages to flame in no time at all!
Now we`re going to meet two heroes in the same tale! Yep, that`s right, two heroes in one book! These two gentlemen are the stars of my short story Two Guys Walk into an Apocalypse which will be appearing in the anthology He Loves Me for My Brainsssss published by Torquere Press, available early 2013.
May I introduce Paul Cooke—
And Gordon Moretti—
I know, aren`t they superb looking men?! Our blonde hero, Paul, is of course Alexander Skarsgard and the brunette I`d chose to play Gordon is Eric Bana. Paul and Gordon are partners in a world that is suddenly filled with flesh-eating zombies. That`s right, a gay Rom/Com set in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. It was a real challenge to try to balance comedy, romance, and zombies but it sure was fun!
Generally zombies don`t lend themselves to the giggles. Taking a few movies I had seen (Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead) as my guiding lights I sat down and starting whittling out two leading men. Gordon and Paul are the stars of the first M/M story I have ever written. I fell in love with them both before I got to my first chapter break.
It`s not easy for a man to maintain his sense of humor when zombie`s are chasing him and his lover through a home improvement store. Paul does and he does it with flair and panache. Gordon has a much more low-key wit than his partner. They play perfectly off each other and are utterly devoted to each other. I`m in the process now of laying out a few plot skeletons for further adventures of these two hunky heroes. Perhaps if all goes well we might see a series for our two guys as they battle through a strange, gory, funny, crazy new world. Keep your fingers crossed!
So those are a few of my heroes. Tell me about yours! Who inspires you for your hero? Do you find images to refer back to when writing about your leading men? What do you like in a hero? Golden hair or dark? Blue eyes or cocoa? Wise cracking or stoic? Is there a profession that your heroes seem to gravitate to such as lawyer, cowboy, astronaut, professional football player?