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Ruthie Knox | The Appeal of the Curious Hero
Author Guest / June 9, 2013

When readers learn the nickname I use for the hero of my latest book—Sean Owens, the “stuttering hacker”—they usually get caught on the “stuttering” part. A romance novel hero who stutters? What the what? Yes. He stutters, and he’s sexy and awesome, competent, caring, somewhat screwed up in the head—all the great hero stuff. I promise. Today, though, I want to talk about the “hacker” part. Why write a hero who’s a hacker? What’s the appeal? The first thing I knew about Sean Owens was that he doesn’t talk to the book’s heroine, Katie, at all, and it drives her crazy. The second thing I knew was the reason why: he had an enormous crush on her in high school, and he’s afraid that if he tries talking to her, he’ll stutter. The third thing I knew about Sean wasn’t a thing, it was an image of a fifteen-year-old kid sitting all by himself at the front of the school bus, trying not to be too obvious as he watches the beautiful, popular girl he’s got a crush on make her way to the back row with her far-more-popular-than-Sean-will-ever-be boyfriend. This image is at the heart of how I see…