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Three of our Story Gardeners celebrate April showers by chatting up one of their favorite topics. Heroes. We know readers want to be the story’s heroine for a time, and they want to be with the hero. How do we create a wonderful hero? What kind of a hero makes a believer out of you?
I was charmed by the recent video of the firefighters who were dressed in prom dresses and riding in a float to promote a beauty pageant fundraiser. When a nearby pickup truck caught on fire, they weren’t afraid to jump from their float and set to work–still wearing red and blue prom dresses.
A hero isn’t about his pecs or his height or his bank account. Heroic status is about his attitude, about what he values and is willing to protect, and what he stands for. A six foot six guy without any of those things might as well be a rubber dummy no matter how
odd looking we think he is. When it comes to heroes, character count.
I’ll send a copy of my newest book, LYON’S BRIDE–the first of the Chattan Curse series—to the author of a comment chosen at random.
Men. I like ’em mean and nasty. God knows why – it must have something to do with my dark childhood, though my father was charming and my husband is the sweetest man in the world. But when it comes to heroes, the darker the better. I like men who kill without compunction, particularly when deep down it wounds them. I like bossy, domineering men who get taken down a peg or two. I want them tall, lean, not bulky but wiry, usually with long hair and a mouth like sin. And man, do I like sin!
I want a man with strong appetites, no interest in public opinion or what people think of him, a man who knows what he wants and goes for it, breaking all the rules. I want him priapic and talented and beneath it all, heart-breakingly vulnerable.
I realize my men are too much for a lot of readers, and who can blame them? It’s not everyone’s fantasy to be carried off by a gorgeous pirate or trapped by a dissolute English lord. Not everyone is willing to go on the lam with an elegant assassin or offer her blood to a devastatingly handsome vampire who might just take too much.
But I do.
Salt of the earth, secure in his manhood, self-reliant, strong, smart and sensitive—that’s my kind of man. I married an Indian cowboy. The cool thing about that from a writer’s perspective is that he inspires both contemporary and historical characters. My hero’s gun belt is a probably a tool belt. Either way, he uses his equipment better than anyone else around. I do love a man who can fix things. He’ll improvise rather than throw in the towel. He’s self-sufficient. If his own muscle power isn’t enough to clear the road, he’ll jerry rig something to get the job done. Or he’ll team up with his horse. And in the course of my story he’ll learns to team up with his woman. He’ll protect her with his life and trust her with his heart.
Down to earth, keeper of the earth, the American Indian is a survivor. The American cowboy is a jack-of-all trades. I’ve always felt that come the invasion—Martians, zombies, wolf men, whatever—an Indian cowboy will save humanity. That’s my hero.
Post a comment letting us know what kind of hero rings your chimes and put yourself in the running for THE LAST GOOD MAN in electronic format from Amazon or print.
All 3 prizes will be awarded to one lucky winner. Be sure to “like” The Story Garden on Facebook and visit us often.
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