I’ve got a confession to make. The heroes in my romances are usually a prototype of my husband in some way, shape or form. After all, he’s the man I know best and I married him because I obviously find him hero-material. Combining him with a little Han Solo, I had in my opinion a wonderful male. But after many books, I began to think I needed a new prototype. Someone was bound to start noticing that my hot, yummy heroes were all a little alike.
So, I started the search for another hero archetype. He had to be handsome, smart, witty and the number one requirement was that even if he wasn’t perfect (in fact, I was looking for slightly flawed), he needed to be okay with not being perfect. I like heroes who feel great in their own skins.
I looked and looked and couldn’t find anyone. Months rolled by. I began to despair. Even the issue of People magazine’s yearly Best Looking People provided no new fodder. The men all looked too handsome, too delicate, so perfect as to be uninteresting.
Then I saw him. I was meeting my old work buddies (think a table full of computer geeks) when this guy walked into Panera’s. Tall, lean but covered in muscle, sandy hair, a real tan that had lasted into October, and a walk that screamed confidence. But that wasn’t the clincher. The thing that sealed the deal was that he wore an Australian outback riding jacket as if he’d just come in off the range. My mouth dropped open. What guy could actually pull that off and not look like a complete idiot?? My fingers itched to take out the small writing pad I haul everywhere with me for just these occasions. He was the perfect combination of Brad Pitt before he got all weird and a 30 year old Robert Redford. Brad Redford I named him in my mind, suppressing a female giggle that really isn’t my style, I swear.
It might have been better if he’d walked on by, forever to live in my mind as a fictional character. Instead, he sat down next to me. It turns out he was friends with the guys I was eating lunch with. Usually I’m okay with my voyeuristic tendencies – I’m an author after all. How am I supposed to build stories if I’m not constantly watching my fellow man? But now I felt a little weird and uncomfortable, similar to the feeling I had when my mother-in-law told me about her sex life.
This odd feeling went on until I looked down and saw him fiddling with his sock. Only it didn’t look like a sock exactly. It looked like…
“What the hell is that on your leg?” I asked, horror creeping into my tone.
He yanked on the thin, stretchy fabric. “That’s the problem with wearing tights. They always get all messed up around the ankles.” He spoke as if there was nothing out of the ordinary about men wearing tights.
I couldn’t stop myself. I had to know why Brad Redford was wearing women’s legging, even if I had a feeling the answer wouldn’t bring me any satisfaction. “But why are you wearing tights?”
He looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “It’s cold out,” he said, as if that explained everything.
I left that day heartbroken and, without knowing it, had made a new (tights wearing) friend. Dave plays soccer every chance he gets, is a complete jokester and is, yes, hot. Weird (too weird), but hot. It took me two years before I finally used him in a story and when I did, it was unexpected, mainly because it isn’t the type of tale I ever thought I’d write. He’s one of the two men in my latest release, a ménage with the title TWO FOR THE MONEY. If Dave ever knew I put him in a M/M/F ménage, he’d be furious. He may wear tights, but he’s also much too Alpha to ever share a woman. But lucky for me, he’ll never know. It will just be our little secret!
Check out an excerpt of my stories at www.leighwyndfield.com/!