What Makes a Man a Hero?
I have six sons, a loving husband and several male relatives, all could be romantic heroes, at least to those who love them. We have military men, construction workers and volunteer firemen, first responders, dedicated fathers and Scout leaders, all embody the manly men who set feminine hearts aflutter. They are all good looking too, of course I’m probably a bit prejudice in saying so.
When writing the characters for my stories I don’t set out to use a certain person as a model. Often, traits, events or actions from friends and family members drift into my stories. If you are looking closely, you can see a piece of one son or another, my husband, my best friends, but unlike the characters in my stories, I do not know what is in the heart and heads of real people. In truth, I find it more liberating to create my characters and play inside their skins until I feel I have a real person on the page. While I don’t purposely steal my characters from real life, I am well aware that those around me influence my writing, my building of characters and worlds.
It wasn’t until I was preparing to publish Chrome Pink that I realized how much I’d borrowed from real life. Logan, the hero in Chrome Pink was difficult to write. I wanted him to be understanding and kind, but not wimpy. He had to be strong enough to hold up against a character like Rae Lynne. To find the balance between masculine charm and alpha-male, I looked to the men around me. My sons, husband and assorted relatives are mostly alpha-males. They are strong willed, opinionated and ready for battle but they are also gentle fathers, romantic husbands/lovers, and kind friends. From each of them I was able to see how a man handles the baggage of a traumatic childhood with the strength and character of a man who wants to do and be his best. I hope that I have captured these elements in my characters. I want them to feel real but they are not, they are characters from my imagination, influenced by those around me.
I have thrown everything into this story but the kitchen sink, oh wait, I have that too. My friend has a plaque over her kitchen sink, “No man was ever shot while doing the dishes,” it influenced one of my scenes. What could be sexier than a man doing dishes?
What do you want in your fantasy lover? What makes a man a romantic hero?