Thursday, January 8, 2009

Where Do Heroes Come From??

Romance novels have captured the hearts of readers for decades by showcasing some of the most compelling heroes in fiction's history. From swashbuckling pirates and highland warriors, to sexy vampires and misunderstood werewolves, to intense homicide detectives and lusty bounty hunters, romance novels continue to capture the essence of the alpha-hero.

But with all that testosterone flying around, it begs the question: Where does the inspiration for these uber-warriors stem from?

I tossed that very question out into a pool of published authors and this is some of their feedback:

"I have to admit that my hubby has the most awesome blue eyes. :) Those eyes were first things that drew me to him. So if I'm writing a blue-eyed hero, you can bet that at least a few of my real-life hero's characteristics have been thrown in. Of course, if my hero says something that's downright stubborn and opinionated, that might of been a hubby inspired moment, too. After being married for twenty years and learning what makes him tick, I can't see how any hero I write wouldn't have at least one or two of my hubby's traits." -- Nita Wick, author of Wagonmaster

"All my heroes possess a little bit of what I personally find attractive in a man. The hero of my first novel, Canyon Wolf Bride was gleaned entirely from my husband. My hero, Sean Wilson has the same body, mind and heart as my husband Michael Sean Wilson...oooh and the same stubble...yum. And yes, my husband is also a werewolf." -- Alisha Paige, author of Nocturnally Vexed

"It is generally the heroine who appears in my mind first. After I'm sure what she's like, I create the hero she needs." -- Magdalena Scott, author of The Blank Book

"My dad was in the Marine Corps. We spent time on the base at the PX and Commissary, base related activities, special ceremonies and the baseball games all the guys played together. Almost all our close friends were Marines and their families. I think that warrior personality must have stuck in my psyche because that's where I get my inspiration for my heroes. It didn't occur to me, until recently, that I almost always write the warrior hero and why. And there's nothing on the planet that gets my heart to pumping like the sight of a man in uniform. (Unless it's a Scotsman in a kilt of course.) But that's another story." -- Teresa Reasor, author of Captive Hearts

The truth is, inspiration can come from anywhere -- overactive imaginations, a chance encounter with a smoking hot waiter or parking attendant, the hunky guy jogging past you in the park, the heart melting presence of the real life hero sleeping on the pillow next to you... In the end, it seems safe to conclude that a real hero comes from the one special place you all cherish the most -- your heart.

Read on, heroines!

Make sure you drop by our next blog where we'll examine a few different types of heroes and why we love them. This one's gonna include pictures, so it could get HOT...


Nita Wick said...

Great post, Tracy!

Future Mrs. Ashley Rose said...

I love this post!

Alisha said...

What a fun and interesting blog! Thanks, Tracy!

Maddie James/Kim Jacobs said...

Great post, Tracy! Sorry I couldn't get back to you the other night. What a frenzy in the airport! The only thing on my mind at that point was getting home. So I'll just add here, my hero inspiration mostly comes from hero images -- and lately they have been of bad boys and cowboys! Or maybe that's bad cowboys... Or badboycowboys... anyway, I love to look at 'em. LOL

Denise said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I suppose when I write my heroes I draw from my husband as well as the good qualities in men I've known over the years- whether it be chocolatey brown eyes or bright baby blues, dark straight short hair or wavy brown locks or even blonde. Personalities plays into how I write a hero as well- the guy with the funny or quirky sense of humor or the serious brooding expression.

It just depends on the man and how I envision him. No one man can embody every characteristic I love, but that's what makes it so much fun creating my own heroes...they can come from all walks of life, parts of the past that I cherish, or from my own relationship.

A hero can lurk beneath the surface of just about any man.

Amy said...

I think the romantic hero is a flawed man, as most all men are, but who has the redeeming qualities women admire. I agree that a hero can lurk under most any man. I honestly don't know exactly how I craft the heroes I write, other than using what I, as a woman, find attractive and important. And it's different for different heroes and stories. Sometimes a hero should have huge, noticeable flaws, and sometimes a hero should be pretty perfect... at least on the surface.

Oh, and a man who is kind and loving toward his mother... he gets major hero points in my book! Says a lot about how he'll treat the woman in his life if he's good to his mother.

Fun blog!

Julie Robinson said...

Very well said, Amy about flawed heroes and heroes and their mothers. That's what I tell my 17-year old if he is in any way rude to me in front of his many girl-friends. Not that it's very often, but they are watching!

Thanks, Pink Ladies. I think heroes that we create in writing are a form of wish fulfillment.


Unknown said...

As a precursor to my first attempt to write romance, I borrowed twenty romance books from the library (ranging from Mills & Boon to Jane Austen) and read them all whilst I was offshore on an oil rig. They left me with the lasting impression that heroes are constructed to fulfill wishes rather than logically. There were engineers who couldn't think logically, soldiers with no tactical sense, seamen who would have disappeared over the side on the first dark night and even Mister Darcy exhibited few of the skills necessary to manage Pemberly (gorgeous as he was in the TV series).
With the exception of one series of stories, I've always begun with the heroine and then constructed a hero she could love, flawed enough to need her, intelligent enough to support her, drawing inspiration from the individuals I have known of any given profession and then layering them with relevant experiences until they become real to me.
That is the only way I can make them real to a reader.

~ Inspiration, Ink. ~ © 2007 Template feito por Áurea R.C.