Please give a warm welcome to author Ninette Swann, who is joining us with her book, Hit and Stay.
Making a Good Hero
What makes a good romantic hero? Truth be told, the days of the super-pumped Fabio with blond tresses streaming behind are long gone. These days, readers are looking for a little more substance behind their leading men.
But how much is too much? While “me Tarzan, you Jane” no longer works, you don’t want to be dragged down by a hero with so many flaws he can’t help but to come across defeated, owned by life, and struggling to define his own merits. While heroines these days don’t need to be rescued, their partners still need to offer the comforting strength of a leading man. Readers still desire a unique world with a happy ending…at least in most romances. We want someone we can fully get behind, someone we can cheer for.
When I first wrote Jake, in my book Hit and Stay, he was less than extraordinary. I wanted to portray a man chased by demons of his past, but those demons manifested as faults of his. Instead of having been wronged by others, he had wronged himself through folly and impulsiveness. He had anger issues and trust problems.
Because of that, his current state was too bumbling, too unsure. He came off as too much in the dark, and he hid too many secrets.
In short, no one liked him.
Was his original version real—as in true to life? I think so. But that doesn’t necessarily make a good book hero.
Jake as he appears in Hit and Stay now, still has trust issues. He’s processing his life, and he makes many, many mistakes. But now, he’s likable. He’s strong. His motives are clear throughout the book. His love for the heroine is defined and honorable. His past haunts him, but he owns it and plows through, searching for a better life built on better deeds.
And in the end, isn’t that what we are all looking for? Not some cardboard cutout of a heroic man with no shames or past or hidden agendas, but a person we can look to and relate to, a better version, perhaps, of ourselves or our lovers in real life?
The best heroes are the real heroes. If you write, pen them real and pen them heroic. The two are not mutually exclusive. Save the bumbling emo for the supporting characters, and can the perfect male Adonis forever. No one wants to see that act again. It only lasts for a page before it’s boring.
Jake Harrison has a bad habit of swooping in to the rescue. Once burned, twice shy, the detective prefers to do the saving...and the leaving. But when he finds socialite Andrea Wadsworth collapsed in the street, he wonders if this time he won't be able to get away so easily, especially since his past is coming to find him.
Andrea Wadsworth thought she had everything she ever wanted—an ambitious and gorgeous fiancé, stability and looks to kill. One suspicious phone call leads to her life's undoing and she finds herself on the run from all she once adored, the only person able to help her is a complete stranger: The smoldering Jake Harrison.
Together they unravel an unlikely political plot, but in this game of love and loss, and with all the betrayal surrounding them, will they ever be able to trust again?
A mother of three-year-old twin girls, I find time to write during nap time and after bed time. During daylight hours, we're all usually outside, and no writing is to be done.
I'm an editor and journalist as well. I used to produce television news, and I thought no job could be more fun than that. Until I found this one.
You can find out more than you ever wanted to know about my family life over at my parenting blog, Tales of an Unlikely Mother.
My writing and review blog and current projects are here at Patch of Sky. http://www.ninetteswann.com
Ninette is giving away one eBook of Hit and Stay to one lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment or question for her on this post and then fill out the rafflecopter below. Additional entries are available but not mandatory. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway