For week 19, the Marketing for Romance Writers blog tour prompt is:
The Ideal Romance Hero
Well, I’m a guy, a straight guy, so by all rights I should excuse myself from this one.
Nah. Since when has being unqualified ever kept me from having an opinion? So here are two opinions, one facetious, one serious.
1. Facetious Answer
You’ve all seen those hunky heroes on the covers of romance novels. Washboard abs. Handsome as hell. Allergic to wearing shirts.
That is not me — and yet, I’m a real live Harlequin hero. You see, I inspired the hero in a romance novel. Truth, I swear.
Twenty years ago, I inadvertently gave Vicki Lewis Thompson, who’s now published 100+ romances, the idea to write Mr. Valentine, about a guy who writes a romance. Vicki and I were critique group partners at the time, and the book went on to become a Rita Award finalist. Read how it happened..
Not even a great writer like Vicki could turn someone like me into a he-man, so her hero is a nerd … one of the first of her many nerdy heroes. That said, I do look a tiny bit like the guy on the original cover. Okay, looked, past tense.
Except that I wear shirts.
2 Serious Answer
A decent man who is NOT a sociopath.
I’ve read way too many books in which the author wants her hero to be an ALPHA — but goes too far and turns the guy into unfeeling narcissist or sociopath, incapable of empathy or caring about anyone or anything. Of course the love of the heroine magically turns him into husband/relationship material.
Sorry, folks. Not even ten years of therapy will change a man with such a personality disorder into a a candidate for a happily ever after. Ain’t gonna happen.
Beyond mere unbelievability, if we as writers project rose-scented myths about hyper-alphas, it’s possible we may be encouraging unsuspecting women to enter abusive relationships. How to spot sociopaths and narcissists.
Click here to enter your link and/or check out the other great romance writers taking part in this blog hop.