As an erotic romance author, my biggest goal is to have my work appeal to readers who enjoy their romance on the steamier side. Well, I’m a reader as well as a writer, and I love noticing how other writers bring out the best qualities of a sexy hero and heroine. After all, if those main characters don’t make our hearts go pitter patter, it’s likely the book as a whole won’t either. So this week, my question to you is, what makes a hero—the male lead—someone you can root for and love?
Years ago, a reviewer said of Cooper in The Cinderella Curse that “Dee sure knows her men.” That comment made me happy because I love men and I love making them come alive in my books. Cooper, the photographer who makes over Charlotte, Cinderella style, is more of a beta hero. He is strong and confident and right there on hand to help Charlotte recognize the beauty he saw in her even when she was a “plain Jane.” He helps, but he doesn’t rush in and impose his will on her.
The space jockeys in The Bride of the Pryde, however, are all alpha men: domineering, quick to make demands and even quicker to expect them to be carried out. Good thing the heroine, Susan, is just as alpha. Still, as a woman, she responds to their total maleness when she comes up against them (pun intended).
I’ve written all kinds of heroes in my erotic romances, but I’m interested in what you think make a hero wonderful. Is it his strength, his humor, his decisiveness, or tenderness? Do you like a man to stand strong but silent beside his heroine when they’re with others but take charge between the sheets or do you like him to express his will with the heroine in all ways?
We all have men in our lives, fictional or real, who make us sit up and take notice. Let me know your favorite hero and what appeals to you about him. Thanks!
Someone just asked me the other day if a character I wrote in Passionate Destiny had anything to do with my husband, Jack. The character’s name is Jackson, and while his character is not much like hubby’s, I like to include some variation of Jack’s name in most of my books. (Ever notice how many heroes and/or villains are named Jack?) If I don’t actually use his name, I usually add something of him, like noting his alma mater, Virginia Military Institute (go, VMI!), in Impatient Passion, or a description of where he took me on our honeymoon in my latest book, Naval Maneuvers. I think every author puts something of themselves in their books—we draw from what we know or have experienced, right?
I think also, that writing itself is such a personal endeavor. We’re often writing alone, in our own little worlds. I feel like each and every book is a kind of mini-Me in some way. Can’t get much more personal than that. 😉 My biggest goal is that the personal bits I add to my works will be liked and enjoyed by readers!
Dee S. Knight
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Naval Maneuvers: coming soon from Black Velvet Seductions
I have found that the older I get the faster time seems to go and the more nostalgic the memories, so this was a great topic for a blog.
When I was very young, %#@!* years ago, my mom had a big, black Labrador Retriever. Man, I loved that dog! And mostly because he let me do anything to him—pull his ears, ride him like a pony, fall asleep on him. My grandmother’s house had a big porch with concrete steps leading down to the sidewalk and street. Mom would put me out there while she sat just inside the house and tell Buster (the dog’s name, not mine), “You watch her now and don’t let her get near the steps.” By golly, if I dared move toward the steps he would nudge me back. I couldn’t have asked for a better protector or friend. Buster was my first introduction to dogs and I’ve loved Labs since. We’ve never had another Lab, but I grew up around beagles and shelties, both great breeds though not with a place in my heart like Buster.
Dee S. Knight website
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Usually, I start writing with what I think is a good storyline. And usually it’s a storyline with characters I’ve let rattle around in my head for some unspecified amount of time. But (usually) by the time I finish off the book I’m ready to let those characters go and move on to the next thing that’s been rattling around. So by definition, my favorite thing to have written is that story I just finished and shipped off. Nothing like being DONE to make a piece my favorite.
I think that must indicate a short attention span on my part, right? Even as a child I was never all that patient. When my mom found out after the first book that I managed to stay put long enough to write a first book, she was kind of surprised. I never could have written a sequel to that book, however, or a series. I’d given those characters their happy ever after and they had to give up the stage to new characters in new settings. So now you know my dirty little secret.